The “Secret” to Writing Outrageously Good Web Copy

how to win more customers

Writing seductive web copy is a brilliantly useful skill. We’re delighted to introduce Henneke Duistermaan of Enchanting Marketing, who’s written us this excellent blog that tells you how to do it.  Check out her e-book too, details at the end.  Over to you Henneke!

How to write outrageously good web copy

You’re umming and ahhing.
What should your home page headline say?
Do you need a subheading or bullet points?
What should you write on your blog?

Writing your own website text can be tricky, difficult, or even frustrating.

What do potential customers want to hear? What entices web visitors to contact you, to sign up for your e-newsletter, and to buy from you? And what makes them click away?

The “secret” to writing seductive web copy is to write for one person only: your ideal reader. Once you know who you’re writing for, it becomes clear what you should write and how you should write it.

Writing for one person makes your copy more engaging and persuasive.

Nobody likes being addressed as a crowd

“The biggest mistake web writers make is trying to write for too many people.”

How do you chat up a girl (or a guy)? The first rule is making her feel special. You charm her. You flatter her. You might brag a little about what you’ve achieved, but only if she finds your achievements interesting. So why do we try to enchant our web visitors and address them as a crowd?

The biggest mistake web writers make is trying to write for too many people. It makes our messages airy-fairy and ineffective.

By trying to talk to too many people, we’re having a conversation with nobody at all. You can’t chat up a girl if you talk to her as if you’re standing in front of a classroom, can you?

Describing and visualizing your one ideal reader makes your web copy more vivid and more personal. It doesn’t mean that you target just that one person. It means that whoever closely matches your ideal reader feels that your content is written for him. He’ll feel you’re addressing him personally, directly.

Your ideal reader should become like an imaginary friend. You should know your ideal reader so well that you can start a conversation with him any time. You know when he shakes his head because he doesn’t agree with you. You know what makes him chuckle. You know the questions he’d like to ask, and you can formulate an answer he understands and appreciates.

How to visualize your ideal reader

“The more you know about your ideal reader, the better your web copy will become.”

To create a bio for your ideal reader, take a sheet of paper and write down your answers to the following questions.

Start with some simple demographics: Is your ideal reader a man or a woman? What age? What profession? What income? What education? Who does he live with? Does he have children? What car does he drive?

Dig a little deeper: What is he reading? What social media platforms does he use? What are his favorite websites?

And then get inside his head: What does he dream about achieving? What would he love to have? What keeps him up at night? What is he afraid of losing? What’s important to him in life? How does he make decisions?

Give your ideal reader a name and see whether you can find a picture (or make a drawing). Hang your ideal reader’s bio somewhere close to your computer monitor, so whenever you’re working on your web copy, you can look at your ideal reader and imagine you’re writing your copy for him.

The more you know about your ideal reader, the better your web copy will become. You can use your ideal reader for all your marketing activities.

Picture your reader when writing marketing emails, social media updates, blog posts, and even when you choose your marketing channels. If your ideal reader likes hanging out on Twitter rather than Facebook, you know you don’t need to target Facebook for your company’s marketing activities.

How to write seductive web copy

Seductive web copy encourages a web visitor to read on; it engages and tempts your web visitor to contact you or buy from you.

To win more customers with wickedly good web copy, you need to follow a structured process.

  • Start with deciding who you’re writing for, then compile a complete list of features.
  • Translate each feature into a benefit. How do you make your customers happier, healthier, or more productive? Which problems to you help to avoid?
  • Get all your research done before planning, writing and editing your web copy.
  • Always write for your ideal reader first and optimize for search engines later.

Want to learn more about writing your own web copy? Check out Henneke’s e-book How to Write Seductive Web Copy. An Easy Guide to Picking Up More Customers.

Downloads are free until 1 July 2013.

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1 Comment

  1. Brilliant. I’ve been reading A LOT about copywriting lately, and this is one of the main takeaways for me; writing to your ideal reader (or to your niche or ideal customer) is the backbone of good copy. Thanks for the refresher, Henneke Duistermaan.

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