How To Design A Web Page That Sells: Part 3
By Charles Lewis
Step one of how to design a web page that sells, is to locate the right tools for the job. Step two, is to make your site easy to use. And, without step three, the first two steps will mean absolutely nothing.
The difference between a site that sells and one that does not is ad copy (your sales letter, headline(s), snippets, etc). AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) is a common acronym that many people use to remember how to format their sales letters.
Me? I'm one for change, and if you want to succeed online, you'd better prepare yourself to ride trends like roller coasters at a theme park.
Everyone and their dog has written an article on the AIDA copywriting formula. So, when the time came for me to produce something on the topic, a new acronym seemed absolutely necessary. Here it is - the M.A.G.I.C. formula for writing a killer sales letter!
## MAGNETIZE Your Headline
Draw your prospect's attention and create a strong curiosity in what you have to offer. This friend is the all-important "ad for the ad". If your headline does not draw the reader into your offer, then you might as well have a four-year-old child write your sales letter - because your response rate will be the same either way.
"Okay, so how do I get their attention?", you ask.
Well, for starters, you aren't out to GET anyone's attention. You must RIVET their attention, and at the same time appeal to the correct TYPE of person.
For example, if you are selling flowers, do not write in all capitalized, bold, italic font. You'll scare off all the kind, gentle people who enjoy sending flowers to people for crying out loud. Use a soft color, and write from the heart.
Listen, I don't care if you are selling the latest hype-filled MLM product, French bath oils, or Viagra. You must use an emotional vocabulary. Pierce the heart and mind of your potential customer, and they will follow your words like a dog on a leash. I know this, because a sales letter written by Joe Vitale does it to me every single time. How does he do it?
The answer is actually rather simple. He uses powerful, active verbs, highly descriptive adjectives, and writes in a way that makes the person reading the sales letter feel like they are being directly spoken to. The response he is looking for most of the time is probably something to this effect:
"Oh no! I have to read on, and find out how I can save my business by giving this guy some money!"
And right when you want to turn back, he will hit you with some sort of useful piece of knowledge that any potential prospect of his will benefit from. Telling your prospect something helpful that they didn't already know can be a fantastic way to keep them reading.
I could give you a listing of a whole crock of "power words", but honestly - that's what a thesaurus is for! Buy one, and take it with you everywhere you go!
## ATTACK The Innermost Desires of Your Reader
Create a sound emotional impact that will melt away the mental barrier between you and the person to whom you are selling. That someone will want to know a few things. First, they will wonder:
"What does this dirtbag have that I want?", and secondly...
"Why should I care?"
That is a challenging question to answer. If you've tried your hand at dating (hey, some people haven't!), you have some practice at this. Just put yourself in the shoes of the most cynical person you can possibly imagine, and you will know what it feels like to read your sales letter.
The next most likely question will be, "Are the benefits going to outweigh the price of this gimmick?"
And your answer is:
Well, of course the benefits will outweigh the price, stupid! ...or will they? Hmm, good question. Let me lay it all out for you, so you can make the decision yourself. Now for the next step. . .
## GENERATE Credibility
How does the person who is reading your sales letter know that you are not just some twelve-year-old grade school dropout, trying to make a quick buck?
Well, credentials come to mind. Tell them who you are, what you've done, and why they should believe you. It sounds tough, but if you can get a few testimonials on your back, things will run smoothly in this area. Think of them as character witnesses for an old-fashioned credit bureau.
Next, you have to separate yourself from the competition. This is where the USP (Unique Selling Proposition) comes into play. If you don't know what a unique selling proposition is, I wrote an article on it recently.
Just drop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you'd like to give it a read.
I suppose it can be boiled down to one sentence: Tell your potential customer why they should buy from you, and not the competition.
## INTEREST Your Potential Customer
...by showing them how they will benefit from purchasing your product. This is where the old "Features = Benefits" comes into play. You can tell them everything that you have to offer, but if they cannot put two and two together, and figure out exactly how they will benefit, your efforts will be in vain.
For example, let's say that you are a salesman, selling air conditioning units to homes lacking this luxury. Well, first you would outline all the bells and whistles, extreme ease of use, and a load of other bull. But what does it all boil down to?
By using an air conditioner, these people will never again have to set up giant buckets of ice all over the house. Sweat will be a thing of the past! Living with air conditioning will put a person in a better mood, therefore increasing their quality of life. In turn, they will not smell bad, and women will fall all over them, and so on and so forth.
This is where you give them a call to action. Tell your prospect what to do, or they won't. This is simple psychology here. Don't just stick an order button at the bottom! You must tell them to order your product.
Give them a solid guarantee. This will take care of any uncertainties a person might have about your product. I always offer a one year 100% money back guarantee on all of my products, because I know that however many more people return the product, it will be outweighed by the drastic increase in sales.
Another trick I really like to use is to add a highly valued "surprise" bonus that will hit them right before they order. I've seen sales ratios go up by 50% after implementing this one simple tactic. The bonus itself does not necessarily need to have an overwhelming value (although it helps quite a bit), but any surprise bonus will be the straw that broke the customer's back.
## M.A.G.I.C - Magnetize, Attack, Generate, Interest, Closure.
Whether you remember the format of a sales letter using MAGIC or AIDA is up to you. Times are a' changing and innovation is driving the world's economy. Are you willing to follow the leader? Or are you going to get off your butt, and start making your own decisions?
Followers don't make money on the 'net - leaders do. Rome wasn't built in a day, and your business is no different. It will be built over many days, tears of frustration, late nights fueled by coffee and the drive to succeed. I know - I've been there, shed the tears, and taken the many hard knocks to my esteem. Do not ever give up, because those at the top are the ones who were patient enough to trudge through the muck.
Charles Lewis is editor of "The Cre@tive Marketer", a weekly newsletter dedicated to delivering proven online marketing techniques. You can sign up and receive a free copy of his $39 Internet marketing strategy guide by clicking on the following URL: http://www.webprozone.com/creative.html