Here’s a little-known fact to kick things off: Most sales letters don’t work. That shouldn’t surprise you, considering that most sales letters spend their time trying to accomplish the wrong thing. In other words, what you notice is that many business owners are simply talking too much about themselves and their product or service features. They’re not doing a good enough job of connecting their product or service with what matters to the customer.
I could have chosen to begin this article with any one of five different classic sales letter openings that illustrate that point perfectly, but I’ll start this way instead: “You’re probably sitting there right now wondering why you should bother to rewrite your website sales copy.” To break it down simply, your website is a brochure that you work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so you want to make sure that your website can actually convert visitors into paying customers/clients.
Here are 10 reasons why you should rewrite your website sales copy:
1 – You use too many “We” sentences when you should use “You” sentences.
If you follow the same structure that most sales letters follow, then you’re using too many sentences like this: “We are a company that offers ____(product/service)”
When you rewrite your website sales copy for the customer instead of about yourself, your sentences change to sound like this: “With ____ (company name), you’ll receive (benefits of product/service)…” See how it’s more about the customer than it is about you?
2 – You don’t have enough words to convey the message.
The people who write sales letters will tell you to get to the point and not waste your customers’ time. They’ll also tell you about the importance of being visual, which is why they recommend that you keep your website copy straightforward and to the point.
For example, if you have 600 words on your website’s home page, there’s a good chance that you’re not doing enough to compel the customer to take action.
You can rewrite your website sales copy when you design your homepage or landing pages with multiple sections to break up the content to make it all flow better. Just make sure you follow the one-page rule: the customer should be able to say, “A-ha! I get it,” after spending less than a minute on your website.
3 – You don’t have a clear enough value proposition.
The more specific and unique your value proposition is, the better chance you’ll have of standing out from the crowd. People have to see a reason – a clear benefit – for why they should choose you over your competition.
A value proposition is different from a slogan, which is meant to convey a general message about what you do. When I say “value proposition,” I’m talking specifically about how you distinguish yourself from every other business in your industry when you rewrite your website sales copy.
A good example of value justification for choosing a company’s product or service is the way that Apple explains how Apple products are superior to other non-Apple options.
4 – Your website copy sounds like every other sales letter out there.
You probably think about your industry, customer demographics, and what you’re selling in terms of “us” and “them.” But when it comes time to rewrite your website sales copy, you should be thinking in terms of “you.”
Why? Because the best way to avoid writing a bland sales letter is to write from a practical, real-world perspective. Talk about what happened to “them,” but focus on the customer and how it will benefit them if they choose you over your competition.
Be authentic and honest when you rewrite your website sales copy and use words that only you would use compared to some of the words your competitors may use. For example, if you’re selling nutritional supplements, don’t use words like “scientifically formulated” because that sounds too generic. Instead, talk about how your product works better than the competition because it contains an ingredient that has been “proven” to be effective.
5 – The problem and solution aren’t specific enough.
The best copywriting ideas come from real-life situations or problems. If you can demonstrate how your company helps people fix whatever problem they’re having, you’ll have more success telling your story. This is a huge tip to understand when you’re trying to rewrite your website sales copy.
The more specific you are about the problem, the better chance you have of solving it since there’s a direct relationship between specificity and persuasion.
Let’s say that you want to sell a travel package for a vacation getaway. You could talk about how many people travel each year or what percentage of Americans took at least one vacation last year, but that’s not specific enough.
Instead of generalizing about the number of people who travel or how many took a vacation last year, talk about the percentage of Americans who work two jobs and don’t have enough time to take a week off from work. Or maybe you could talk about college students trying to find part-time jobs during the summer to help pay for school.
The more specific you are about who your customers are, what their problems are, and how they feel, the better chance you have of connecting with them on an emotional level.
6 – You don’t display testimonials and proof of your product/service’s quality.
Most companies have a “testimonials” section or page on their website where they display photos and quotes from satisfied customers. But what about the other pages on your site? What kind of proof do you have to back up your claims?
For example, if you sell photography services, you should show pictures that your customers have taken, along with testimonials from them about why they were happy with their experience. If you sell consulting services for small businesses, show a before and after shot of some statistics from the company’s accounting software to prove what a difference your work made.
People are more likely to buy something if it’s endorsed by someone else who has bought the product or service before. It helps validate your company and gives prospects an idea of what it would be like to work with you.
Don’t assume that people will buy from you just because you’re saying it on your website – especially if the only proof you have is a generic quote from one of your company leaders.
7 – You’re not speaking to your target audience.
Every sales letter has a specific target audience, but sometimes the sales letter isn’t written specifically for them. For example, if you were selling pet supplies, would you rewrite your website sales copy to sound the same for college students as you would if you were targeting working families? The obvious answer is no, you would not rewrite your website sales copy the same for college students and working families. You’re more likely to get engagement from the working families since they’re more likely to own a pet and have a slightly larger budget for pet supplies.
When you rewrite your website sales copy to target only a specific audience, it helps build trust since they feel that you’re giving advice from personal experience. For example, let’s say your company sells weight loss supplements and you know that college students are more likely to buy from someone who is young and has been through the same challenges they face. It would be in your interest to write a weight loss letter from the perspective of a young person who may be struggling with his or her own weight, as opposed to writing about general information on weight loss.
8 – You don’t have any guarantees or warranties.
This is another mistake that many e-commerce websites make. How do you know if someone will be happy with your product or service? It’s not enough to say “If you’re unhappy with our service, contact us within 30 days and we’ll give you a full refund.”
People won’t trust that they can get their money back just because you say it. They need to see that there are guarantees in place to protect them. With most products, you can offer a money-back guarantee or an extended warranty period. With e-commerce services, you could include a satisfaction guarantee for what they’re buying.
For example, if someone buys one of your photography packages and isn’t happy with the results, you could simply refund their money and offer them an additional 20% of the original price of prints. Or if someone buys one month of your consulting services but doesn’t see enough of a difference in their company’s figures, you extend the life of their contract for another month.
Offering guarantees can help to protect your customers’ interests and can give them more confidence in spending money with you. Add guarantees and/or warranties when you rewrite your website sales copy.
9 – There’s no call to action (or too many call-to-actions).
Every piece of copy has one purpose – to convince the reader to take some kind of action. This isn’t always an explicit “Buy Now” call, but it could be something like asking for them to leave a comment or review about your product or service. It could also be encouraging them to subscribe to your email list.
If your copy doesn’t have a clear call to action, then it’s not going to be effective in persuading the reader to take any action. You want them to do something after reading your message, and if you’re not confident about what should happen next, you could ask them for their email address so that they can get a checklist or guide that shows them what to do next.
For example, if you wanted them to sign up for your email list, you could write: “Click here and we’ll send you our free ebook – How to Craft Compelling Content Every Time.”
Alternatively, if there are too many calls-to-action (CTAs), people will be overwhelmed and won’t know what to do next. A good rule of thumb is that each piece of content or each individual web page should have only one, ultra-clear CTA. This is common for a lot of businesses when they’re trying to show off too many things at once.
For example, a music artist’s homepage may have an audio player widget section, a section with merchandise, an about section, social media links, a video player, and an events section. This leaves too many options for the visitor to follow one clear path to conversions. Instead, the site should focus on just one of these areas, or create separate pages that list out all the available options in a clear menu.
10 – There’s no structure for how people read.
One more big mistake when you’re trying to rewrite your website sales copy is not considering how people read it. This means you need to consider things like their eye path (from where they enter the site to where they exit), and which of your words will get noticed first, second, and so on.
When you rewrite your website sales copy, your copy should make sense whether someone is entering through a search engine or coming from an email newsletter. It needs to be clear, concise, and easy to read. You can use things like bullet points, short paragraphs, and lots of white space to make the copy easier to take in.
For example, you have a web page with a long sales letter for your product or service and it’s a lot of information to digest. Even if all of the information that you provide is good-to-know, people won’t read it from top to bottom because it will be hard on their eyes. Instead, you can split up the most important points into separate paragraphs or use things like bullet points so it’s easier to process the information and take the next step in your sales funnel.
10 Reasons Why You Should Rewrite Your Website Sales Copy Conclusion
If you’re looking for ways to improve the way that you rewrite your website sales copy, consider these 10 points. They’ll help you to avoid some common mistakes and improve how well it persuades people to buy from you.
Please feel free to share this article with your friends who are in dire need of improving their website by clicking any of the social share buttons. If you still need help, reach out to me so that we can work one-on-one on your website goals.