Web Copy That Sells: The Revolutionary Formula for Creating Killer Copy Every Time

Web Copy That Sells: The Revolutionary Formula for Creating Killer Copy Every Time


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Web Copy That Sells: The Revolutionary Formula for Creating Killer Copy Every Time by Maria Veloso

"In order for a Web site to sell effectively, it must appeal to the unique culture, mindset, and psychology of the Web. Simply put, what works in the brick-and-mortar world does not necessarily grab Web shoppers. Companies selling products and services online need to promote their wares with engaging copy that grabs attention and compels Web site visitors to buy.

Web Copy That Sells presents copy strategies that have been proven time and again in the e-commerce arena. Maria Veloso, perhaps the most widely acclaimed Web copywriter in the world, reveals her revolutionary approach based on five simple questions, which, when answered, make the copy practically write itself. Veloso crams all the information from her 12-hour, $997 live seminars into a comprehensive book that will help any Web copywriter:

• write sizzling and irresistible Web copy, e-mails, and marketing communications

• quickly turn lackluster sites into "perpetual money machines"

• use Neuro-Linguistic Programming and psychological tactics to compel Web surfers to buy

• avoid the top three blunders that can wipe out your sales

• convert up to 50% of online prospects into paying customers

• and more!"

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814472491
Publisher: AMACOM
Publication date: 04/28/2004
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 17 Years

About the Author

Maria Veloso (Los Angeles, CA) is Director of Web Copywriting University and the former Director of Creative Web Writing for Aesop.com, a major Internet marketing company.

Read an Excerpt

Web Copy That Sells

By Maria Veloso


Copyright © 2005 Maria Veloso
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-8144-7249-4


I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think. -Socrates

It never fails. When people ask me what I do for a living, and I say, "I write web copy," I'm met with blank stares. Web copy is such a new term even those who have an Internet presence hardly recognize it. I quickly explain, "Web copy simply means the words that make visitors to your website pull out their credit cards and buy your product or service."

Invariably, I get an enthusiastic response. People tell me about their plans to sell this product or that service on the Internet, but they simply don't know how to do it. Others tell me they already have a website, but it's not doing a good job selling.

I've sold everything from books to hair restoration products, self-improvement programs, membership clubs, tax-saving programs, seminars, and more on the web, and in the process I've learned how to take a casual website visitor and turn that surfer into a prospect and, subsequently, into a customer-all through the sheer power of words.

It's simply amazing. Never before has there ever been such a great demand for a service. It seems as though just about everyone needs web copy written, and they usually need it "right now."

Words are the true currency of the web. While it may seem counterintuitive, it's no wonder that the single most important ingredient in a commercial website is web copy. Words make the sale.

Picture a website with cutting-edge design, cool graphics, interactive bells and whistles, and sophisticated e-commerce infrastructure. Compare that with a stark website with no graphics or cool technology-just web copy on a plain white background. Which of the two websites is more likely to sell a product or service?

Most people are surprised to learn that it is the one with the words. Because selling on the web is text-driven, nothing happens until someone writes the words that get people to click, sign up, read, register, order, subscribe, or buy whatever you're selling. According to a four-year study, conducted by Stanford University and the Poynter Institute and published in 2000, of the habits of Internet news readers on normally scrolling screens, "the first thing people look at on a webpage tends to be text."

For this reason, if you have a website (or plan to create one) that sells a product or service, you need to hire a web copywriter-someone who understands how to write web copy that sells-or learn the craft of web copywriting yourself, which brings me to the reason I decided to write this book. Every time I surf the Internet, I come across countless websites that are so poorly written, I can't imagine them generating a single sale. I come across websites with excellent products and services, but with weak web copy that doesn't do the products and services justice. It's a shame, because the web provides the most incredible channel for marketing virtually anything to anybody in any part of the world.

Adding to the difficulty for the small entrepreneur or the opportunity for newcomers to web writing is the fact that there is a scarcity of web copywriting specialists equipped to take on the unique challenge of web communication and online selling. This situation is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future, even with the increasing numbers of professional writers transitioning into web copywriting. As a result, even if you're a website owner or Internet entrepreneur who could find and afford good web copywriters, chances are, the good ones would be too busy to take on your project.

My solution-and my reason for writing this book-is to teach you the principles of web copywriting so you can write web copy yourself. Whether you are a businessperson writing your own copy or a writer entering the business or transitioning from other kinds advertising copywriting, my goal is to teach you how to take your writing skills and apply them to web writing. Web copy that converts prospects into customers is a discipline all its own. It's a highly specialized genre of writing that combines marketing wherewithal with a deep understanding of the Internet's unique culture, mind-set, psychology, and language.

What most online businesspeople and some professional copywriters don't realize is that web copywriting is distinctly different from any other kind of advertising copy and offline marketing communications. It is also quite different from writing content for the web. Of course, it also bears some similarities to all of these.

Selling on the web is text-driven. Nothing happens until someone writes the words that get people to respond. In this, it is similar to other types of direct-response copywriting; therefore, to write good web copy you must first understand the fundamental principles of direct-response copywriting. Throughout Web Copy That Sells, you will find generally accepted rules and conventions of offline copywriting, as well as direct-response copywriting principles that run parallel to those used in web copywriting. As you progress through the chapters, you will begin to see the remarkable (as well as the subtle) differences between direct-response selling online and offline.

On the other hand, one of the biggest mistakes online businesses and advertising professionals make is to take marketing principles that work well in the offline world and try to force them to work on the web. Many principles that are effective in direct mail, print ads, radio ads, and infomercials simply do not translate well on the web. In fact, they can even kill sales.

Who needs this book? You do, if you are

* An Internet marketer, entrepreneur, or website owner who sells (or plans to sell) a product or service online via your own direct response website * A professional who approves, plans, and executes Internet marketing campaigns (marketing or advertising vice presidents, managers, and directors and MIS managers)

* A writer (or copywriter) who is tired of being underpaid and barely earning a living-and who wants to transition to the lucrative specialty of web copywriting

* A webmaster who wants to learn the skill of web copywriting in order to expand the services you provide your clients

* Someone with moderate-to-good writing skills who wants to become a highly paid professional writer in one of the hottest, most in-demand fields in today's marketplace

Whether or not you aspire to become a professional web copywriter, you can take the principles presented in this book and apply them to any website, incorporate them into your marketing communications (e-mail, online advertising, newsletters, etc.), and generate measurably increased sales and profits.

There are various ways to market on the web, not the least of which are branding and institutional advertising, but I've written this book specifically for websites that depend on direct-response web copy to induce sales-advancing action from a single exposure. However, even if your goal is to write another type of web copy, you will benefit from the principles revealed in this book because they will sharpen the edges of your marketing messages, making them more effective.

I specialize in direct-response web copy because I like the accountability this field demands. It must produce immediate and measurable results. Therefore, it is ultimately a more rewarding and gratifying endeavor for me. I've been writing advertising copy since 1977 and specializing in web copywriting since 1996, which gives me a broader perspective of the craft than most people have. Yet I "stand on the shoulders of giants," learning from those who came before me-masters of influence like Robert Cialdini and marketing legends like Rosser Reeves, Victor Schwab, Robert Collier, and Eugene Schwartz-whose powerful concepts I've battle-tested and fine-tuned for the web.

What This Book Will Do for You

When I encountered the World Wide Web in 1996, I had 19 years of copywriting experience under my belt, but I soon discovered that writing copy for the web was a highly specialized craft. There was a multitude of things to learn-and unlearn. It's my goal to teach you the things I've learned and help you avoid some of the errors I made.

As you go through the book, here are some of the tools you'll find:

* The most powerful psychological principles underlying web copy that sells are explored in Chapter 3, which offers devices, strategies, tactics, and tips that can make any website sizzle with sales activity.

* The formula for measuring the selling quotient of your copy (Chapter 4) shows you how to evaluate your copy's selling ability and how to get an immediate boost in your response rate.

* In Chapter 5 you'll discover the amazing power of e-mail marketing and how to write attention-grabbing e-mail copy.

* In Chapter 6, I show you how to write compelling online ads, newsletters (or e-zines), autoresponder messages, and other marketing communications that can propel your online business to uncharted heights.

* After you've learned the craft of web copywriting, Chapter 7 reveals the four-step foolproof secret to success in all your copywriting endeavors.

On the web, you simply can't model successful websites and expect to succeed. You need to model the process through which the success was attained, not the outcome of that process. For that reason, we examine the steps, the psychology, and the philosophies that are considered in writing successful web copy rather than modeling the web copy itself and trying to adapt it where it isn't appropriate. Instead of simply presenting formulas or power words and phrases, I'll demonstrate how to acquire the mind-set with which to view websites, e-mail, and all other marketing communications so that you, too, can write web copy that sells. Among other things, you'll find an exercise that will help you become a great web copywriter in five hours or less and a unique copywriting approach based on five simple questions, which, when answered, make the web copy practically write itself.

Very few people truly understand the complexities of communicating in the relatively new medium called the Internet. However, by the time you finish reading this book, you'll know more about web copywriting than 99 percent of the population. More important, you will be able to parlay that specialized knowledge into a six-figure income in the field of web copywriting or dramatically increase the sales of your website.


Excerpted from Web Copy That Sells by Maria Veloso Copyright © 2005 by Maria Veloso. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents



Three Fundamental Rules for Writing Web Copy that Sells

The First Look

Web Copy Dos and Don’ts

—Five Ways to Write Scannable Copy

How to Become a Great Web Copywriter in Five Hours or Less


Creating the Blueprint: Five Simple Questions You Must Ask

Question 1: What is the Problem?

Question 2: Why Hasn't the Problem Been Solved?

Question 3: What Is Possible?

Question 4: What Is Different Now?

Question 5: What Should You Do Now?

The Anatomy of the Blueprint

Putting the Blueprint to Work

Five Easy Steps to Making Your Web Copy Sell

Reinforcing the Framework


The Zeigarnik Effect

The Cliffhanger

Neuro-Linguistic Programming

Embedded Commands


Linguistic Binds


The Commitment/Consistency Element of Influence

Cognitive Dissonance

Involvement Devices that Multiply Sales

—Involvement Devices and the Recovery Principle


Constructing Your Web Copy

The A.I.D.A Principle

The Unique Selling Proposition

Making An Impression: The First Paragraph

The Offer You Can’t Refuse

Testimonials: It Can Happen to You

Talking About Money: How to Introduce the Price

Minor Purchase Technique

Daily Cost Technique

Keep on Selling: Writing the Order Form

The Money-Back Guarantee: A Deal Maker

The Close: Signing on the Dotted Line

—Call to Action

Get a Calling Card: The Opt-In Mechanism

How to Construct a Riveting Headline

—What’s in a Headline?

—The Building Blocks of Winning Web Headlines

Choosing Your Words: Tips, Terms and Concepts

Words to Avoid in Your Web Copy

Attention-Grabbing Words

Dos and Don’ts of Web Copywriting

Random Nuggets for Refining Your Web Copy

The Long and the Short of It: How Long Should Web Copy Be?

How Well Does Your Website Sell?

Formula for Mathematically Measuring the Selling Quotient of web Copy


Traffic Conversion: Turning Visitors into Customers

Wagging the Website

Why Your E-Mail May Be More Important than Your Website —

The Frame-of-Mind Marketing Method for Writing E-Mails

Breaking the Sales Barrier

The Future of E-Mail Marketing

How to Make Sure Your E-Mail Is Delivered

—How to Avoid the Spam Blockers

How to Tell if Your E-Mail “Tests Positive” as Spam

How to Write E-Mail That’s Read

Seven Elements of E-Mails that Sell

Put the Competitive Edge into Your E-Mail Marketing

Adapt as Frame of Mind Changs

Using E-Mail to Get Attention

What Really Works on the Internet Sometimes Doesn’t


The Opt-In Offer: Your Most Important Asset

Five Keys to an Opt-In Offer that’s Impossible to Refuse

Presenting the Offer

How to Write Irresistible Autoresponder E-Mails

—Quick Primer on Autoresponders

—Crafting Autoresponses to Your Opt-In Offer

—Crafting Autoresponses to Customers

How to Format Your E-Mails for Optimum Readability

How to Write Free Reports/Promotional Articles

Guidelines for Writing Newsletters and E-Zines

Guidelines for Writing Online Ads, Signature Files, and Banner Copy

Three Tips for Writing Online Ads


Track It, Fix It: What to Do When Web Copy Is Not Working

Four-Steps to Web Copywriting Success

—Track Your Results

Traffic Generation: Getting the Word Out and the Visitors In

—Search Engine Positioning

—Pay-Per-Click Search Engines

—Linking Strategies"

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