Setting the tone and flow of your website copy.

Writing copy for your website can be a challenge. Whether you are writing a new sales funnel, copy for a new landing page or even writing copy for your service pages, it helps to have a structure. The copy you write for your website, should aid how the consumer makes decisions. Informative and persuasive.

I use to work for Proctor & Gamble, and for decades they used a very simple model for writing content. This was used for internal memos, external briefs and core to any sales script. A proven, but simple method to set the tone and flow of a persuasive conversation. For the last few years, we have been using it for designing campaign-ready websites. 

Let’s start by defining persuasion marketing. Persuasion marketing is merely organising the buying and selling processes to present compelling information about your product or service in a way that persuades prospects to take a specific action. All marketing should inform and persuade your prospects. With persuasion marketing, you strive to successfully address the wants and needs of your prospects in a way that continues to move them through their stages of decision making.

The persuasive selling format helps you present your website copy to make it easier to support decision making. There are five steps to the persuasive selling format:

  1. Summarise the situation

Start by sharing information that interests your reader and makes them receptive to what you have to say. This section should provide additional context or background to your headline and sub-headline. Ideally, share key facts, information, or industry trends that reinforce the importance of your headline.

  1. State the ‘big idea’

Now you have their attention, don’t beat around the bush. Get right to the point and briefly state the big idea. This is a revised version of your headline and sub-headline that focuses on your OFFER.

  1. Explain how it works

Once you’ve clearly stated the OFFER, now is the time to EDUCATE. Provide them with details of the OFFER. Share specifics – this can include pricing, project timelines or what to expect in the first strategy session. Focus on the exceptional value you provide and why this is important. Highlight the critical differences between your offer and your competitors’ offers.

  1. Reinforce key benefits

Now they understand the detail, it’s time to hit home the key reasons to move forward with you. We recommend 3-5 significant benefits of your offer. Focus on what’s in it for them. Reinforce these with proof, ideally via online reviews and recommendations.

  1. Suggest easy next steps

Naturally, no sales process would be best practice without ‘the close’ or ‘suggesting an easy next step’. Make it easy for them to say “yes” with a low- to no-risk offer to move forward with you on the sales process. It might be a free download, free strategy session, webinar or trial offer to an online course.  Aim to remove barriers and show them a path to an agreement that fits easily into their situation. You may include FAQs to help address any barriers to purchase.

I have created a template for writing webpages, using the model. You can download it for free here.

Happy Selling,

Luke Hawley (Managing Director of Marketing Broker Australia).

Adapted From: P&G 2016