Copywriting 2.0: How The Web Impacts Persuasion

Are your copywriting efforts stuck in the Stone Ages?

I’ve got a deep respect for the direct response writers who built the foundations of modern copywriting. But if you aren’t thinking about the ways the internet affects your customers, you might be making a few boneheaded mistakes.

That doesn’t mean you have to throw out all the basics. But there are a few “new rules” that you should keep firmly in mind if you want your words to sell.

Rule One: Google Controls Everything

Search engines dominate the media, the entertainment sphere, and (probably) the minds of your customers. No matter what you’re interested in, there’s plenty of free information available.

That doesn’t mean there’s no point in making content – far from it. That means your content needs to be more powerful than the basic conventional wisdom they can find anywhere online.

You need to write with vigor and personality, and it needs to look and feel different from the reams of information online. It also needs to be visible in order to stand out – that means aggressively marketing yourself so that you get linked from high traffic websites and get a space in the search engines, whether that means using free methods like article marketing or investing in PPC advertising.

Rule Two: The Check Factor

It’s not just your competitors that are a click away. Every claim that you make that be fact checked in a few seconds. You’ve also got to worry about price checks – a savvy customer can find out how much something *really* costs within a few seconds.

That means you need to provide evidence for all your claims, especially the ones that seem wild or unbelievable.

And if you can’t deliver the lowest price available in the entire world (since this article isn’t typed in Mandarin, you probably can’t) you’ve also got to build trust and differentiate yourself from the competition, offering speed, comfort, or value that others can’t reach.

Rule Three: Society’s Got AdBlock

People are bombarded with advertising every day. That’s why most people are used to snuffing out anything that resembles advertising. They put blocking programs on their browsers, skip ads on their DVR, and skim every message they receive.

Multimillion dollar brands try to get around this by saturating the airwaves with messages that are funny, memorable, and don’t really “sell” anything.

If you don’t have millions to burn, you need to be more efficient. How can you reach these people?

Make your advertising have its own value. If your sales pitch has valuable information that your prospect will benefit from by reading, it increases the chances they’ll read it – and attach value to your company.

Ask yourself if you can add games, stories, humor, surveys, or any other form of interaction to your efforts.

Your business needs to look good and feel special.

Rule Four: Nobody Trusts You

It’s not personal. But there’s so much dishonesty that in many fields, suspicion is the default outlook of your customers.

That means you need more credibility in your marketing than ever before. Luckily, this isn’t hard.

You can get personal, discussing the amount of time (or just your membership) in trade organizations and business networks. It’s also easy to add things like your picture, signature, and your business address in the copy.

Use evidence – case studies and testimonials. If you can get quotes from noted experts, that bolsters your credibility as well.

Rule Five: They’re In A Hurry

Once people commit to your product, they don’t want to wait any longer than needed to actually get their hands on your product. Even if you sell a physical service (plumbing, for example) you can give your clients SOMETHING as soon as they make their order, right?

Once you apply these “Copywriting 2.0” tips in every area of your business, you’ll see awesome results – even when dealing with customers offline!

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