How To Lose Customers And Influence Absolutely Nobody

Let’s say you’ve spent a little time reading my blog (and other websites on the fine craft of persuasive words) and you greedily hunt down every morsel of information, think it over, and deploy it on your website… only to find that the fish aren’t biting. At all.

Is it possible that everything you’ve learned about copywriting is baloney? Or do copywriters have some magical and subtle touch you lack entirely?

Before you panic, remember that WHEN and WHERE you sell is just as important as how you do it.

Imagine having a friend point you to a brick and mortar store across town. You enter the store and you take a couple of breaths, adjust to the blast of air conditioning hitting your face, blink out the hot lights, maybe brush a little rain off your umbrella –

And before you can even get situated, some irritating 17 year old marches up to you and asks you what you’re looking for. Does that kind of in your face salesmanship make you more or less likely to make a big purchase?

Creating The Transition

In Paco Underhill’s “Why We Buy,” he talks about a space called a “transition zone”. When we first walk in a store, we want to get adjusted, confirm we’re in the right place, and maybe get acknowledged.

How can you apply this idea to your homepage?

Instead of trying to close the sale on your homepage, why not casually lead them through the stages that lead to the sale – starting with confirming that they’re in the right place?

Open your website by greeting the customer and confirming that they’re in the right place, explaining who you are and what you do.

Where Should They Go?

We’ve been in so many stores that the structure of the stores are second nature. You know how to navigate the hallways, and you know how to find the register. But in the online world, it’s easy for a customer to get lost – especially if you introduce wacky colors, typefaces, and navigational elements.

You have to create the climate for selling, and make it easy for people to find what they’re looking for.

Repeat the main benefits of your product once or twice in your copy and make sure your design is smooth, with a consistent look and feel.

You should also make it easy for customers to look around, with a simple, easily understood navigation system. A horizontal bar showing the most important sections of your website and a clear, visible search bar can help immeasurably.

Finally, clearly direct your customer towards the most valuable action they can take on your website (if there is one). If you want them to call, prominently display your phone number. If you want them to fill out a form, use a colorful arrow that points to it.

Make the changes and give a close look to your website – now you’re looking at effective homepage copy that ushers them closer to the sale. Good job.

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