Copywriting for Conversion

Copywriting for Conversion

18th October 2011

This is coverage of the session “copywriting for conversion” at A4U Expo. The session was run by Dr Karl Blanks from Conversion Rate Experts.

Proven strategies to increase sales

Step 1: Become able to sell the product face to face

Know how to take that information and apply it to the website. Speak with real sales people understand the questions that your customers ask. Make sure you address most of the key questions.

Step 2: Become a customer

Mirror a customer journey, browse through from the search engine to the final checkout process. Look at a competitor’s site as well. Look at offline, the displays are often more sophisticated yet this is often lost in translation. Process the order and check the delivery process for flaws. Immerse yourself in the journey a user would take.

Step 3: Write for personas

Every time you write something validate it against a number of personas and ask yourself what they will think.

Step 4: Identify all the objections

Evaluate all the checkboxes a prospective client would need to tick off before buying.

Don’t start writing until:
• You know everything
• You are a customer
• You can understand why people buy it
• You could sell it to your friends
• You know the objections

Templates for ensuring your writing is effective

Don’t say things on your site that you wouldn’t say in real life. If your landing page content isn’t what you would say to a real prospect then you need to address that. Write like a human. A good tip is to record yourself selling it and what you’ll find is that the speaking side of your brain is often better at copywriting.

Use at least as many words on the page as you would face to face. You need to make sure that every objection, response and benefit are located on the page. You need to be concise though, don’t be boring! Make sure you sell in grammatically correct but plain English. Get someone to read out what you’ve written, you spot the issues as you hear it.

Basic template for a sales message:

1. A headline that makes them want to read more
2. A series of bullet points that summarize the main benefits of the product
3. Make sure the font isn’t too small. Step them into the small copy from headline to bullet points to main content
4. Graphical appearance should match the websites look and feel to ensure brand consistency.
5. Call to actions to each section of the page which allows them to jump to the relevant area of the page.
6. Make the first sentence short, use the inverted pyramid principle so the first paragraph has the most important points. Use sub headings to announce and sell what’s in each section so that they can skip it if they are not interested in it. Have sections that tick each of the mental shopping list. Support your claims with evidence. Bullet points can be used to illustrate points or benefits.
7. Make sure you summarize the benefits, present the offers and justify the price into your call to action. Present a risk reduction strategy in this section.

The most important part of your sales message is your weakest link. Identify it and rectify it. Optimise the bits that get looked at by using eye- tracking studies.

Long term strategies for pricing

• Price high then lower prices
• Penetration pricing to establish market share
• Luxury Pricing
• Communicate that the prices will keep increasing
• Have different price point for different customers

M&M Trails have a big effect on conversion

• Consider offering something small and irresistible for an amazing price
• Offer a fee charge with an on-going monthly charge
• Upsell and Cross Sell
• Add Premiums and Incentives


Create a proof folder. Store all your awards, customer testimonials and press clippings so you have it when you need it. Other types of proof:
1. Data that shows how large you are
2. Self evident logic
3. Displays of credibility
4. Demonstrations
5. Description on the construction of the product
6. Association with influential bodies
Make sure they are visible and not below the fold!

How to get someone else to do it for you

A lot of the best CEOs do the content themselves. If you don’t have time find someone that has a solid track record of getting wins. Ensure they follow the processes mentioned. You need someone that can sell and someone that can write.

The coverage of A4U Expo on State of Search in part made possible by a sponsoring from Majestic SEO who have the largest Link Intelligence database in Search. To get your free trial, give a card to this blogger or Bas van den Beld in person at the conference or drop us an e-mail.


Written By
Louis Venter is the founding director and CEO of MediaVision, a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) company specialising in all areas of search. His particular interests are organic search marketing, paid search marketing, conversion strategy and online PR.
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