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Four Steps To Web Copywriting Success

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Step 1. Understand exactly what you want your web copy to accomplish. In other words, define your objective, but this time, be more specific.

Step 2. Take action to fulfill your objective. This includes writing the best possible web copy and marketing communications and getting traffic to your website (using linking strategies, search engine optimization, a revenue-sharing [affiliate] program, pay-per-click search engine advertising, or any other traffic-generating methods).

Step 3. Observe what’s working and what isn’t working. Track and test your results continually. Do more of what’s working, and eliminate what’s not working (including, but not limited to, key elements of your web copy).

Step 4. Keep adjusting your actions. Do this until you accomplish your desired objective.
When you do these four things, you’ll never be without options.

You’ll never sit there and say, “Why does it work for others and not for me?” Probably the most important step is Step 3, “Observe what’s working and what isn’t working.”

On the Internet, you have to be tracking results and testing continually. You should test email subject lines; you should test whether personalizing the subject line was better than not personalizing the subject line.

You should test lead-ins, dissonance elements, and various formats of newsletters. You should test web copy headlines, web designs, sites with pictures and those with no pictures.

You should even taste different prices, offers, guarantees, closes, and bullet points. You name it-You should test it.

Search engines change their algorithms constantly, spam filters and pop-up blockers are becoming ever vigilant, and acceptable business practices on the Internet are being altered by regulations and sanctions.

That’s why nothing beats the practice of constant testing and tracking to obtain your own marketing intelligence for your particular audience.

The kinds of things you discover when you track and test are amazing, and they affect the profitability of the website not just for the here and now, but also for the long term.

Testing and tracking are so fundamental in direct-response marketing that they are given; yet most people on the web don’t test anything.

They write the web copy once, they launch the product or service, and when it doesn’t pull, they wonder why.

They don’t realize that tracking and testing can significantly boost the sales of a website.
While the concepts of tracking and testing would require another book to explain thoroughly, here are some fundamental concepts that will help you get started.

Track Your Results
Let’s assume that this month you used the marketing methods, including writing a free report or promotional article and disseminating it in newsletters and e-zines, ads in e-zines, online classified ads, pay-per-click advertising, a great SIG file that your affiliates use every time they send out e-mail, and so on.

But, you received a decent number of orders. What do you do next month? Repeat all of the same things again, right? Wrong!

You find out which things worked and which didn’t so that you can repeat more of what worked and none of what didn’t.

If, for instance, you determine that your free report that ran in an e-zine last month accounted for 93 percent of your sales, and the online classified ads did not produce a single sale, then you would contact more e-zine and newsletter publishers to run your free report, and you’d cancel your online classified ads.

The thing to remember is that it isn’t you who decides what works, no matter how many years of experience you have in marketing, nor is it you who determines the best-performing headline, offer, guarantee, or price.  Nothing works until the tests prove it works.

Marketing great Ted Nicholas, who reportedly spent over $500,000 testing and tracking copy elements, asserts that simply by changing the headline, you can increase the pulling power of a direct-response ad by 1,700 percent, even when the rest of the ad is identical!

The only way to learn this is through testing.

Let’s say you are running an ad that’s pulling a 2 percent click-to-sale conversion rate. You figure since 2 percent is it decent response rate, you’re earning a net profit of $1,000, and your advertising cost is $500, you can’t complain.

Why, that’s a 100 percent return on my investment, you say to yourself. But what if you discover, through testing, that another one of your ads pulls a 4 percent response rate, you’re earning a net profit of $2,000, and, since your advertising is a fixed cost of $500, that means you increased the return on your investment fixed cost of $500 to $1,500, or from 100 percent to 400 percent!

Online, many programs and scripts are available that enable you to test and track results. For instance, rotator scripts allow you to track the clicks and sales generated by two or more different versions of copy.

Ad tracking software or services allow you to test and track results without hassles. In a nutshell, here’s how these services work:

A redirection URL is assigned to each campaign you run, which allows you to count actions such as clicks, sales, and sign-ups to your newsletter or opt-in offer.

It allows you to view detailed information and analysis for each campaign: for example, how your pay per click campaign is doing at Overtime (a research engine), how your ad in the Yahoo! Classifieds is doing, how that free report that you’re giving away via autoresponder is doing, and so on and so forth.

In addition to these basic tracking functions, a tracking service allows you to evaluate all your visitors’ click trails so that you can:

1. Know exactly what trail buyers take and, as a result, streamline your site to get all visitors to follow that proven linear path

2. See what paths non buyers take and eliminate the bottlenecks and roadblocks at your site

3. See what visitors who subscribe to your newsletter or opt into your lead-generation system really do on your site

4. See which traffic sources create the most sales-or no sales-so you know where to focus your efforts

For those of you who have newsletters or e-zines or who run e-mail marketing campaigns, there are also good direct e-mail marketing services that enable you to easily track and test the results of your e-mail marketing.

For example, you can find out who opened your e-mail message, who clicked on which link, what they looked at on your website, how long they stayed on your site, whether they bought something, which item(s) they bought, how much they spent, and who they are, based on demographic and registration data.

Here are four e-mail services that track and test results:


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