The great aim of education is not
knowledge but action. --
Contrary to the belief of millions of web site owners,
copywriting is not just a bunch of "hype" words pushed together
to make a sale. Your advertising approach must create a lasting
impression or a memory, if you will. Successful copywriting is
the technique of implanting a thought or idea that will invoke a
response from the reader. Although a very popular approach,
advertising does not necessarily need to leap out and attack the
reader; quite often it is better to have the reader voluntarily
surrender to the idea. But, no matter what your advertising
approach, your end goal is not a sale, but a thought. You want
to leave something behind that the reader will take away with
them, whether knowingly or unknowingly.
How can you leave this implanted message?
You must first get the readers ATTENTION!! In a sea of
advertising it is often next to impossible to catch the quick
eye of the consumer. You are not only swimming in a
shark-infested pool of competition, but today's consumers are
more skilled than ever at tuning you out. This by far is the
most important part of copywriting. Poor copy sells sometimes,
but poor headlines sell no- times. If you can't get their
Attention, you can't leave your message behind.
2. The "Conscious Stage"
Ok, you have grabbed their attention! Now what? At this point
the reader becomes consciously aware of your advertising. Your
ad now has a glimmer of life sparking. This is what I refer to
as the reader's "Conscious Stage". That over-rated and underused
memory chip you call a brain has just engaged. No matter how
shallow or deep, the memory is now there. Often, building a
conscious awareness can be a process of familiarity. The reader
may not respond to you the first time they see your ad or the
second, but eventually they will respond to your name for no
other reason than the familiarity of seeing it repeatedly.
3. Decisive Reasoning
After the reader is consciously aware of your advertising
presence, they must form an "opinion". The reader must use
decisive reasoning. Decisive reasoning does not mean that the
reader will react logically. There are many factors and formulas
(known and unknown) for why a reader will react to advertising.
Logic is one of them. But it could also be directed impulse,
fear, need, personality or many others. The key is to get them
to react. Your approach to advertising and how you provoke the
reaction depends largely on the audience you are targeting.
Nevertheless, you must get a reaction strong enough for them to
buy from you or get more information.
4. Reaction Theory
My theory is that the reader will react one of three ways.
a) They will react positively and most assuredly move into the
fifth and final stage of the sale.
b) They react negatively and your efforts have failed.
Please note that you may sometimes use what I refer to as
"Negative Advertising". This is where the ad copy will draw the
consumer in by creating a negative atmosphere by openly
attacking it's competition, another third party or even the
c) They have not yet formed a substantial opinion. These are
your most critical prospects. The other readers have already
opted to continue or abort based on the opinion they have
already formed. These people have not yet drawn a strong enough
opinion to pull them through this stage.
5) Your potential customer now decides to take that final step
of action. It all comes down to this:
a) They buy your product, try your product, or ask for more
information. But no matter what, your potential customer is now
a legitimate sale or lead.
b) They have followed through and decided against you.
If you have made the sale, Congratulations! You must be doing
If you have not, here are things to consider:
When writing your ads, leave a tag on the end of your URL such
When I check my web site statistics, I can tell just how many
clicks I have from this article, by watching for the tag (?fawss). If the ratio is low, I know my ad needs more work. If
the ratio is substantial, then it comes to reason that the
problem lies at the web site and the copy there in.
The "web site" makes the tracking of this individual much
easier. If you track the movement of the reader from the time
that they enter your site from the ad, you can assess the
strengths and weaknesses web copy. If you find that many have
made it to your site, but have not purchased, you are better
able to see where you are losing them by tracking their
movement. For this reason, you may want to divide your copy into
different pages "stringing" the reader from one (tracked) page
to the next.
Website owners don't forget about that second impression
(Invitation & Follow-Up). If you can obtain their email address
voluntarily, you have a much better chance of regaining some of
those lost clients, by creating a good follow up system.
Remember: "Not Now" does not necessarily mean "Not