Re-posted from http://www.businesswordsmiths.com
Like we mentioned in the previous post, marketing to the Jewish community through community email listservs has become very popular (mainly because it’s free). Yet standing out from the mass amounts of emails is a challenge. If you read the previous post, you’ll understand how to handle reader’s short attention span. Now, we’ll deal with how to keep that attention span focused on YOU and how to take them to the NEXT STAGE.
Web Copywriting Tips:
How to Keep Your Reader on the Page
In the previous article, I covered the 3 Keys to Handling Today’s Short Attention Span.
In this article, I’ll cover several ways that you can format your web copy to adhere to the three keys listed above and keep your website visitor’s attention long enough to get them to take action.
* Using headings and subheadings
There are three primary ways that you can effectively use headings and subheadings on a web page:
They tell a story…
They build excitement…
They act as compass “waypoints” in your copy
Headlines that tell a story
What if your reader only read the headings and subheadings in your copy? Would he or she get all the information they needed to make a decision?
You’ll see that longer sales pages or landing pages will often use this technique. For example:
At first I didn’t believe it was true…
Then, I saw the results of our first test…
And our second test was even better…
Now, I’m convinced…
In between each of the above subheadings will be one to three paragraphs that offer convincing evidence that the subhead is credible, and builds on the unstated promise that “you can get these results, too.”
* Headings that build excitement
The example above manages to build some excitement as it tells a story. You can also build excitement by highlighting the key emotional benefits of your product in your subheadings.
Why women won’t stop staring at you
Feel confident in any situation
Spend your time at the beach, and let the paperwork do itself
These types of headings speak directly to the core desire of the reader, while also offering a promise that your product will fulfill that desire. When we speak of “benefits,” we’re talking about the ways that your product fulfills the core emotional desires of your prospects and customers.
* Headings that act as compass waypoints
This article is an example of the compass waypoint subhead. Each subhead acts as a marker, or pointer for a specific point. Readers can quickly scan the subheads until they find the specific point or tip that will help them the most.
* What to do after each heading or subheading
There are very clear guidelines about what works and doesn’t work with online or web copy.
Short, snappy paragraphs. Keep each paragraph to no more than three sentences. In spite of what your English teacher taught you, one-sentence paragraphs are not only acceptable, they’re often preferable online.
Focus on the first sentence. Because we scan online, make the first sentence of each section and each paragraph count. Restate a benefit in another way, or make a strong point that steers them toward your call to action.
Vary your sentence length. In terms of readability, your copy will be more interesting when you vary your sentence length. Some sentences are short. Some are much longer. And, yes… you can begin sentences with “And.”
Build on the subhead or headline. If your subhead states a benefit, use the next couple of paragraphs to offer proof that the stated benefit is believable. Be brief, factual, specific… all while maintaining the emotional tone of your stated benefit.
Lead to a call to action. Your copy should lead to a call to action. Connect with their core desire, amplify the desire with clear benefit statements, offer a solution with sufficient proof that your solution works, and give them an easy way to follow through.
* Putting it all together
Every web page on your site should have a compelling headline that identifies with your reader’s core desire and offers some kind of promise of fulfillment.
Your subheadings strengthen the emotional bond created by the headline and lead them to want to believe you.
And the body within the subheadings amplify the desire, strengthen the promise, and lead them to the conclusion that you can fulfill the desire.