Place Your Website Formatting Under the Microscope eBooks By Donation SIX formatting techniques you can use to make your sales copy as easy to scan as possible, which will greatly increase your sales! Check for frequent updates at: http://sites.google.com/site/ebookbydonation/ You know that beautifully written long really JUMP off the page! sales letter that you sweated over for MONTHS? The one that you agonized At the same time, you need to do all you over until it was just right, before putting can to make scanning easier. it up on your site? If somebody finds it tough to skip along Well, we hate to break it to you, but the page, they'll likely give up all together nobody's going to read it! and click on another site! Or at least not carefully, and certainly not And finally, let's not forget when word for word… confronted with a dense, text heavy sales letter that looks like it's going to be The truth is, the typical visitor to your hard and boring to read as the driest website is just going to skim over your legal document, many of your visitors will sales copy, reading a little bit here, a little simply leave, rather than invest the bit there, but only enough to get the energy in plodding through it. overall sense of what the letter is about. The GOOD news is that you can make Sure, there may be sections where they'll an easy-to-read sales letter that your slow down and read carefully – like when visitors can quickly and effortlessly skim you describe the main features of your simply by paying attention to how your product – but generally, they're going to letter is formatted. be scanning. So if you really want your sales letter to have a website that looks cool, or one really convert well, you need to make that actually sells your product? sure all your site and product benefits Here are SIX formatting techniques you 1. Limit your sentence length can use to make your sales copy as easy to scan as possible, which will greatly Something we see time and time again is increase your sales! sales letters that stretch across the entire Of course, we're all for having an computer screen. This makes your sales interesting looking site, but you'll want to letter particularly difficult to scan, as the restrict the 'fun' part to the header and width is beyond what the eye can easily other design elements. handle at a glance without getting lost. You can include images in your sales Think of your own experience reading letter, but make sure they're appropriate, the newspaper. How would you find it if, and that you limit their size and number instead of short columns, each sentence so they don't start to distract your ran all the way across the entire width of readers. the paper? Remember, you want their focus You'd likely get tired of reading pretty squarely on the copy itself, not all the quickly, right? "noise" surrounding it. So, the BEST way to format your test is 3. Vary your paragraph length to constrain it inside a table approximately 600 pixels wide. This will Have you ever looked at the back of an give you a nice short line length that airline ticket where the airline prints all people can skim through comfortably their rules and regulations? The text is (but not too short; that's a problem too). one solid block of tightly packed copy; so much so, that the entire back of the ticket 2. Always use black text on a white looks like one giant blob of black ink. background Not very inviting, right? So why would One of the major sins is using brightly you make a sales letter that looked like colored backgrounds with equally bright that? colored or white text. We frequently see sales letters that The majority of people who make this consist of one big, square paragraph mistake do so because they don’t want after another, all stacked up like a giant their sites to look "boring." online brick wall! But it's been proven, time and time NOBODY will be able to scan a letter like again, that the websites that convert the that, and worse, it looks so uninviting, BEST are those with black text on a they'll likely not even try to read it. white background… because they're the easiest to read by young and old alike. The key to creating a sales letter that's scan-able is to make sure you've got lots So ask yourself this: would you rather want to present a polished, professional LOTS of white space, so that the eye looking image to your customers, so they glides easily across the page. feel confident buying from you. A website that looks 'home made" is going to make So as a rule of thumb, you'll want your your shoppers nervous to buy from you. paragraphs to be no longer than four lines (that's lines, not sentences). And So just because you CAN use all those when you do have a longer paragraph, different fonts and sizes, it doesn't mean try following it up with a really short one you should. I suggest limiting the (even a single line). By making the text number of fonts and sizes you use to two "choppy," you'll give your readers' eyes or three, and use them consistently. something to grab onto. So If you use a 16-point Tahoma font for 4. Use emphasis sparingly the first subhead in your letter, make sure you use that same font for each Hands up if you have entire paragraphs subsequent subhead. in your sales letter that are ALL bold text. Or all colored… with underlining, for Finally, a sans serif font (like arial, good measure. verdana, or Tahoma) is easier to read on a computer screen that a serif font It's great that you want to add emphasis (like courier or garamond). to some parts of your copy, but you want to do that in VERY small doses. Going 6. Avoid Centering your text wild with colors, bolding, and italics just turns your copy into a mess that nobody While it's fine to center your headline and will want to read. subheads (important, in fact), a large paragraph of text that's all centered can So by all means, add some emphasis to be a real chore to read. Centered text your text – with bolding, italics, should only be used for very small pieces underlining, etc – but do so sparingly. of text that outline an important benefit. The trick is to emphasize the key This is doubly true of bulleted lists. Never benefits ONLY, so they leap out on the center a bulleted list! page. When every word is formatted to leap out, NONE of them do. You want to make sure each bullet is perfectly aligned, so the eye can easily 5. Be consistent with your font sizes glide down the list, picking out the key and styles information from each bullet point. Nothing says "my 8-year-old" nephew Formatting is often the one part of writing made my website for me as a school a sales letter that is over looked by both project" quite like a mishmash of many newbies and more experienced writers different fonts styles and sizes. By spending just a few minutes making And not only does that make for a sales sure your letter is easy to scan, you will page that's distracting and hard to read, improve your conversion rate without it's actually a real credibility killer. You ever changing a word!
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