Sales Copy Formatting Techniques by arifahmed224


									      Place Your Website Formatting
          Under the Microscope
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                                SIX formatting techniques you can use to make your sales
                                copy as easy to scan as possible, which will greatly
                                increase your sales!

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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.
                                                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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