The reason Maria Veloso wrote the book Web Copy That Sells: The Revolutionary Formula for Creating Killer Copy Every Time “is to teach…the principles of web copywriting so you can write web copy yourself…[Her] goal is to teach…how to take your writing skills and apply them to web writing” (p.3). Because according to Veloso, “Web copy that converts prospects into customers is a discipline all its own. It’s a highly specialized genre of writing that combines marketing wherewithal with a deep understanding of the Internet’s unique culture, mindset, psychology, and language.” (p. 3)
Ms. Veloso claims to have learned what she knows about web copywriting from Mark Joyner, the best-selling author of MindControlMarketing.com. Veloso writes “Mark…introduced me to many of the psychological devices that I use in writing web copy, which have produced the signature model of web copywriting with which I’m identified today” (p. xxi-xxii), including the Zeigarnik effect and cognitive dissonance.
Throughout the book, Ms. Veloso “…examines the steps, the psychology, and the philosophies that are considered in writing successful web copy rather than modeling the web copy itself and trying to adapt it where it isn’t appropriate. Instead of simply presenting formulas or power words and phrases, [she] demonstrates how to acquire the mindset with which to view websites, email, and all other marketing communications so that you, too, can write web copy that sells” (p. 7). Among other things, the author provides an exercise that will help you become a great web copywriter in five hours or less and a unique copywriting approach based on five simple questions, which, when answered, make the web copy practically write itself.
According to Ms. Veloso, “before you write one word of copy, you must first
To know these things calls for the answers to five questions which Ms. Veloso calls creating the blueprint:
And then the next step is to put words to the blueprint by:
Ms. Veloso also introduces three rules about web copywriting:
“Rule 1. Don’t Make Your Website Look Like an Ad
Your website should provide the solid information that your prospect is looking for, and it should have an editorial feel to it. Above all, it should be free of hype. Why? Because people usually go online to find information” (p. 11).
A study conducted by web usability experts John Morkes and Jakob Nielsen (reported in a paper titled Concise, Scannable and Objective: How to Write for the Web) showed that web users “detest anything that seems like marketing fluff or overly hyped language (‘marketese’) and prefer factual information.” If web visitors ever do get sold on something, they want to be finessed, not bombarded by blatant advertising” (p. 12).
“Rule 2. Stop Readers Dead in Their Tracks
The copy, written in the editorial style, follows through by giving readers a sense that they’re reading a news item, not an advertisement” (p. 16).
“Rule 3. Capture Email Addresses
For a website to succeed, it must have effective direct response web copy that induces action from a single exposure. Just think. What’s the point in getting someone to come to your website if the site visit doesn’t generate a response such as picking up the phone and calling your business, subscribing to your newsletter, signing up for your mailing list, or buying your product or service?” (p. 16).
That’s why it is absolutely essential for your website to have an opt-in mechanism. The odds are low that people will buy from you the first time they visit your website. After all, they don’t even know you. Rather than lose them, ask for something that is easier and less intimidating than pulling out a credit card—ask them to give you their email address. It’s a simple, non-threatening way to initiate a relationship” (p. 17).
This is just some of the information Ms. Veloso has to offer in her book:
The book includes a whole list of web copy do’s and don’ts – too many to list in this essay. Ms. Veloso’s book proved to be an invaluable resource.
Veloso, M. (2005) Web copy that sells: The revolutionary formula for creating killer copy every time. AMACOM Books. Retrieved from EBSCO host on September 5, 2011.