|Make Money, E-commerce and Credit Card Processing Information|
Your Site is all Direct Marketing
This may not be a popular view, but I think writing a web site is very similar to writing a piece of direct mail. I'm not talking about smash-and-grab fliers. I'm talking about those large mailings with brochures, a four or eight-page letter and a reply card.
And no, I'm not saying that the experience or the approach is identical. There are numerous differences too. But the similarities are significant, and can guide us in how we write for the web.
Here are some similarities:
1. We can guess that our conversion rate will be pretty low. In the area of one to two percent. More, if we do a good job.
2. We have very little control over the sequence in which people will read the information we provide.
With a direct mail piece, people might start with the letter, or the brochure. And who knows where their attention will settle first within either one. You never really know which part of a direct mail brochure people will read first. And the same goes for a web site. (If you have ever sat in on a web site usability test, you know what I mean. Sometimes it's hard to figure out why people choose particular links or pathways through a site.)
3. We know we are losing readers at every stage of the process and have to write in a way that is clear, engaging and compelling.
This is very true for both direct mail and web sites. Of the hundred people who start reading, we will lose the interest and attention of almost all of them before the 'task' is completed.
4. We can identify significant 'danger points' when it comes to losing a reader.
In a direct mail piece we know we lose readers at the end of pages...at the end of page one of a four-page letter for instance. Or after someone has completed reading a page in a brochure.
Online, we know we are losing readers when they read or skim a page and don't click forward one step closer to completing a task.
5. We know that we lose a significant number of people at the point of completing an application or purchase. They get that far and then back away at the last moment. This is very true for both direct mail and the web.
Now for one very significant difference between direct mail writers and web writers.
Direst mail copywriters KNOW all this and write accordingly.
- A direct marketing copywriter pays very close attention to the end of each page in a letter, writing in a way to pull people forward to the next page.
- A direct marketing copywriter looks through years of test results to write an application or purchase form that will yield the best results. (As does the DM designer.)
- A direct marketing copywriter writes in a way that is deliberately and carefully both compelling and informative.
A complex product takes several pages to sell. Knowing that, a copywriter needs to cover a lot of information for readers with a very fragile level of attention. The writer has to write in a way that is fluid, engaging, informative and persuasive.
- A direct marketing copywriter knows that key benefits and offers need to be repeated throughout the package. When you know that most readers don't read every word, you need to repeat key messages so that everyone gets to read them more than once.
What's my point?
I have two points to make.
First, there is a degree of sophistication in writing good direct mail that is rarely evident online yet. DM writers understand the nature of their medium and their readers in minute detail. At least, the good ones do.
However, online, while the quality of writers may be good, the sophistication with which they apply their craft just can't compete right now.
For instance, it's very rare to find a web page where you can see how carefully the writer and designer have worked together to maximize the number of people who click forward to another page.
In time, all this will change. It's just a factor of the relative immaturity of the online medium.
My second point is that DM copywriters live or die by results. Every single day. And to give themselves the best chance of success, they study the successful work of others, and they obsess over test results. DM marketers test everything and are always learning.
This is the second element that hasn't got up to speed online. It's so easy to test everything and anything online. We should be doing more of that and adding to our knowledge of what works best in given situations.
By way of wrapping this up, online writers can learn a great deal from DM writers. (The same is true for online designers, who can learn a lot from DM designers.)
Both media depend on action, repeated actions ? whether it is paper pages being turned or links being clicked.
Good DM writers are masters at driving action. We should learn more from them.
Nick Usborne is a copywriter, author, speaker and advocat of good writing. You can access all his archived newsletter articles on copywriting and writing for the web at his Excess Voice site. You'll find more articles and resources on how to make money as a freelance writer at his Freelance Writing Success site.
Shop: Is Shopping Online Secure?
Is shopping online becoming popular and safe enough for you and I to do the vast majority of our shopping on the Internet?
How To Turn Any Product You Sell In To Residual Income
The concept of this is for you to offer a subscription type product as an upsell or backend product. For example, if you're selling an ebook for $37 offer a subscription to a related e-zine for $9.95 a month. Instead of an e-zine, it could be monthly updated information for the ebook.
Implications Of E-Commerce For Tax Legislation
As e-commerce develops ambiguities in the current tax code in which it may be exposed. It would not be regarded as too early to take premature steps for undertaking such a review at a time when detailed international legislation are going on to promulgate acceptable standards laws for imposition taxation in this regard. The Central Board of Revenue should take active part in promulgation of conducting research on this subject in hand and should propose any changes to tax law in the light of what emerges in development in e-business. In the meantime, Central board of Revenue will do two things:
Web advertising e-Marketing Places!
Expand Your Local Business Through the Internet
To obtain more local customers for your business, consider expanding your local business through the Internet. Here are some ways of doing so.
The Top 10 E-Commerce Ways to Follow up with Clients - Part 1
Did you know that 80% of all sales are made after the 5th contact?
How To Start An Internet Business ? Site Layout
The fourth step of how to start an Internet business involves the layout of your site. When organizing it, two audiences must be considered. Obviously, visitors to the site are the first audience. You must also keep in mind the second audience, search engine robots. Both audiences are extremely important and, fortunately, both want the same thing.
The Rise of Multinational Virtual Corporations
The virtual corporation is the emerging organisational form, which best combines, a fluid ability to adapt to rapidly changing markets and is able to leverage its skills with the complementary skills of other corporations. In the concept's purest form, each company that links up with others to create a virtual corporation will be stripped to its essence. It will contribute only what it regards as its core competencies. It will mix and match what it does best with the best of other companies and entrepreneurs
Rules for Achieving Online Success
The Internet brought a great deal of benefits to our life. Access to a lot of free and useful information is, probably, one of the most important out of them. However, this abandon of free information has also become a problem to some extent. You started to spend a little too much time on the Internet. For you emails, chat rooms, messenger services along with aimless web browsing dominate substantial portion of your workdays. As a result you feel that you are loosing control of your working hours, your productivity is decreasing and you are accomplishing far less in a day than you are capable of. This makes you frustrated, miserable and negative. What to do? How to get out of this mess?
To conduct business on the Internet, whether informal, one-time only transactions between two friends, or a full-fledged business selling products or services, payment arrangements have to be made. Before 1998, this often meant either checks sent through snail-mail, or very expensive, and often hard-to-obtain, merchant accounts for online credit card processing. In 1998, PayPal was introduced to fill the payment processing gap.
When Do You Ask For A Refund?
Have you ever asked to have your money refunded after buying something online? Do you do this often? What are the reasons you've asked for refunds? Savvy marketers will try to find out why without making you feel you should not have asked. This would be valuable information to them. Anyone selling on the internet should be willing to have a fair and prompt refund policy. To back up their products and claims without hesitation. It is especially important to do with online sales since the transaction is done without being able to "read" the salesperson and operation face to face.
Credit Card Processing - 7 Things You Need to Know Before Opening an Online Merchant Account
When considering opening an online merchant account to accept credit card orders, there are a lot of things you need to keep in mind. The best thing to do is learn all about credit card processing before you open your online merchant account so you can handle everything from the beginning rather than having to go back and make many changes.
Getting Started in ECommerce - Part One
In 2004, Enquiro.com conducted a study of the search behaviors of men vs. women. They found that women spend more time in their searches and at specific sites. The study also revealed that women tend to be more deliberate in reading search results, linger longer at sites and have a greater satisfaction in the overall shopping experience. Another study conducted by iProspect.com revealed that women are more apt to click the paid search advertising because they find it more relevant to their searches than do men (WebProNews - July 14, 2004).
eCommerce Software Solutions
All of the long, grueling nights and an unknown number of working weekends spent converting your dream into reality finally paid off-in a big way! Affiliates are signing up every single day and the clicks have really turned into cash. Your success is not limited to a lonely website but several and all of them are helping you move very diverse product lines. The effort has really paid off and you are milking this Internet cash cow for all its worth but there is one little problem, isn't there? You have reached a point where growing your business even more is almost impossible because instead of developing or acquiring new products like you know you should, you are spending all of your time maintaining and servicing the sites you already have. By the time you get finished signing up and communicating with the affiliates, processing the orders and payment information, and handling the logistics of delivery-the day is gone and you are out of time!
Intranet Project Names - Some Ideas
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other word would smell as sweet."
The Five Steps of E-Commerce
You set up a retail business, you advertise in your local newspaper, you get customers coming into your store, and you receive payment at the cash register. Create an online store, and...how do you get customers? How do you receive payment?
Maximize Your Froogling for Increased Website Profits
Are you familiar with Froogle? If you are an online merchant, you certainly should be.
The Check is in the E-mail
Have you ever had someone who owed your business money say, "the check is in the mail." Well now there is an answer to that old tired way of brushing you off and not seeing that check come in the mail week after week after week. Qchex.com has an awesome service that can cut waiting weeks to get paid via check to only minutes. I have used this service many times and I don't know what I would do without it. Many of my clients would rather pay me by check and are use to just letting the old post office take their time in delivering it. Qchex.com will cut that time to almost nothing.
Are You Making These E-Commerce Excuses? (part 1)
A year ago, I had big plans to re-vamp my web site. I was going to publish my e-newsletter twice a month ? every month, and I was going to upgrade my own e-commerce capabilities. Those were my Internet marketing "resolutions" for 2004.
Effective Management Of Your Customer Services
With a third party merchant account you will have a dedicated 24/7 support team to handle your credit card payment on your behalf as part of your package. You will also need to provide your own support for issues relating directly to your product.
|home | site map|