Beyond Conversion Tips and Techniques:
Do You Believe in What You’re Selling?


We’ve spent a lot of time covering the conversion landscape through the multitude of landing page tips and techniques available – and we’ll continue to do so in future posts. But for now I want to take a step back and examine a deeper perspective.

Do you actually believe in what you’re selling or promoting? Is your interest genuine or merely a way to make a buck?

In the June 20, 2007 issue of Copywriting Insider, a bi-weekly e-letter from American Writers and Artists Institute (AWAI), direct-marketing expert and fundraising legend, Mal Warwick, talks about the factors that distinguish competent wordsmithing from truly outstanding copywriting. The following illustrates what he believes to be the key factor:

For me, the key to writing strong copy has been to believe in what I’m writing. In fact, the rule at this agency is… we won’t work for anyone who we disagree with. We support non-profit organizations that represent the values that my colleagues and I here share. And that stands us in very good stead when we’re writing, because the words come more freely, more naturally… and we come to the table with some prior understanding.

I would add empathy to that last statement, and perhaps respect for the donor (in the case of fundraising) or commercial prospect we’re looking to reach.

I have no problem with making a buck, nor should you. Copywriting/marketing is how I make my living. But very early in my career, it was apparent to me that I did my best work when I was sincerely passionate and enthusiastic about the product/service I was promoting whether it was my own – like AdoptShoppe, my online store and ecommerce test laboratory – or for clients. The copy always flowed faster and more smoothly. I just didn’t have to work as hard to make it all work. With many years now invested, it’s still as true for me today as it was then.

Putting all the landing page tweaks, nips and tucks aside — your landing pages are built on copy. If you ain’t feeling it, neither will your prospective customer.

Sure you may fool them once, but it’s unlikely you’ll fool them twice or over the long haul. The smart marketer knows you can’t build a profitable long-term business on one-shot customers. You’ll quick-step your way to failure for sure. But when you recognize that one visitor converted is a potential long-term relationship initiated – well, now you’re cooking.

Build those budding relationships on honesty and genuineness from the get-go and your copy, your landing pages, your entire marketing program won’t have to work so hard. You’ll soon grow a contented customer base eager and open to receiving your message — and your landing page techniques, all things being equal, will perform even better.

No fooling :=)

Maven Landing Page Makeover Clinic Update

Because I like big grand openings, I have a candidate for our first official landing page makeover clinic. You probably know his name and his site, and I’m thrilled he’s agreed to be my first guinea pig guest. I’ll announce the final details – as well as the identity/URL of our first guest — very soon.

Transparency Alert: I work with AWAI as a copywriting mentor/coach.

Roberta Rosenberg is the Copywriting Maven at MGP Direct, Inc.

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Reader Comments (16)

  1. says


    Which came first — Blogging or Transparency?

    Authenticity and personal experience is a powerful force in the context of this medium, in a way we’ve never seen before.

    Learning how to balance the “Me” language and express it in a way that truly speaks to the “You” — the reader — is one of the challenges of blog copywriting.

    But done well, there’s nothing quite like it.

    It’s like presenting a mirror to the reader, allowing him to see himself in your experience.

    Your beliefs are reflected in his. One customer who truly feels like you’re reading is mind is the hotest target you can have. That one prospect is worth more than hundreds who feel you just “did it for a buck.”

  2. says

    Agreed 100%; in blogging in particular, the connection between the reader and the writer — some hint of shared experience or perspective — is critical.

  3. says

    Of course I absolutely agree with you 100%!

    There are going to be many times when you get “tested” just to make sure that you are staying on the right track and it all comes down to believing in what you do.

  4. says

    For copywriting and writing in general, your words are right on the money. It’s always easy to spot something that isn’t sincere — there is a “cheese” factor or something about it. An immediate turn off.

  5. says

    Hum… Why is it so difficult then to actually DO it. Everybody knows about those basic principles but nobody actually applies them. People only pretend to do it or, maybe even try to believe themselves that they do. Unfortunately, most of the time, a lot of people don’t even know what they are talking about, they have barely scratched the surface…

  6. says

    Agree wholeheartedly with Maven. Not only is honesty important re: one’s writing/marketing/business, but the way one lives.

    Martine, I believe it is difficult because … A) people want and need to earn a living. It’s difficult to say no when a mortgage looms.

    And, B) people fear what others will think of them. Standing on prinicple is easy when you agree with the dominant public opinion. When your convictions run counter to the mainstream, it’s more than a tad scary.

  7. says

    Really liked this and the posts – great comments :)

    I do feel that we become like the people we hang out with – so to get to understand our potential clients and communicate better with them – if we hang out at forums and interact – I think we come away with ideas of their real needs and can speak their thoughts back to them (the answers they are looking for) from our experience – help them grow and helping us understand how to ‘mirror’ back – even as we stay on course with our true selves in business and our passion.

    I believe this attracts, hooks, the right matches – most of the time. After all, business is a great place to work on relationship building.

    I know nothing here is perfect – but, this is a grand start, that works.

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