How is an Effective Landing Page Like a
Direct Mail Letter?

Image of Landing Page graphic

Answer: They’re both formatted for one column.

In his audio article, 6 Ways to Increase Conversions on your Web Pages, Nick Usborne, one of my favorite copywriter colleagues, talks about the multitude of testing he’s done on landing pages and column formatting. Long and short, the one-column format converts best every time.

This explains the stubborn effectiveness of everyone’s favorite (or not) online long-form sales letters. Garish? Sometimes. Too long? Perhaps. But they work, in part, because there are no other distractions for the reader. Even with all the insets, widgets and gadgets, each is firmly ensconced within the one column. Further, the one-column format lets readers know that there’s more to look for below the fold of the first screen. The convention of the letter-like, one-column design tells them so.

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Do You Know When to Stop Writing?

Finding Nemo picture

If you have young kids, you’re likely intimately familiar with Finding Nemo from 2003. The movie had the biggest opening weekend for any animated film at the time, and was the best selling DVD of all time for a couple years after.

Director Andrew Stanton pitched his idea and story to Pixar head John Lasseter in an hour long session, using elaborate visual aids and character voices. At the end of it, the exhausted Stanton asked Lasseter what he thought.

Lasseter replied, “You had me at ‘fish’.”

How to Improve Your Image by
NOT Delivering

Bottlneck

This is the first Copyblogger post by Michael Stelzner of Writing White Papers.

Today’s “I want it now” culture dictates that you make people happy by providing what they want, when they want it.

Need information? Google it.

However, is it really wise for marketing folks to satisfy people’s desire for instant access?

M. Scott Peck describes delayed gratification as a sacrifice of present comforts for future gain in his book, The Road Less Traveled.

By NOT providing people what they want, when they want it, you can actually improve your image, enhance your branding and increase your sales.

Why?

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Are You Writing Headlines That Sell? Stop!

stop sign

Are you stressing over writing killer headlines?

Do you write your copy and then agonize, tweak, and rewrite the headline, only to rewrite it again?

Do you often go so far as to publish your article or sales page even though you’re still not sure the headline is the best it can be?

Well, you’re not alone. People who know how important headlines are often do overly dwell on them, and for good reason.

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Blogging is Easy Money, Right?

Wrong. But you didn’t need me to tell you that.

Those who are making a living directly from blogging (as opposed to using a blog to promote an existing business) know that it took a lot of hard work to get there. Those that think the secret is cranking out generic “content” that does little more than fill up space are quitting in droves or desperately searching for the answer that will get them over the hump.

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Friday Night Links

Friday Night Lights

The long or short copy debate… again, and again, and again.

Viral Marketing vs Idiot Marketing Experts.

Has Digg jumped the shark? Mostly.

So what next? Facebook.

My belief has always been that the blog is the center… Tom Chandler gets it.

Jon Morrow interviews Seth Godin… good stuff.

Finally, every cable news network dropped everything today because of someone named Paris Hilton. Does anyone know who this is?

Six Ways to Instantly Find the Right Words

how to start writing

Have you ever known what you want to say, but just can’t figure out how to say it? It’s certainly worth the extra effort to get it right, because the how will make the difference in the way your what is received and acted upon.

Some people are never short of words. Personally, I have good days and bad. Yet there are definitely ways to to get yourself out of the ditch when it comes to finding the right words and getting started.

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Is Beer the Key to Remarkable Blogging?

Remarkable Beer

Many people feel that their blog topics are too common and mundane to be remarkable. The truth is, most businesses and topics are viewed as commodities, so it’s crucial to find an angle that sparks interest and separates you from the pack.

Let’s look at the history of American beer—an industry filled with similar tasting, and some would argue completely unremarkable, products. You’ll see that products that are very similar to others can be distinguishable and remarkable, simply by telling the right story, using the right words, and better serving the right audience.

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Landing Page Makeover Clinic:
10 Tips for Better Book Sales

Landing Page Makeover

Since Brian likes me to cover the “conversion” beat for Copyblogger, I’ve been actively collecting spot-on quotes, resources, tip lists, etc. to help you make the most of your online sales/marketing copywriting efforts. So let’s start with a pretty good quote about our favorite topic, landing pages.

A landing page is communications, not advertising. Landing pages are where you communicate valuable information. Advertising gets people to click to your landing page, but once a prospect is there, the landing page should focus on communicating the value of your offering to the buyer.

I pulled this from Web Ink Now, David Meerman Scott’s blog, Web Landing Pages: Required for Search Engine Marketing. I like this quote a lot, although I’d add it’s where you communicate value AND direct a specific response/action from the visitor — even if that action is to click through to another page.

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Writing Headlines for Regular Readers, Search Engines, and Social Media

When writing headlines for an article there are three different kinds of readers that you can optimize for:

  1. You can write for regular readers.
  2. You can write for search engines.
  3. You can write for socially driven sites.

In an ideal situation you would be able to write a title that fits all three categories but that is rarely the case. There is a marked difference between the different kinds of readers and that’s why you need to market your content to them in different ways.

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