Internet Tip of the Week
       by Bob Osgoodby

Words Sell

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. While this
may be true if the picture is a schematic of a complicated gizmo
you're trying to put together, it is hardly the case when it
comes to your ads.

An image should be used as an attention getter. It should draw
people in to read the words used in the ad. Words sell - not
pictures. Each word used in the ad should lead the person to the
desired outcome. In the case of a classified ad, the desired
outcome should be to have them request more information.

Sales are seldom made from the first ad someone sees describing
your product, service or opportunity. If you can get someone to
ask for more information, your ad has done the first part of the
job.

Anyone involved in Internet Sales without a web page is simply
spinning their wheels. Many of the web pages however are
disaster areas. People get so creative in their design, they
forget their primary purpose. Once you have gotten someone to
this point, it is now time to close the sale, and this is where
many people "miss the boat".

Think about it - your ad had to have been effective as it got
them to your web site. They are looking for additional
information. Some people want the presentation in the quickest
possible fashion, while others are willing to spend the time
researching your offer. To be effective you should try to
accommodate both groups.

An effective presentation will provide a synopsis of what you
want to cover. It should also have a "link" where a person can
be sent for in depth information. This is definitely a case
where more is better. But you should not use words simply to
fill space - they should all be carefully crafted to bring the
person to your order page.

Studies have shown that one large web page with internal links to
additional information will usually do better. Think of these
internal links as bookmarks within your page, which will quickly
advance someone to the desired spot.

An image will make your page more attractive, but don't include
one unless it has a purpose, and will help close the sale. A
large image that takes a long time to load will many times have
the reverse effect of what is desired. If the visitor simply
"clicks away" from your web page because the image loads slowly,
it is defeating its purpose.

Some guru's recommend power words like "free" or "earn without
work", but these terms have been overused. While power words may
still have a place in your "teaser" ads, you should use down to
earth language at your web site. The words must be vibrant and
alive, driving the person toward the desired outcome.

You must learn how to write persuasive words targeted
specifically to your targeted customer. If your target market is
professionals, write your message geared to them. Remember
however that the vocabulary of many potential customers may be
limited, so don't use words that will not be understood by the
average person. Avoid the use of terms that will not be known by
your prospects.

Your text should be written in a black, legible font with a light
background, preferably white. While yellow text on a black
background is "cute" you should avoid using fancy fonts or
backgrounds that are difficult to read - people will simply
"click away".

Remember - every word you use should have one specific purpose,
and that is to lead your prospect to buy what you are selling.
When writing sales copy, use words like "you" and "your" - write
as if you are speaking with just one person -- one on one.

Finally, be aware that many Internet users are apprehensive about
making a purchase on the Internet. You must put your potential
customers mind at ease by displaying your full name, company name
and contact information. This will put their mind at ease by
building their confidence in you and your product. While a
picture may be worth a thousand words, it is the words that will
sell.

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