09 March 2006

Writing the copy

The experiment that I mentioned earlier is moving on. We have worked out that there are 3 basic types of buyers for the product and have built a simple model of which features would be regarded as benefits by them.

Writing copy is an old art - done well, the story builds in a compelling way and draws the reader in. Copywriting is so old-fashioned that many sites have forgotten it completely. The reason that good copy works is that it speaks to very basic human psychology. Why these skills have been allowed to fall away is a mystery to me.

Yesterday, Phil visited a client who had put together a simple site which was in need of serious revision. The owner of the business admitted that the ideas for the site had come from an assessment of what the competitors were doing. That might be a good strategy sometimes, but if the competitors are clueless about what is required for success then it unlikely to provide any useful pointers. The owner asked Phil what he thought of the site and Phil had his critique ready prepared - content, content and content. The next question was, "What do you think of the design?".

Phil was able to answer, quite truthfully, "We didn't look at the design - we develop our reviews on the basis of whether or not a site is effective."

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