Sales Letter Copy VS. Generalized Web Copy

There are a lot of approaches to selling things on the web. First ask yourself, why are people browsing the web in the first place? Yes, a consistent percentage of them are out there looking for a solution to their problem or just looking for a product to purchase, but most of them are looking for information. Honestly, if you want my opinion as a marketer online exclusively for over half a decade, cater to the ones looking for solutions to their problems. It’s a lot more profitable.

I want to talk about two styles of writing/selling here. Sales Letter Copy VS. Generalized Web Copy so that you understand the advantages and disadvantages of both.

Sales Letter Web Copy:

The sales letter has a both advantages and disadvantages. Its use is most effective when selling products that target a niche audience. Long sales letters tend to be more effective with people 25-35 years or older and less effective with the younger ones. The sales letter format is a very old advertising and marketing approach, and its transition to the online format carries with it the advertising culture that created it. Younger people are less accustomed to the direct mail type of advertising and will be less likely to react to it.

Advantages of Sales Letter Web Copy:

  • Less distractions to the web reader. The sales pitch is all there is, and as the reader progresses through it, no immediate exit points can be found on the page. If someone actually reads it, the only choice faced will be whether or not to buy, which greatly increases the conversion ratio.
  • The SEO effort is only directed at a single page
  • It takes relatively little time to develop

Disadvantages Of Sales Letter Web Copy:

  • Many people really dont want to read salespitches
  • You can only target the keywords in the copy for Search Engine Optimization purposes, although this is actually an advantage for organic SEO
  • The format limits further development, because your site is essentially a sales pitch for one product
Generalized Web Copy:

The generalized web copy sales approach is either a static site containing some articles or reviews about a product, or with Web 2.0, it can be a variety of formats for which you choose the content. At the core of it all this design is the desire to generate a more interactive experience. Through the use of blogs, interactive flash web designs, or social networking, the ultimate purpose is the same. Here are some tips:

  • Make sure your website has loads of content. Not all pages need to have affiliates links on them, but all should have interesting and relevant content.
  • Put in a variety of content to include industry news, Web site features, product reviews, cover stories, how to guides, new product releases etc..
  • Conduct polls, add a blog, open up forums, or use an open source social networking platform such as Pligg to allow users to vote for their favorite stories or submit their own or run contests. Interactivity makes your site fun and interesting and keeps them coming back.

Sounds like a lot of work to sell a product right? You can sell all kinds of products on your site thru affiliate programs, but if you are just starting out, you should start out small. Take baby steps and get your feet wet.

Another disadvantage to generalize web sales copy is the total number of pages to successful websites compared to Sales Letter web sites. This is an extremely important factor when it comes to SEO. What you really need to know is that the more pages in a web site, generally the better. You can’t achieve that with a traditional sales letter.

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