In an eagerly anticipated August 1st teleseminar co-hosted by Sterling Valentine, copywriting expert Mike Morgan discussed "The Conversion Crisis" facing Internet Marketers today.
A ten-year online veteran, Morgan has been described as a renaissance man. After founding and leading the first online Investment Bond brokerage firm, he shifted gears to pursue his real passion - writing profitable sales copy and exploiting advanced conversion techniques.
Within Internet Marketing's elite circles, Morgan is recognized as a sales copy "Top Gun". In the past two years, he has helped generate six and seven-figure sales campaigns for the likes of Mark Joyner, Ewen Chia, and Michael Cheney. Although his services may not be appropriate for struggling entrepreneurs, Morgan insists that even beginners can "unleash" revenue locked away on their present websites by simply tweaking their sales copy.
The Two Skills every Internet Marketer Needs.
Irrespective of your chosen niche, Mike Morgan claims that online success comes down to your ability to master two fundamental skills:
1. Generating Targeted Traffic: Getting legitimate prospects to visit your sales website.
2. Creating Winning Ad Copy: Converting "eyeballs" into sales via ethically persuasive techniques.
Excelling at one of these skills will permit you to grow your business and seek out alliances that can compensate for shortcomings in the other area. For example, consider the plight of a Google Adwords expert who succeeds in driving prospects to a poorly writing landing page that discourages action. This is an opportunity for a proven ad copy specialist to offer his services; the goal being respectable opt-in and/or conversion rates.
Why is Sales Conversion so Important?
CONVERSION EQUALS MONEY.
Everyone wants to succeed in Internet Marketing, because they want to achieve financial independence. Unfortunately, several factors including market saturation and ruthless competition are conspiring to lower everyone's conversion rates. If you can't stand out in a crowd, you cannot convert. No conversion, no money. Plain and simple.
So, what's the solution? Contrary to what many think, Mike Morgan continues to believe in the power of the written word. While many informed and casual Internet observers are skeptical about the effectiveness of text, Morgan argues that engaged readers become buyers and loyal customers.
Learning to Sell Persuasively and Effectively.
Morgan advises everyone to master sales fundamentals. In spite of its creepy reputation, the ability to sell is what makes entrepreneurs and corporations successful worldwide. Systems and technology are great, but why trust your livelihood to something you have little control over?
People must be prepared to invest time and money in themselves. However, simply purchasing books, home study courses, DVDs, etc. to collect dust is a complete waste. The sad reality is that most people end up spending, not making money online - until they are forced to prematurely end their Internet dreams.
The Perfect Swipe.
Mike Morgan's high stakes copywriting world is lucrative, but not without its share of pressures. Notably, the pressure to perform. To swing the odds in their favor, experienced copywriters like Morgan have mastered the "swipe", i.e., borrowing successful tactics and concepts from competitors to facilitate your own campaigns ethically and without plagiarism. Mike has built up a cache of swipe files over the years, but experience has allowed his "copywriting DNA" to evolve to such a stage that they are mostly unnecessary now.
What's the Deal with Sales Pages, Anyway?
Too many online marketers believe that products sell themselves, and that sales pages are at best an inconvenience. Just put up any old page, and paying customers will start pouring in, right?
Mike Morgan addressed some misconceptions about sales pages, including the idea that it is an isolated part of a marketing campaign. The sales page is one part of the entire sales process, a process that may or may not include:
- Pre-sales research;
- Face-to-face, verbal, and/or electronic communication with prospects
- Expert sales information
There is a fine line between swiping and what Morgan calls "Falling for the Tyranny of the Familiar". Blindly pursuing trends because they worked for others does not guarantee your success. In fact, you will likely will fail because the conditions and circumstances of the other's campaign are not duplicatable nor relevant anymore.
Are Prospects Really Willing to Read Your Salesletter?
Assuming that you have not pre-sold your prospects, a winning salesletter is what stands between you and a steady stream of income. So, why would someone make the effort to read your copy? Mike and others suggest the following:
1. Your salesletter serves as a first impression and/or main impression of you.
2. People who are genuinely interested in your offer use sales copy to evaluate your product or service.
3. People will read the sales page if your offer is relevant, and the sales copy does not put them to sleep.
4. Marketer-to-marketer (M2M) selling is big business, especially in the various Internet marketing niches. Sharp competitors looking to improve their own skills will "swipe" you and apply it to their own situations. Plus, they will buy your product if they can learn from it and improve their own offers...
The Three Sales Conversion Master Keys.
1. Non-copy elements that influence conversion the most:
- An (Irresistible) Offer (product, service)
- List of motivated subscribers; chosen target market
- The 'hook', i.e. an attention grabbing curiosity that normally requires research to discover.
2. Shortcuts to Winning Copy.
Swiping, i.e. ethical stealing, is the most powerful advertising technique. It builds your copywriting DNA. Eventually, copy material becomes internalized within you.
3. The "Dirty Little Secret": Testing!
Writing a sales letter is not the end of the process, it's just the start! You need to test, because even the best copy gets stale with time. "Freshen up" your ads from time to time.
Practical Tactics to Consider for Your Next Campaign.
1. Consider writing your salesletter before having the actual offer in place. In fact, it may improve the final product.
2. Inject personality into your salesletter where appropriate.
3. Create a pre-notification list to attract an "affiliate army" to your offer. Provide them with the information and tools they need to become effective ambassadors on your behalf.
4. Go into the customer's mindset ("Walk a mile in their shoes"). Ask yourself, "How does this product solve the other's problem?"
5. Use bonuses, but test their placement on your sales page: Is it better before or after revealing the price?
e.g. After revealing the price for your main offer, write "... and to sweeten the deal", then introduce your bonuses.
Do you want to know a secret? Mike Morgan revealed to his eager listeners that there is no magic sales copy formula. Rather, making money online demands a marketing mindset that visualizes every step of a campaign's sales funnel from a prospect's perspective. Then, testing things out, evaluating preliminary results, and tweaking until you achieve your goals.
Morgan aims not only to be the best copywriter, but also a sales consultant and confidante to his clients, evaluating various scenarios before selecting the best approach. The end result is a keen ability to discuss high-level campaigns with the world's best marketers. It is a skill and philosophy that distinguishes him - a sales conversion specialist - from the rest of the pack.
Rahul Majumdar is a full-time information marketer specializing in teleseminar reporting, article marketing, and information product creation.