A Persuasive Online Copywriter is Worth More

Last time I examined the qualities we value in a persuasive online copywriter. The way we look at it, copywriting for persuasion is about significantly more than using power words and devising catchy phrases. It's also a lot more about speaking to your visitors' buying process than it is pushing your sales process (that piece of the equation may be your raison d'être, but it must remain transparent to your visitors).

So, let's say there's this copywriter who understands and is skilled at writing for Persuasion Architecture. A client asks this copywriter to quote a price for a job. The copywriter tells the client $150 per web page. There's a moment of silence before the client informs the copywriter she has another quote for $70 per web page.

How would the copywriter justify the higher price - and why would the client agree to pay it? Here's how the copywriter should reply.

I'm Worth More Because ...

I am an uncovery specialist

Uncovery provides the foundation for developing a successful persuasion architecture. The skilled copywriter understands:

The copywriter's ability to understand and incorporate this knowledge is essential to the preparation of persuasive copy and content - without this information, a copywriter can do little more than stab in the dark.

I know how to write for the search engines

Search engine spiders crawl sites for content, looking for the relevance they will in turn provide in search engine results. Preparing that content is not merely about inserting keywords. The copywriter must know where those keywords belong, how often keywords can be used before the site risks black-listing, how to incorporate critical keywords into links and how to construct the relevant copy surrounding the keywords (which will reinforce the persuasive quality of the search engine result). The copywriter also understands that the goal of optimizing for search engine ranking, important though it is, cannot take place at the expense of the site's ability to persuade and convert.

I know how to write to different personas

The persuasive copywriter understands there is no such thing as the "average" customer. Different people approach the decision to buy in different ways - they ask different questions, and what matters to one may be immaterial to another. It is the copywriter's job to create copy that speaks to different personas in language that both engages and motivates.

An essential ingredient when writing to different personas is being able to empathize with each of them, even when those personas have little in common with the copywriter. The ability to speak to "the heart of the dog" (given they can sense falsehood a mile away), regardless of breed, distinguishes your run-of-the-mill copywriter from your exceptional copywriter.

I know how to take advantage of the web as a unique medium

The web is neither a print nor a direct marketing medium. Persuasion Architecture helps you carry on a dialog with your visitor that takes place on a computer screen. Online copywriters know how to lay out copy for an effective presentation - they understand how to highlight, how to carry the message of the page through headers and subheaders, how to arrange copy to take advantage of eye-tracking principles and how to embed text links.

I know how to create persuasive momentum

Most copywriters understand the integral role of "the click." Your skilled persuasive copywriter knows the ability to create and sustain persuasive momentum depends on the careful crafting of call to action and point of resolution links - this copywriter understands what these links are meant to accomplish, how to use them to best effect and how to word them so they are truly persuasive. You'll never find this copywriter settling for "click here."

Simply Sign on the Dotted Line

Just listing this stuff has me thinking that $150/page is looking pretty darn reasonable. If you're the skilled persuasive online copywriter, I guarantee there is more demand for your time than you have time to give (and send me samples from your client portfolio while you're at it!).

If you're the client shopping for the copy that will have your conversion rates dancing jigs, these are the answers you want to hear - must hear - from your prospective copywriter.  You don't hear these answers, it's red flags ... and that $150/page you wanted to justify is going to start looking like a pittance!

Volume 119: 10/15/05

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