How Infomercial Techniques Can Boost Your Conversion Rate (regardless of your industry)

OK, tell the truth.  Have you ever been tempted to buy a product from an infomercial?  Have you ever actually whipped out your credit card and purchased something?  If you’re like most of us, you have at least once.

And there’s little wonder.  From Pajama Jeans to food processors, these informational commercials have a proven and tested method for making whatever they are selling seem absolutely irresistible.  But is that the limit of their “magic?”  Can they only sell cheap kitchen electronics and short-lived trendy clothing?  Not at all.

In fact, if you analyze the infomercial formula, you can easily see that it would work for practically any product or service in any industry.  In fact, you don’t even have to spend thousands shooting a 30-minute-long infomercial.  Much of the magic can be reproduced in your copywriting (both long and short versions).

1. Be Enthusiastic

No, you don’t have to scream and shout, but you do have to connect emotionally with your target customers on their level.  Ho-hum copy doesn’t cut it regardless of whether you’re setting up a lead-generation form for stock services or a sales site for flawless three-karat diamond rings.

Notice I said, “…on their level?”  That’s because a corporate CEO looking for a new payroll service will have an entirely different emotional mindset than a construction worker in search of a new workout DVD.

Speaking to an executive using the same tone and language you’d use for the construction worker won’t give you the results you’re looking for.

This website that offers heatmap services (for testing/evaluating websites) goes beyond the standard, boring B2B template copy that usually states, “We’re an online marketing service in [insert city here].  We are a national leader in improving site performance.  Whether you’re a small business or a government agency, we can help you.”  It actually shows some excitement about the type of service provided.

2.   Identify a Problem

What has driven your site visitor to seek out your product/service?  There’s always a need at the heart of every search.  From simply wanting a bit of entertainment to attempting to find a solution to a major dilemma, everybody’s got a problem.  Pointing it out intensifies the sense that something must be done to solve said problem.

This nutritional supplement page starts off by asking some probing questions that get men thinking about their health.  It presses a pain point or two and identifies problems and then proceeds to offer solutions.

3.  State the Benefits

Paypal has a promotion on their site right now that allows you to offer financing of purchases made via Paypal.  This short bit of copy does a great job of laying out the benefits of using the service.

4.  Establish Credibility/Social Proof

Showing tweets, testimonials, reviews, logos of companies you’ve done work for and more can improve your credibility in the eyes of your prospective customers/clients.  It’s one thing to tell site visitors that you are the best at what you do, but social proof works because it shows people that others think you’re the best.  It is a powerful copywriting element.

I put testimonials in the sidebar of my copywriting website.  You can also include them as part of the copy or use other forms of social proof.

5.  Add Value

Got a free trial?  Have a report or ebook you want to share?  Whether it’s buy-one-get-one-free offers on socks or a complimentary consultation on corporate taxes, adding value to the products and services you provide can be just the nudge people need to act.

At the time of this article, Kohl‘s department store is offering $10 Kohl’s cash for every $50 you spend.

6.  Close the Sale

If you blow the close, you lose the sale/lead.  Having a strong and easy-to-act-upon wrap up is vital.  This can be a strategically placed button, a compelling paragraph or even a video that drives the urge for the customer to do “it” now.

Here’s one call-to-action section that combines a compelling pitch along with a handy chart.

Are there sites that do it all?  Yes!  And they range in length and approach from one extreme to the other.  Here are two great examples.

Wrike has an animated, short-copy technique that works along with copy below the fold.

Crazy Egg (as mentioned earlier) takes a long-copy approach that works well for them.

Study them carefully and implement these strategies into your website copy for better results.

Want even more help with creating website & SEO copy that ranks high and converts great? Check out this free webinar: “How Correcting 3 Common Mistakes Increased Sales 86%.”

 

© Karon Thackston, All Rights Reserved

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About Karon Thackston

For over 25 years, web & SEO copywriter Karon Thackston has created optimized copy and content that has increased conversions & search rankings. Find out more about Karon on Google+.

Comments

  1. Hi Karon,
    Thanks for the info above, and for the free book! Looking forward to another good read.
    Quick SEO question. How do “low copy” website pages like some of the ones you show above (esp. Wrike) even rank in the search engines? I know that copy/keyword placement is key and, well, these pages just don’t have it. I wonder about this a lot – it seems to be the trend to show more images and less copy. I have an architecture client who wants to do something like this – just a few images and some links on his home page. Do we hope for the best from the Title tag to get his home page to rank then?

    • Did I say any of these sites had good rankings? :) This article was all about copy. I had nothing to do with SEO. But, with that said, links **can** outweigh copy if you have enough of them and they are the RIGHT links. You still need some copy on the page to help Google out. However, keep in mind that the engines will find the copy regardless of where it is on the page. You don’t have to have 6 paragraphs straight down the middle of the page. You can place snippets of copy underneath photos/images, etc. so it’s less obvious. But, the only way you’re going to convert people is via words whether written on the web page or spoken via the phone once a lead calls into the architect’s firm.

      • Thanks, Karon. Sorry, I know my comment didn’t have a lot to do with your post. The lack of copy in some of your examples just triggered my question! I like what you said about placing copy elsewhere. And links … need to work on links.

  2. Hi Karen, great article. I sometimes watch the home shopping networks because the hosts are masters at getting people to act. As a copywriter, I study them to get those words and phrases to creep into my copy. Great learning tool for beginning copywriters!

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