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Friday, May 15, 2009


Probably not your clients! They’re not interested in you having just bought the latest Hokey Cokey 2000 or even in the products you’re trying to sell them. And yet so many companies go on in their literature or on their web site about when they were founded, how they make this product or that and that they have just moved to a magnificent new site.

What your clients need to know is what you or your products are going to do for them. What are the benefits?

So many advertisements and leaflets talk about the companies themselves when all the people reading them want to know is:
what are these products/services going to do for me?
what will they do for my business?
how much money will they help me to make?
I saw it amusingly summarised by the phrase, “Everybody is tuned in to one radio station - WIIFM - What’s In It For Me?

If you’re not too sure what it is that your customers want, there’s a very simple technique - ask them.

This may involve you in discussing the problems facing them and their business but you can then use the information to give them a product or service that precisely matches up to their expectations. And your clients will get to think of you as a listener who really cares about their business and how it can grow as opposed to you keep telling them about yours.


Because the web is a casual, laid back sort of medium, there’s a temptation to be more casual in the use of language but there are some good reasons to be considerate about what you write.
Firstly, well written copy keeps people reading for longer,
secondly, people will trust you more if you can spell and write properly, and
thirdly, it makes you more intelligible to the search engine “spiders”.

Make sure that the person you select to create the copy is able to write in a reader friendly style. They may well be somebody who understands the main features of your company and/or product (perhaps somebody who sells?) but probably not a person who knows the products in the most intricate detail. Please don’t use technical language (unless you’re selling something technical to technicians!) when ordinary English will do. Keep the sentences short and simple.
Following on from the using the right person to do the writing, make sure that your site tells the customers what they want to know - as opposed to what you think you ought to tell them. There’s a difference. Of course, if you sell a wide range of products, the writing becomes a matter of organising the products in logical order but if you’re selling a relatively small company or one product you can afford to emphasise the benefits to the customer.

Make sure you explain things from the customer’s point of view - don't assume that they know the things that you know.

Reading lots of wording on a computer screen can be hard work so do include pictures and/or graphics and make sure the pages are designed by a professional designer. Well, we would say that, wouldn’t we!