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  1. #1
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    Building Value in Your Copy

    Value is the intersection of information and price. When you’re selling value for the money, you aren’t afraid of customers having information. Well informed people who can think for themselves aren’t a threat; they’re your best customers.

    Copywriting isn’t magic. And copywriters can’t force people to buy anything. But a good copywriter makes the reader feel empowered, not starved for information. Using copy to help your site visitors make an informed decision keeps buyer’s remorse at a minimum.

    Price Isn’t Value
    Let’s say you’re buying an airline ticket. Would you pay a little more if the airline didn’t delay your flight, lose your luggage, and in general got you to your destination on-time and unannoyed?

    Most of the airlines don’t see it that way. So they sell on price. They cut just about every corner to get you that lower price. Then they hide the information that tells you what you’re going to get for the money.

    Starbucks, Lexus, or any premium brand wouldn’t exist without the concept of value. Companies find out what you would be willing to pay a little extra for: Convenience, Selection, Workmanship. However, the only way they can survive is by communicating a coherent value proposition to customers.

    Just about every business has cut-rate competition willing to sell on price. Unless you have infrastructure like Walmart and logistics like Dell, you’ll have to figure out a different way.

    Communicating Value With Copy
    A little story may illustrate. A hair stylist saw competition set up across the street. Suddenly, business started to drop. Surfing over to her competitor's web site she saw the reason. Their website looked great ...just like her own. The competitor site had a list of the services offered ...the same services she offered.

    But the difference was, the competition offered their services at $49, thirty dollars less.

    One small change, and business was booming again. She changed her storefront sign and website to read: “We Fix Cheap Haircuts.”

    On the web, in the same time it takes to cross the street to a physical store's competition, a web surfer can visit three or four competitor sites.

    Unless you can explain that "my sister's kid knows this web design stuff" isn't anything like what you do, there will be problems. Every business faces cut rate competition that cuts corners to bid low. Some then crank up costs on the back end, explaining all the things that weren't covered, like getting to your objectives on time an without all the frustration.

    The website "cousin Joe" does to get beer money this weekend may end up costing many times more in lost business, technical problems, and update frustrations. And the same holds true when it comes to creating value through compelling copy.

    Related:
    Airline service 'at an all-time low' "Airline delays climbed to their second-highest rate ever in February and lost-baggage complaints soared to record levels, according to the latest Airline Quality Rating study"

    Just Who Are You Anyway? Developing a USP Despite the popup, a good basic article on what a USP is and how you develop one. Even today, most websites -- even many USPs -- are developed in a competitive vacuum. The Wilsonweb article at least hints at what a gap analysis is.
    Last edited by DCrux; Apr 16, 2007 at 09:05.

  2. #2
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    DCrux -- I just wanted to compliment you on the wonderful writing you have done in the threads that you have started. Thank you, very informative.
    ——.——Datura
    Ulrike
    TUTs: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

  3. #3
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    Well, I wanted to find the original "cousin Joe" web designer story, but couldn't find it. If you've been around for a while in web design -- quite a while -- you know what I'm talking about.

    Anyway, the name for the concept I'm trying to get across is "cousin Joe design" versus value web design.

    To get a better idea for how widespread the concept is....

    A Logo is an Investment
    uses the "Cousin Joe" technique applied to logo design.

  4. #4
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCrux View Post
    Well, I wanted to find the original "cousin Joe" web designer story, but couldn't find it. If you've been around for a while in web design -- quite a while -- you know what I'm talking about.

    Anyway, the name for the concept I'm trying to get across is "cousin Joe design" versus value web design.

    To get a better idea for how widespread the concept is....

    A Logo is an Investment
    uses the "Cousin Joe" technique applied to logo design.
    I am personally not designing websites, I am an artist, graphic designer, industrial designer, you name it. But the cousin Joe idea is an old one that you can apply to just about anything that has to do with the peripheral things that people do to promote their businesses. I have seen it often: A client trying to squeeze by and using "cousin Joe" to do the job for him because: 'you know, he was good at that stuff when he was 8 years old already".

    And I do so sympathize with those guys. To hire professional people is the best of course, but they also cost a lot. And when you are the little guy with a repair shop and hardly keep the noodles on the table, how would it ever occur to you to go to a professional. Compounding this is that this guy would not even see the difference.

    I have often come across this and were asked to rescue them (graphic work), but it is also often hopeless. You have to start all over from scratch, a bad foundation can not be build on. I think people that roam these boards are quite aware of this and try to be the guys to provide this service, but are often still in the process of learning themselves. I have seen some pretty bad things by people who claim to be in this business.

    I have also a good example of the little guy with my own website. This site is only a small part of my business, a convenience to some of my customers. I did not do this, but my husband did this, not being a web designer either. It is not up to standards, but it serves me and my clientele well. I would not dream of doing it this way if I wanted to have this to be a large outlet for the silks I sell there. But that is not the purpose of this. And so, very often the little guy just wants to serve his established clients and does not even desire to expand and become slick and professional and all jazzed up.

    I think we all have to keep in mind those different levels of doing business. One hat does not fit all. But obviously, if your aim is to get large, you must hire the professional unless you truly know how to structure things like this the right way by yourself.
    .Datura
    Ulrike
    TUTs: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

  5. #5
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    wonderful, your professionally written post creates a great value. looking forward to check out your further writing.


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