AS1-copy-critiqueAt the first Action Seminar, the panel critiques a website for a deck installer. They discuss the use and placement of images, do a headline critique (look, wording), and talk abut determining who is the real customer.

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Their comments:

The photograph of yourself mean, typically when I include a photograph in a direct mail piece or in a webpage, that is valuable real estate, and I will say “Why is this guy willing to do this?” And I have a picture of “this guy”. But you’ve got a picture of yourself and there is really nothing in the headline that’s.”why the hell is this guy going to make you the baddest-ass deck on the planet?” You know, then “that guy” would make sense, but…

Maybe a before and after shot.

Without the sweater vest first? What do you mean, before and after?

I meant the house.

Oh, I thought you meant him. “I wish I had a deck”, then “hey!”

A picture of a beautiful deck might work. I would split test that, too. It might be a distraction.

I wanted to ask, too, is big Jason still here? On ipath? Is the photo on the left more effective, or, yeah, so I think you want to move your photo to the left side of the page. If you go to they have all these amazing studies you can look at, about how reader eyepath views photos, and it can make a real difference in your effectiveness and your conversions, so keep that in mind

But, Mark, you pointed out the headline you think is too blocky, text-wise, you think it needs some breaking up.

Yeah. It needs to be broken up with some ellipses.

Where would you put those ellipses?

Let’s see. Stunning? Is that an ampersand?

Transform your deck or patio into a stunning, and instantly valuable, jaw-dropping, can’t be this easy, you stupid sonofabitch, new…

Yeah, that’s a lot of…you can probably…did you write this in different ways and say “maybe if I take out some of this…”

The site is…we took the old site…we just redid it.

Are the buyers men? Who is your avatar? In the Simple Writing System formula.

Yeah, pretty much men are our target.

You sure about that? Who is making the buying decisions in the home?

Because this doesn’t exactly appeal to women. Stunning, instantly valuable, jaw dropping, can’t be this easy new living area. That doesn’t sound like the kind of thing that…Lorrie? Be comfortable…

No, they wouldn’t. Women do make 85% of the buying decisions. Even if the dude wants the deck he’s got to talk it over with his spouse, or it’s not going to happen. So, there are definitely some things you could do to pretty it up and not make it so Carlton-like “in your face” copy.

Blame John.

On the home page there is a lot of couples, and a lady by herself.

Yeah, but this is where you’re making the sale, though, right?

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