Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Design For Show... Content For Dough

Are you looking to create more revenue from your web site? Then read on

Most people initially think web sites are about visual design the ol’ “A picture is worth a thousand words” quote. It’s not.

If you have been on the Net more than three months, you have seen enough spinning mortgage logo’s; endured 2.5 minute, multi-page introduction with the song “We are the champions” blaring over your speaker; and if you see one more “e-mail me” mail box opening and closing and opening and closing you are just going to

Here Is A Little Secret

People come to your mortgage site, because they want information about mortgages. If they wanted music, they would go to a music site. If they wanted to be entertained, they would go to Disney. Give your customer what they want information on mortgages; and they will give you what you want more closed transactions.

Design For Show... Content For Dough

Your design gets customers to read your site; your words get people to "buy" your site. If your design is obnoxious, people will leave and not read your content.

Hey, Here Is Another Little Secret

Writing for the net is umm, different. That is why you have to write umm, different.

If you have a mortgage site, and it looks and reads, like all the thousands of other mortgage sites; then you are going to find it hard to compel clients to use your loan services.

Delivering Your Net Message: One-To-One

While your goal may be to cause thousands of potential customers to come to your mortgage web site, remember every visit is one-to-one (a unique experience) so present yourself in an amiable manner, using a friendly tone in your writing, that speaks to each customer. And, when each of those thousands of potential customers, needs reasons to stay on your site those reasons are friendly content and the desired information.

I Will Show You Mine

One of the advantages of the Internet for the customer is that they can see ‘yours’ before you can see ‘theirs.’ So ‘yours’ better be pretty good. So, here is mine

This section addresses the content of your web site: how you write your words, how it is different from real world advertising, how to deliver your Internet message, what style to use in your Internet prose and how to build rapport with your potential customers).

What Do Your Mortgage Customers Want?

This is an easy answer they want everything. Your job is to provide short concise information and then allow more detailed information; should they desire more information. ‘Hook-em’ with the easy to read benefits, and then impress them with scope of your offer. Write the top of your page with the ‘easy to read’ information, but offer your customer a link to receive all the information they could possibly need. Your goal is to educate your customer to the point that they are ready to complete a loan application. By providing complete information, you will weed out those not interested; so the only calls you will receive are highly interested customers. Pretty powerful marketing if I say so myself.

R-E-S-P-E-C-TWhat Aretha Knows About Marketing.

Your customers' priorities must become your priorities when you design and write your web site. Two of your customers' major concerns are time and information.

Respect their priority of time and they will stay with you; providing you have relevant information.

Fire All Of Your Guns At Once, And Explode Into - Netspace

Your customers are seeking specific information and it must be delivered fast: both in loading time and in how easy it is to locate. Don’t coax, persuade, bait or cajole your customer in your opening paragraph. Deliver your benefit straight and fast. Show them what you have for them, and show it first. Read the first three lines on this page for an example of this.

Above The Fold

Wait, there is more Remember, your customers are searching for information they want. You need to give them your information 'above the fold,' in the first viewable part of the screen, not at the bottom of the viewable screen. The same way a newspaper places its headlines 'above the fold,' you must place your headlines at the top of the viewing screen.

Write in a “top down” manner, offering an executive summary at the top of your page, followed by more content, should they decide they need more.

You And Your Mortgage Client Are Gonna Be Friends

People not only buy what they want, they buy from people they like Your new visitors are looking for someone like you so give them a reason to like you. Of course you have to offer competitive interest rates or a fast close

Your customer has found your web site using a search engine. Let your customer kick off their shoes, get comfortable and stay awhile. Make them feel at home.

Oh Yeah, One More Thing

Once you write your perfect prose go back and add a few headlines. This also respects the ‘time’ factor of your customer, so they can skim and find the sections that most appeal to them. Not only add headlines that are informative but make them interesting; give your customer a reason to read your content.

OK, One Last Thing. (Well, Maybe Two, Or Three)

Writing content is much, much, much harder than design. It is hard to do and will take you a long time to ‘get it right’ (or is it ‘get it write’?). With all due respect to all the wonderful, award winning web designers out there and often receive a quality web design. The same does not hold true for net copywriters. Most people, even those skilled copywriters in the real world, have a difficult time writing for the Net.

All Of This? It Is Just The Beginning.

Well, there are just a few of the things you must do: to create compelling copy, to build trust, to entertain, to convey your message, to communicate your service and to allow people to like your web site

Well, I Have Shown You Mine

If you have made it this far, did it feel as if “we were talking” (yep, just you and me)? If so, then this was effective as that is what we wanted to accomplish. This is what you want to accomplish. You want to engage your mortgage customer, to compel them to take action.

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a thousand words can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.


For online mortgage leads please visit our mortgage leads page.


Design For Show... Content For Dough
Originally published March 2000

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