How to Write Copy That Stops The Scanners

January 8th 2015       Sally Ormond       attention grabbing copy, stopping scanners, Website copywriting



targeted copy

Who are the scanners?

They are people like you and me that read stuff on the web.

Selling face-to-face is easy.

Your potential customer is in front of you and you can use intonation, volume, pausing and the tone of your voice to catch their attention and get your point across.

When you are trying to sell on the web you don’t have those luxuries; all you have are words and how you write them.

You see, when a guy (let’s call him Joe) lands on your website, he doesn’t settle down to read your copy word for word. Instead he skims and scans the text to try to pick out something that will grab his attention.

That’s why the primary aim of your content is to interest the reader enough to pull them in and keep them hooked; in other words, and I’ve already said it, but I’m going to say it again, it must grab attention.


The block that will make scanners read

How do you convince Joe to stop scanning and start reading?

The answer is using a few techniques that will prevent him from scanning, such as :

  • Italics
  • Bolds
  • Lists
  • Underlining etc.

These will stop Joe in his tracks and help you, as the writer, weave a deeper meaning into your copy.

By carefully choosing the words you want to emphasise, you can make Joe take a specific action, feel a certain way etc.

Using these techniques will make your content less easy to read, keeping Joe alert; he’ll stop scanning and start to read what you’re saying.

If your content is just a long page of words, there’s nothing there to pique Joe’s interest. He’ll doze off before the end and when that happens it’s another customer lost.


Don’t go overboard

Of course, it’s important you don’t go overboard with them.

I’m sure you’ve seen a few landing pages out there where the writer has gone mad, underlining every other word, using way too many colours and different sized fonts. The result is something garish and very unattractive.

Using them sparingly will add interest, help you get your point across and help Joe make the buying decision you want.

Tags: attention grabbing copy, stopping scanners, Website copywriting
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