Even before you start reading Web Copy That Sells, you already think you’re getting a great deal. After all, don’t these courses on copywriting cost thousands of dollars? And you’re getting that knowledge for the price of a book—and a paperback book to boot!

An important illustration starts the book. If you compare a website with cutting-edge graphics and design to a plain one with web copy, the one with the copy will be more likely to sell. However, Maria Veloso explains that “on the web, you simply can’t model successful web sites and expect to succeed. You need to model the process through which the success was attained, not the outcome of that process.” Now that she has convinced us (through her introductory copy) that we desperately crave and need this information, Veloso delivers, going into depth on the philosophies and psychology useful in writing successful copy.

To start, the author offers a “Simple Blueprint for Writing Killer Web Copy.” Before we write even one word of copy, we need to know our objective, target audience, and the product or service. She presents five questions to help pinpoint the answers to these important questions. Next are five easy steps to making web copy sell. Throughout her presentation, she employs bullet points—something she recommends using on web sites as well for clarity and engaging the reader. It certainly worked on me.

Great web copy writing requires an understanding of the mindset and psychological motivators of the Internet buyers. This leads to devices designed to involve and engage the reader. Lastly, she covers key concepts in the areas of e-mail marketing and online marketing communications. There are many ideas that you may have never encountered before; it is important to take them in, consider them thoughtfully, and see which may apply to your specific situation.

A most important concept Veloso emphasizes is tracking and fixing your marketing campaigns. Getting to know your audience better allows you to refine the copy by removing confusion and answering objections. If you start off by understanding exactly what you want your web copy to accomplish, you can observe what is working and what is not, and “keep adjusting your actions…until you accomplish your desired objective.”

Veloso writes effectively, pulling the reader from one concept to another, and grips the reader’s attention. I found myself paying attention so I wouldn’t miss out on a single important idea. (Indeed, she states that fear of loss is one of the great motivating factors of web copywriting.) While the specific methods or examples she presents may not be applicable to all web sites, full grasp of the general concepts, philosophies and ideas in the book would be a powerful ally to any web copywriter. Will reading this book cause you to write “killer copy every time”? It can certainly help.

Paperback, 217 pages; $21.95;
AMACOM (American Management Association)