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on August 30, 2005
Ms. Veloso is a specialist in writing the kind of copy which sells online courses and other one-per-website items. Because these items often have high selling prices, they take a lot of long, intense, hard selling to convince buyers to pull the trigger. If you're trying to sell a book, course, get rich quick scheme, diet plan, etc., this book will give you great advice on how to write hard-hitting sales copy.

However, if you, like me, wanted advice more about selling a bunch of products in a more traditional e'commerce catalog with hundreds of products, you won't find such info here. SOME of what she says applies to that type of writing, but if I were to use her hard-hitting sales techniques on my customers, it would put them off and make my site seem a little too miuch like a used car lot. A better choice: Catalog Copy That Sizzles by Herschell Gordon Lewis. Also Persuasive Online Copywriting by Bryan and Jeff Eisenberg will give you much of the same information but without the hard sell.

Now, that said, Veloso does give lots of information about the psychology of sales that is helpful (so do the Eisenbergs in their book Call To Action). And there are many, many tips here for other kinds of e'commerce that work WITH a catalog, partuclarly email, autoresponders, SIG files, how to avoid SPAM blockers, etc.

My goal for any business, advertising, or marketing book is to get at least one solid idea that I can put into practice...if I get at least one, the book was worth the cost. And I got a lot of "keeper" ideas from ths book. Also, I judge books by whether I feel like selling them on Amazon afterwards or whether they stay on my bookshelf as a reference. This one will stay on the shelf.
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on January 20, 2005
I just finished reading Maria Veloso's book, 'Web Copy That Sells.' This book provides the unique skills and techniques that enable a copywriter or anyone who writes online copy to flat out sell like never before. These techniques are so powerful and dynamic it's hard to believe.

Having said that, I have to add that in my opinion, Maria's method of writing Web copy would not work for every site or product. There is not a set pattern or template that fills the bill for all sites.

For example, she proclaims that the "editorial" style of Web site copy produces the most business. This is indeed a clever tool on "some" sites. But not all. It won't work on all sites and is too awkward for some.

She also likes to use "involvement devices" on her sites. I agree that these are useful on some sites. But I noticed on one of her sites that you "involve" yourself by ticking off your desired answer only to have your e-mail client pop up. This is not good usability --- people want to know and should know when they're about to submit an e-mail. They may opt not to do that and they should know before they click the box what's going to happen.

There are a few other things of this nature that I don't buy into. But, for the most part, this is a valuable book because it offers ideas that are fresh and not readily available and that most people will find exceedingly useful.

I suggest you buy the book and take from it what will work in your own personal situation but don't take everything as "gospel".

Maria Veloso has put together a wealth of knowledge that has not been made available before as far as I know. I've read all the books on online copywriting and a few offered some valuable help and ideas. In fact, most have some good points that you can take away from your read.

But 'Web Copy That Sells' is, by far, the very best to date. I recommend this book to anyone who really wants to make their site sell or needs to understand how to write e-mail and get it through the spam filters as well as get it read. This book covers it all. Maria Veloso has done a great job and provided a valuable service.

I highly recommend this powerful book to all copywriters and anyone who needs to write copy for the Web. But, as I said, take from it what will work for you and be sure you adhere to good usability in your quest to sell.

One word of warning, at least one of the freeware products the author recommends you download is "loaded" with adware that will take your computer over. So beware.

Susanna K. Hutcheson
Creative Director
Powerwriting.com LLC
[...]
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Web Copy That Sells is well written, easy to read and a great resource for improving your web copy.

There are a number of points that Maria makes regarding web copy that apply equally to all areas of business as well as life. For example, she points out that you cannot simply model some successful website and expect the same results. You must model the process. That is go through the same process that the creator of the successful website went through.

The book is not only a resource for web copy that sells, it is also a very good marketing course. She points out that potential customers must know you, like you and ultimately trust you before they will do business with you. She provides a step by step method to accomplish this.

Maria is right on when she talks about the importance of the first screen and why you must concentrate on what's in it for the viewer. The website should not be designed as an ego boosting medium. You must keep the viewer's point of view in mind.

She provides a good list of dos and don'ts for web copy. There are plenty of other tools such as a formula to evaluate any website.

Scattered throughout the book are excellent marketing lessons - words tell, emotion sells - fear of loss is a better motivator than desire for gain. You would do well to read and understand these very valuable marketing lessons.

This is a very good resource for anyone responsible for their own or their company's website.
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on November 23, 2014
I normally read a book when I get the free time and it would take me from a few days to a few weeks, This is the only book that I read from cover to cover in one sitting because my brain go excited reading the book for more. I just could not stop reading it. Maria ideas were well articulated on why the choice of words spell a lot of difference in effectively selling something on the web.
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on May 11, 2017
It's fine as introductory material.
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VINE VOICEon October 7, 2008
This is a fine introduction on adapting print-copywriting
methods to the internet. Veloso's treatment is concise
in all areas and you might want more detail and examples -
you can get those elsewhere.

After reading this book once I blazed through it a second
time later. It's a very fast read, like a lot of current
business books. The lessons here are simple and profound.

I like the old-school copywriters too, and if you do any
email marketing you'll quickly outgrow the advice here
because times change and what worked in 2004 to get
emails opended may not work as well today. In general
you'll find that if you poke around there are useful email
marketing tips to be found all over the internet - finding
what works for you is mostly a matter of practice,
experimentation and respecting your subscribers.

I recommend this book highly to first-time copywriters.
If you plan to put any serious money on the line in terms
of buying advertising you cannot be to well read - there
are many other worthwhile books on direct response copy -
reading them is like money in the bank.
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on September 21, 2012
As a former marketing consultant and current Internet marketing manager who writes a lot of web marketing copy, I can definitely say that this was a Great Book. Haven't seen anything like it. This book covers in detail how to write psychologically mesmerizing sales letter copy for the web. If you create landing pages, you'll LUV this book. It's got some tricks that you won't find anywhere else. "And WHEN you buy this book you find that...." - Oops, there's one of the tricks! Some of the psychological tricks presented in this book are so powerful they're almost not fair to use on a poor, unsuspecting prospect. Very enjoyable and entertaining book. An EZ read.
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on April 5, 2008
I get the negative criticism of this book. There's a fine line between persuasion and manipulation. I personally would not let my credit card near the examples of copy in this book and yet I realize that I'm likely not her target audience for those sites. Maria presents many techniques here and explains them simply and in an easy to understand way. It's up to the writer to choose the techniques that meet the writer's ethical standards and that will be effective with the target audience.

I appreciate the writing system that Maria presents, which helps me get clear about what I want to say in a persuasive manner that meets my own ethical standards. I even appreciate reading about techniques that I don't feel comfortable using, because I'll be able to identify them both on websites and in conversations with salespeople.

So far, I haven't read many books on writing copy and I found this one very useful. I would have appreciated some examples that didn't feel so manipulative.
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on July 15, 2014
The best reason to buy this book is found in the negative reviews. Look for the one star reviews. That is where people get upset that she is using under handed techniques to get people to buy. In other words, she teaches you what all the large advertisers do. I love it.

This is a great book and I have recommended it to many people. Unless you are a holier than thou copywriter, you will like it as well.
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on July 7, 2013
I'll go out on a limb and say that this is the best book ever on writing copy to sell things on websites. I've designed entire sites based strictly on this one book and they sell like crazy. Many of the concepts in this book are NOT obvious. Some are completely counter-intuitive. But I find the book's advice to be well-researched, solid, spot-on, valuable and timely. If you make websites which sell things, you need this book, period.
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