I. Thou shalt not put style (design) over substance (copy). Design sets the mood and attracts the prospect’s eye. But good, persuasive copy is what sells.
II. Thou shalt honor thy customers worries and problems, for that is what keepeth them awake at night.
III. Thou shalt focus thy copy on the customer, not thyself. Show them how you can help them end their wailing and gnashing of teeth, and thou willst be an answer to their prayers.
IV. Thou shalt not glorify thyself by making empty promises thou cannot keep. Indeed, thou shall back up thy promises with proof: case studies, testimonials, etc., of how how thou hast helped others like them in the past. In other words, thou shall put up or shut up.
V. Thou shalt not bore thy visitors, who art afflicted with a short attention span. Thou shalt trim the fat.
VI. Thou shalt ask for thy visitors’ e-mail addresses and permission to follow up in the future. But thou shalt not browbeat them with over-aggressive or over-frequent missives.
VII. Thou shalt offer value in exchange for their e-mail addresses. This may taketh on many forms, including expert guidance within thy field of endeavor. (Stone tablets optional.)
VIII. Thou shalt optimize thy website for the great god Google, lest thy website be cast into the wilderness and ignored by those searching for thy goods and services. Ditto for the lesser deities, Bing and Yahoo. Yea verily, these are false gods, but hey, business is business.
IX. Thou shalt optimize the layout of thy copy to pleaseth the eye of thy reader. This meaneth headings and subheads, wide margins, white space and bullet lists. Banish thy clutter to the dark, unspeakable places.
X. Thou shalt not bully, browbeat, or hard-sell thy beloved customer. Rather, thou shalt partner with them, embrace their problems as thine own, and help them achieve their goals.