Use these tips to help you punch up your copy wherever you want a user to take action.
First a definition: Conversion copywriting is designed to entice a user to take action on your website. (Brand copywriting is something different — that’s your story, your unique voice, your personality, your tone.)
1. Use your customers’ own words
How do you communicate to a potential customer what it’s like to work with you or buy your product? The easiest way is to use language your customers have already said about you. You probably have a treasure trove of words and phrases from:
- Testimonials you’ve collected
- Customer feedback surveys you’ve conducted
- In-person interviews you’ve done
- Past email exchanges you’ve had
- Reviews that have been submitted about your company
- Social media interactions you’ve had
You’ll find examples of powerful language that will help you tell the story of your value to customers, written by the ones who know best. Steal those phrases and incorporate them in your headlines and sales copy. You know they’ll speak to your target customer because they were written by your actual target customer.
You can also capture frustrations, questions, pain points expressed by your customers and use those too:
“I’m so overwhelmed with all there is to learn about ___________” becomes…
“When you’re overwhelmed with all there is to learn about___________, I help you by___________(your solution).”
2. Does your website copy pass the “So what?” test?
When you’re editing your copy, put yourself in the position of your customer and ask yourself, “So what?”
“I love designing websites, it’s my passion!” So what?
Your copy is most effective when it’s written with your customer in mind — what’s in it for them? How does it relate to or benefit them?
3. Prove your claims
When you make claims about the benefits and value you offer, imagine your customer reading and asking you: “prove it”.
They’re skeptical, and have doubts swirling around in their minds, unsure if they should really trust you. Whenever you make a claim, provide proof. Here are some ways:
- Social proof — past customers verifying that your claims are legit
- Actual results you can demonstrate with data— 5 star ratings, % of customers retained, # of customers who have already signed up, results expressed as numbers and percentages
- Logos of high profile companies you’ve worked with
- Testimonials that specifically back up your claim
- Credentials, certifications, awards
4. Replace “I” with “You”
In conversion copywriting, it’s just not about you. People don’t care about you (at least not yet). They care about themselves. Wherever you have copy that starts with:
“[Company Name] _____”
Turn it around so the customer can see themselves in the message: “You____”. For example:
“We provide _____” becomes “You’ll get ____.”
- “You need ____”
- “You can expect ___”
- “You don’t have time to ______, so ______”
- “When you’re _____, we help by ______”
5. Throw “submit” right in the garbage
When it’s time to act, will they click or will they go? This little piece of microcopy — the language you use on your “submit” button — makes a difference.
Rather than labeling it based on the function it performs, think about the value the user will get. What is the benefit of the action? What can they expect on the other side of the click?
Try answering this question for the customer: “I want to ______”
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A Word of Caution Before You Start Writing
There is no perfect formula for writing copy that converts. There are definitely better starting points, but it’s only when your customers are actually interacting with your site that you can know for sure what works and what doesn’t. Not only that, what works for somebody else may not work for you.
This is why conversion optimizers are always testing, everything we do is a best guess (no matter how educated). Stay open to trying and testing different things!