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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.
Use these tips to help you punch up your copy wherever you want a site visitor to take action.
1. Use your customers’ own words
The goal of conversion copywriting is to “join the conversation in your customer’s mind.” But how? By listening to the way they describe their problems and then mirroring their words back to them before you propose your solution.
You know these words will speak to your target customer because they were said by your actual target customer.
You probably already have a treasure trove of words and turns of phrase 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
Become a collector of your customers’ words. Take notice, pay attention, and steal the phrases that express their experience, then, every chance you get, use them in your headlines and sales copy.
Pay attention to frustrations, questions, and pain points and then in your copy, answer their concerns and demonstrate how you’ll help them overcome obstacles.
Client: “I’m so overwhelmed with all there is to learn about ___________(problem)” becomes…
Your copy: “When you’re overwhelmed with all there is to learn about___________(problem), I help you by___________(your solution).”
2. Make sure your copy passes 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!”
If it doesn’t pass the test — if it’s not relevant or useful to them, get rid of it or re-work it so they can see themselves in your message. 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 it
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. So 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, memberships
Placement is powerful: when the proof is in close proximity to the claim, you’ll be joining the conversation in the customer’s mind in a natural way: “They claim to solve my problem, that’s a little hard to believe… oh wait, here’s proof!”
Say you’re talking about your experience and education, place relevant logos for your certifications right next to it. Make a claim that you get real results for your clients? Right next to that, back it up with a testimonial that speaks to the results they got, or show actual results expressed as data.
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, how you’re going to help them solve a problem. Wherever you have copy that starts with:
“I _____” “We _____” “Our ______” “[Company Name] _____”
… it means you’re probably going to rattle on about your story in a way that isn’t all that interesting to the reader. “So what? What’s in it for me?”
This is a super hack whenever you catch yourself writing self-centered copy: Just replace the “I____” statements with “You_____” statements. That way, your customer will be able to see themselves in the message and they’re more likely to keep reading.
On my home page, my current headline reads: “Gettin’ your dream clients’ attention ain’t easy these days.”
This is a “you” statement because I’m talking directly to my audience. I could’ve said, “I specialize in client attraction” or something along those lines, but I think we can agree that would’ve been a snoozefest.
5. Use a “call to value” on your buttons
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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I hope these tips helped! Do you have any conversion copywriting hacks you’d like to share? Hit me up in comments!
Have fun copy hacking. 🙂
Taughnee Stone is an award-winning designer, brand strategist, and location-independent business owner for over 15 years. Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, she now lives in Croatia with her husband, energetic Samoyed, and three bossy cats.