Posted in How To on June 25th, 2013
What is it that makes the visitors brain tick? That makes them overcome that “browsing” phase and become a lead or a sale? While I wouldn’t say that all the credit for conversion goes to the copy, but it certainly influences visitors’ decisions to a great extent. After all, words make people relate and understand things better.
Consumers are getting smarter by the day. The moment it seems like you’re trying to sell them something, they are put off in an instant. In such a situation, how can you convince them to complete the conversion goal of your website?
Even if it’s as small a thing as submitting their email address to subscribe to your blog, or as big as paying for a product or service on a website – subtle persuasion is the mantra you should follow to convert your prospects.
Having made this clear, given below are a few actionable tips that allow you to play the game right and write a compelling landing page copy for higher conversions:
Let’s start with the basics…
Know Your Primary Goal
Blog subscription, request a quote, product sale, free trial signup… what is it that you want to accomplish on your webpage? Figure it out and any sentence (or even element) on a webpage that doesn’t contribute to this goal should be removed.
KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid!)
Clichéd, yes. But very valuable nonetheless. Use short sentences and stick to simple words. Don’t write to show off your vocab. Keep that complicated industry jargon to yourself and the creative word play for your next poetry book. That won’t impress anyone here but it can sure cost you conversions.
Express yourself in a way that even a 5-year old can understand. If your copy lacks clarity, persuading visitors will be an uphill task.
Remember that the right ego massage here is increased conversions and not people raving about how amazing your copy sounds.
Conversion Evangelist, Michael Aagaard, tested a rather simple and non-creative headline (check out the image below) in the challenger for his client, Fitness Gym, and noted 38.46% increase for their gym membership signup.
Avoid vague sentences and claims. So XYZ Company increased sales with your product. Great! Tell me exactly how much sales did they increase? What’s their business model like? Mention some details, please? Will you?
Here is an example of a very focused web copy and call to action text:
Address Prospects’ Pain Points with Benefits
Features are a passé. Communicating benefits are a great way to answer the typical visitors’ question – “what’s in it for me?” And when you use these benefits to settle your prospects’ pain points, you definitely score some extra points.
Apple executes this brilliantly in its EarPods ad where their copy mentions:
New noise-canceling technology reduces background noise. So when you hold iPhone up to your ear in a loud room, you hear what matters most: the voice on the other end.
So using earpods when your background noise is too high is plain annoying. But Apple’s earpods copy emphasizes how these earpods eases this pain point and allows you to shut out all outside noise with its noise-cancelling benefit.
Appeal to Their Emotional Side
Create urgency, excitement, whatever reaction you want. But don’t forget to pack that emotional punch in your copy.
Use your words to make people visualize themselves with the product/offer. I get these amazing mails from one Girls-on-the-go club to book trips with this random group of adventure-loving women. Below is an except from one of their mails:
“Live a gypsy’s life in a camp site on the banks of the exotic, high altitude Pangong Lake.
Get that ‘Me’ time you were craving for, in one of the many little coves on the island.
De-stress with relaxing ferry rides on the clear blue sea and some great sea food.”
When I read these mails they really transport me to an altogether different world and I seriously have to resist myself from clicking that “Book Now” button too frequently.
Give Them a Story
You can even convey emotional value of your offer by incorporating it into a story. A study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University in 2007 proved that stories indeed work better than hard-core facts to convince people to take action.
Three groups of people in the study were sent separate donation appeals (one donation appeal for every group) over the email to contribute for people suffering in Africa.
The first email included all statistics and data that talked about millions of people getting dislocated and their suffering because of fewer rains and food shortages in the country.
The second email elaborated the story of some girl who hadn’t had anything to eat since days. The picture of the girl was also sent in the email and people were asked to contribute for her directly.
The third email combined both the approaches and contained both the story and also the statistics from the first email.
While the first and the third email got people to donate an average of $1.14 and $1.43 respectively, the second email got the highest donation average of $2.38.
Although you might be expecting that the third email that combined both the approaches should have got maximum donations, but it seems like people were not too keen to help in the third email because they saw their contribution as a tiny drop in the sea.
Make sure that your visitors feel special and valued in your copy.
Write in Second Person
When you keep the focus on visitors rather than your product, the perceived value of your offer increases. It helps visitors relate more and focuses on what they are getting out of the whole deal without you scaring them off with a sale-sy pitch. Here’s an example from Unbounce:
Please note that this is not a rule per se. And you can always tweak things and test them to see how it works better for your conversions. Sometimes a copy written in first person may work better than the one written in second person. You never know. A/B test is always the best way to go.
Testing Your Web Copy for Different Landing Page Elements
Now there are various elements on your landing page where you can test your web copy to improve conversions. While the basic rules remain the same as above, you can tweak the copy of these elements easily in VWO Editor and set up your AB tests in just a few minutes.
Headline - Nail it! Yes. It should be simple and yet hit hard. Let it talk about your best benefit. The headline below from Kissmetrics is just the perfect example:
The above headline drives home the point for its visitors in an instant by comparing it to Google Analytics, which is a tool almost every visitor on their site is familiar with. Simple and effective.
Or, I love how one of our customers used their testimonial as the headline to set up a case for them, which increased their newsletter signup by 24.31%.
Form Copy – Use your form copy to clarify inputs for a field that may require additional cues to fill the right value. Like you can see in the example below:
Ideally, I would want to include a link with all ZIP codes (next to the zip code field) to avoid confusion, if there’s any. The point is, make sure that there’s no room for prospects to wonder or feel confused about. Sometimes even the most obvious things that you expect everyone to know can be the reason why your form copy fails.
Apparently, the negative connotations of the word “spam” was not taken well by visitors and made them even more concerned about it than the control version that had no such statement. The context seemed to be ignored by visitors.
Call to Action (CTA) Button Text
The point is, you should never leave your visitors wondering what they are clicking the button for. Generalized CTA texts, like download now, sign up, and others are better replaced by CTA text that is a little more specific. Here’s an example from Mozilla:
You may even address anxiety concerns in your CTA copy. You can read further about high-converting call to action buttons here.
As long as you focus to help your visitors achieve their goals, they will help you achieve your marketing goals. Writing compelling web copy that converts is all about understanding your customers and their concerns. When you have this figured out, it won’t take long for you to write copy that strikes the right chord and gives you the record-breaking conversion rate of all time.
Share Some Tips with Me
I’m sure you must have done some copy tweaks on your landing page. How did they turn out for you? Do you have any tips or test ideas to share with me for a high converting landing page copy?
Please share them in the comments section.
Image Credit: Conversion XL
Know all that you need to get started:
- What is A/B Testing?
- Is it compatible with SEO?
- How to start your first A/B test?