CXL Institute Conversion Optimization Mini-Degree Scholarship Program Week 11 Review
I left off last week’s blog post covering part of the Intro to Conversion Copywriting course module for the Conversion Optimization Mini Degree training. This week, I will continue that discussion starting with step 3 of the process of writing great copy.
3. Draft Copy
Start filling in the blanks of the copy templates and outlines from the previous two steps.
There are some things to keep in mind when drafting the copy.
One is to avoid jargon and blandvertising (bland advertising). The goal of copy is connect with the reader and guide them towards an action (usually buying).
Using complicated, fancy words does not make you seem any smarter or your solution any better. It just turns people off. Who wants to read something that doesn’t feel like it’s written for them? Talk to people like a real human would. If you wouldn’t use a phrase on your website in a real face-to-face conversation with a customer, then do not use it.
In addition to fancy words, avoid meaningless phrases. What do “on-demand marketing software”, “integrated solutions” or “flexible platform” mean?
How about useless phrases like “changing the way X is done”, “paradigm shifting” or “synergistic collaboration”? Stop using these phrases and buzzwords.These phrases have no specific or relatable meaning, and they waste time.
These buzzwords and phrases are too vague to translate into any tangible or emotional benefit to a potential client.
Another thing to avoid is superlatives and hype. Saying things like “the best”, “world leader”, “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” will just ruin your integrity. People don’t believe those claims anyway (even if they may actually be true).
So, what do you do instead? Be specific as much as possible.
Specificity converts. Specific is believable, specific is attractive, specific is convincing. This applies to copy, sales, marketing and many areas of our careers (like being specific with the skills we have to offer for a specific type of employer or company in our jobs or with our clients). Here’s an example: “We have the best coffee in the world” vs “Our estate earned the ‘world’s best coffee’ title at the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Roasters Guild for the third year in a row.” Which claim is more believable? The second one obviously.
And with specificity in mind, we have to keep it all about them — them being the people that we sell our products and services to.
Our brains have three layers, and the oldest part, the old brain, is the decision-making part.
The Old Brain is the part that humans and their predecessors have had the longest — like 450 million years or so. So the part of the brain that controls decisions is fairly primitive and mostly concerned with survival.
If your copy is about you (your product, your company) and not the prospect (his problems, his life), you will fail. Make it about them. Too many companies start by stating “our company was founded…”, “we offer …” or something especially useless like “welcome to our website”.
Instead of saying “we specialize in dog training”, say “train your dog in two weeks” — move the focus from you to the benefit they will receive. People only. care about themselves, not you. Is your website or what you are offering helpful in some way to them?
Good copy on a landing page will have a: specific headline, specific call to action (with a specific explanation of what they get when they sign up), specific benefits listed, or a specific image to show the product in action. Specific, specific, specific.
With that in mind, that begs the question of “how much information do we provide?”.
One study found that a staggering 79% of people do not read copy. They only skim it. Only 16% of people read everything.
Those 16% are part of your main target group. These are the people that are the most interested in your offer. You need these 16% of people. Without people interested in your product or offer, it does not matter what you are selling. You can have world class copy and the greatest product since sliced bread and it will amount to nothing. No sales. No customers. Nothing. But if people are interested (and usually there will be for most products and offers), then it is wise to give those people as much information as they could possibly need to reach a decision to buy your product or offer.
Complete information is the best sales copy. A study found that 50% of uncompleted purchases were due to lack of information. People can always skip parts of your copy and click the “buy” button once they have the information they need. But if they read through the whole thing and they’re still not convinced, then you have a problem. It means that you have left out information that is important for them to make a buying decision.
This is why you should always strive to say everything that can possibly be said about your product. You cannot be there in person to explain and answer the questions, so your copy needs to do it for you.
And when it comes to making sure we provide complete information in our sales copy, should we provide potential buyers all the information they need at once? Or make them click?
Long form copy can work great in many cases, but it is not necessary to provide all the information on one page. It is okay to just link to supplemental pages or have pop ups or layers to show other information. For example, Amazon.com often hides full technical information of products behind a link since it is only interesting to the hardcore tech-savvy customers (and most customers are not).
The important thing is that all the information needed to make the buying decision is on a single page, which is usually the product page or sales page. Do not make people have to work, think, or fumble around with clicking various links to read important information to sell your product that you want (and need) them to read anyway (like features, benefits, testimonials, pricing, etc.).
With that in mind, I will continue the remainder of this module discussion of drafting copy in my next post.