Your product is awesome and your designs are top-notch, but one question:
Are you converting customers?
If the answer is “no” (or maybe it’s “yes” but not as many customers as you’d like), it may be time to look beyond your product and design, and focus on the copy you’re using to capture leads.
No, I’m not just talking about your lead capture form (though, that is a great way to capture leads), I’m talking about everything from your tone of voice and website copy, to SEO and drip email marketing.
If you’re struggling with conversion, read on to learn 10 different ways you can use copy to capture and convert more customers.
#1: Get noticed with a unique personality/voice
According to this 2016 article from telegraph.co, new businesses are being born at a rate of 80 per hour.
This means it’s more important than ever to find ways to differentiate and standout, and that can be done with a distinctive brand personality and tone of voice.
“New businesses are being born at a rate of 80 per hour, which means you need to find ways to differentiate and stand out.”
Let’s use women’s clothing brand, Reformation, as an example.
On the outside, Reformation is really no different than any other purveyor of trendy women’s clothing. Sure, they’ve got a cool message of sustainability, but these days, who doesn’t?
What does make the difference, however, is one specific trait: Reformation’s personality/voice.
By crafting a very specific and recognizable personality/voice, they not only standout in the VERY crowded industry, but they’ve got a devoted following that’ll pay $400 for just about anything they stitch together.
Whether you’re a new company or you’ve been around for a while, now is the very best time to invest in developing your brand personality/voice —it’ll help you stand out, reach the right audience, and create a lasting impression that’ll keep your customers coming back for more.
One way you can do this is to work with a copywriter who offers branding workshops (*cough cough*), but if you can’t afford that option, there are plenty of free resources out there, like my free branding course, for example, that can help.
#2: Attract more customers by translating insights into persuasive language
If you’ve ever conducted interviews with customers, sent out a survey, or even asked your customers questions over email, you my friend, have what we copywriters would refer to as a “goldmine.”
Why? These banks of customer responses are what make for the most persuasive marketing language possible.
While the copywriter’s job is to rework the words and phrases from those interviews, no amount of polish can change the fact that they came straight from your customer’s mouths or fingertips, which can be a powerful persuasion tool.
Even if you’ve never conducted a customer interview or survey before, guess what? Copywriters do this sort of thing all the time, so not only are we experts at collecting the right information, we’re masters at reshaping it into a very pretty reflection of your customer’s own thoughts.
“Copywriters are experts at collecting the right information, and masters at reshaping it into a pretty reflection of your customer’s own thoughts.”
If you’re interested in doing this, there’s two ways you could go: if you’ve already done a bunch of customer interviews/surveys, throw their responses into a document and begin searching for messaging themes. These “themes” are the words/phrases that were said multiple times by different people, or things that just stick out to you as being interesting or attention-grabbing.
If you’ve never done customer interviews before, put together a list of questions (or a survey) and start collecting information, then repeat the process explained above.
When you do discover those themes or catchy phrases, try using them as starting places for writing headlines and other copy — if you’re struggling to do this, a copywriter can absolutely help.
#3: Get more conversions with a sales-focused layout
Have you ever been struck with “the curse of the blinking cursor?”
If you subscribe to my newsletter, you know I’ve talked about this problem before, which is essentially that feeling you get when you sit down to layout (or craft) copy, only to feel paralyzed by the blinking cursor before you.
Gosh, wouldn’t it be so great if there was someone out there who could not only lift the curse, but knew how to lay out the content in a way that would drive conversion?
::slowly waves hand:: 👋
I’ve blogged about this before, but there are these magical things called “sales formulas” that are meant to help with this very problem.
There are 50–100 sales formulas out there which, when used skillfully, can be applied to your specific business to drive more conversions.
If you don’t know which sales formula to use (and honestly, why would you?), a copywriter can help you choose the right one and will also know if any tweaks or changes need to be applied.
#4: Get more signups by clarifying your offerings
Are you selling a technical or complicated product? If you’re a SaaS company, chances are, the answer is yes.
Even if you’re not a SaaS company, there’s a pretty big chance that whatever you’re selling is more than just “one thing” (i.e. — 1 pair of pants) that could easily be confused or misconstrued if not properly expressed.
If there’s one thing you take away from this article, it’s this: confusion can easily cost you customers.
“Confusion can easily cost you customers.”
Confusion can happen if you’re selling a complex product and not clearly explaining what it does and how it benefits your customers, and it can happen if you’re selling something simple, but explaining it in an overly complex, “clever” or crappy way.
Here’s how you can tell if your copy is not clear enough:
- Customers constantly seem confused as to what you do
- Customers don’t “get it” quickly enough
- Customers signup, then leave quickly because they didn’t understand what the product actually did
If any of these things are happening to you, don’t wait until you run out of investment money to talk to me — email me and we’ll talk about how to get you the right customers ASAP.
#5: Engage customers with a connected narrative
Last summer, I taught a copywriting course at Miami Ad School, and one of the first things I taught my students was this idea of thinking of your website as a book.
The point of the lesson was to demonstrate how every page of a website, from your homepage to your blog, should feel connected, like every micro page is part of a larger, macro story.
So if you’re going to use a website to sell your product or service, first, you need to create a story — and there are no better storytellers than (copy)writers.
A copywriter’s job is to use narrative as a way of connecting the the dots, making sure everything not only makes sense, but captures and engages the reader from the second he/she lands on your site.
If you have a high bounce rate, disconnected copy may be the reason why people aren’t sticking around.
If you have a high bounce rate, disconnected copy may be the reason why people aren’t sticking around.
For example, let’s say you’re using Facebook or Google ads to direct traffic to your site. People are clicking the ads, but once they actually arrive on your site, they don’t even stick around long enough to see your Intercom notification pop-up (dern-it!).
While there could be any number of culprits, one may be a lack of “message match,” which is essentially a disconnect between the copy and visuals you’re using in your ad and the page your lead lands on.
This is just ONE example of the many ways your copy and marketing messages may be coming across as one big Craigslist’s “missed connections” ad.
Having a copywriter can help bring a sense of connectivity to your website and marketing efforts the same way tissue connects bone and muscle — you don’t think about it much, but without it, things start falling apart.
#6: Get discovered by your customers with SEO optimized language
When your customers are searching for whatever product or service you’re offering, they type in specific keywords and phrases to help them find you and your competitors.
I like to think of those little keywords as “level up” coins — like the ones you find in Super Mario Brothers— but for your website.
If you can skillfully find and infuse those powerful words and phrases into your website copy, you’re increasing your chances of being discovered by potential customers (which, cha-ching, could mean more money for you).
But here’s the tricky part: a lot of those keywords tend to be awkward phrases, like stuff you wouldn’t necessarily know how to phrase if you needed to work it into existing, or even brand new copy.
This is where a copywriter can help.
Like careful surgeons, we know how to gently remove and add words back into sentences, even with limited space and character limits involved.
And most importantly, we know how to make hard marketing language sound like a gentle, Spring breeze, which is an especially important skill when you’re trying to force “___ alternative” or “___ vs ___” into an otherwise normal statement.
If you have a bank of keywords, but aren’t sure how to leverage them across your site, a copywriter can not only help you decide which to use, but where to use them.
#7: Convert free signups into paying customers with drip emails
Do you offer a free option for your product? If yes, you may be losing out on converting those free peeps into paying customers.
If you’re thinking strategically, you may already have some form of drip email sequence in place that’s meant to push free signups toward conversion, but how well is that sequence performing?
If you’re not seeing a high conversion rate from your “free plan” drip email sequence, there’s usually two reasons why:
#1: The content / timing isn’t right:
- You’re missing key steps that will help result in a conversion (i.e. — not directing them to take the steps you need them to take)
- Your timing is off (i.e. — you’re sending emails too late, important actions out of order, etc)
- You’re sending the wrong emails to the wrong people (i.e. — active vs inactive customers)
#2: The copy isn’t right:
- Your subject lines aren’t enticing customers to open the emails
- You’re getting opens, but no actions (like clicks, for example)
- You’re getting opens and clicks, but neither is helping you convert
If you’re experiencing any of the above, the good news is, these types of problems can be fixed by reorganizing the content, rewriting the copy, updating the schedule, and/or segmenting your audience.
You’re getting signups after all, so there’s really no reason why you can’t increase your conversion rate by working with a copywriter to get the sequence right.
#8: Capture leads with enticing form copy
You already have a lead capture form on your site (or at least I hope you do), but is it converting as many people as possible?
My guess is no, as most of the subscription pop-ups I see are using boring, vague, and unconvincing copy.
Here’s what’s usually missing from subscription pop-up copy:
- Customer-driven copy: this is copy that doesn’t focus on features (or you/your product), but focuses on the user, how your offer benefits him/her, and the resulting positive outcome.
- Clear description of the offer: this is not the time to be vague. You want to tell people exactly what they’re getting (i.e. —tips, eBook, email course, etc), how they’re getting it (i.e. — newsletter, downloadable PDF, etc), how often they’re getting it (i.e. — weekly, daily, monthly, etc), and what they can expect as a result (i.e. — increase conversion, get more signups, etc).
- Enticing CTA: instead of barking orders (i.e. — “SIGNUP NOW!”), this is your chance to remind people of exactly what they’re signing up for, much like the image below demonstrates:
By optimizing your form copy, you’ll not only capture more leads (which, spoiler alert: can be converted into paying customers), but the right type of leads, who are actually want what you’re offering (and will eventually pay you for it!).
If you’re struggling to come up with enticing (and high-converting) form copy, I guarantee a copywriter can help you increase your conversions by AT LEAST 10%, though I would say you’ll likely end up with 20% or more.
#9: Discover your top converting messages with A/B testing
Imagine a new customer lands on your site. Do you ever wonder if that first message he/she sees (usually within the hero) is “the right message”?
Finding out the answer to this question is not impossible, but it does require A/B testing…and that requires multiple, well-written messages.
Here are some examples of copy you may want to A/B test:
- Hero copy on your website
- Email subject lines
- Ad copy
- Lead capture form copy
- CTA copy
While all of these examples are different forms of copy, you’ll notice they all have one thing in common: conversion.
Each of these areas of copy have huge potential when it comes to capturing and converting customers, which means it’s in your very best interest to optimize the copy.
For example, take this article from Copyhackers, where they helped one of their clients optimize their homepage copy. The first round of updates helped the clients increase conversions by 108%, but instead of stopping there, they continued testing to see if they could increase conversions even more.
And guess what? Their “B” (and “C”!) tests showed an additional 45%+ increase in conversion, which just goes to show, you can always improve conversion even if you’re already converting at a very high rate.
Having a copywriter help you through these tests (whether coming up with the copy variations or helping you choose which tests to run), is going to be incredibly helpful.
#10: Tell stories of your customer’s success
Whether it’s testimonials on your homepage, a promotional video, or a dedicated “customer stories” page, telling the stories of your customer’s success can directly lead to conversion.
In fact, according to this article from unbounce, “social proof” (aka testimonials) are incredibly powerful, and when used correctly, can lead to conversions close to 70%.
When testimonials are used correctly, they can lead to conversions close to 70%.
Of course, not every business has thousands of high-quality customer testimonials — you may only have a handful, so if this is the case, it’s best to work with someone who can help you get the most out of those key stories.
For example, early on with Coach, we had a few thousands customers, but only a few whose stories we wanted to tell. As a result, we needed to not only carefully select the people we featured, but find ways to repurpose the interview content in various ways.
In the end, we created a “Customer stories” page to feature their full Q&A interviews, we chopped up their responses into quotes for use across the site, and distilled them into short snippets for social media.
These pages have proved invaluable when trying to convert new customers; we use these pages to not only help people understand how others have found success with Coach, but to convince them that success is in fact possible.
What are your tips for increasing conversion?
Do you already use copy to help increase your conversions? Outside of copy, do you have your own secrets and tips for how you improve your conversion rates?
I’d love to hear them! Share your thoughts in the comments below or email me to tell me more about you and your business: firstname.lastname@example.org.