You may have noticed that there is more than one type of copywriter. You might be thinking – why can’t one copywriter just do everything?
Why do golfers cart 14 clubs around the green?
Why do pro surfers only brave Mavericks on a 9-foot ‘gun’ board?
Because specialist jobs require specialized tools.
And what happens if you cut corners and take a one-size-fits-all approach?
You’ll end up fishing your golf ball out of a lake, getting wiped out by a monster wave, or – worst of all – having a crappy eCommerce website that doesn’t convert.
Now, you sell products online, right?
So you’ll be well aware that having a kickass digital presence is crucial to showcasing your brand, enticing customers, and outshining the competition. And sure, web design and development, professional branding, and advertising spend are all essential to attracting people to your site.
But, what makes them take the final action? What makes them stop browsing, click the button, and make a purchase?
World-class copywriters like Joanna Wiebe, Joel Klettke, and Alex Cattoni have spent years developing the art of conversion copywriting and teaching others how to turn words into sales.
In Joanna’s words:
“Conversion copywriting motivates people to act and make a decision. It takes the voice, tone, and finding a unique value proposition and combines it with conversion (motivating) and process (research component) and presentation (what you’re saying and how you’re saying it).”
We’ll be showing you what conversion copywriting is, why it’s such an important niche of copywriting, and how you can use it to maximize sales with your website.
Conversion copywriting is the use of magnetic, strategic, and persuasive language to elicit a specific action from your audience.
And in plain English:
It’s the words that make people click on the thing. Say yes. Reach for their credit card.
In most cases, you’ll find conversion copywriting right next to a call-to-action on a website selling products or services.
Take a look at the two examples above.
These screenshots were taken from the home page of both websites. The first example is selling a deodorant, while the second is selling personalized bookkeeping software.
Two very different industries, right?
But, when you look closely, you’ll find that these sections of copy use very similar strategies.
In both examples, the language is:
Action-oriented (‘Join’, ‘Let us’)
Persuasive (‘Smell like a champ’, ‘Doing what you love’)
Authoritative (‘Soccer megastar’, ‘that actually works’)
Focused on benefits rather than features (‘that actually works’, ‘stress-free bookkeeping’)
*Personalized CTA’s are 202% more effective
These are stellar examples of conversion copywriting.
Using clever strategies (that we’ll get to later), the companies’ copywriters have distilled the value of what they’re selling into short but impactful sentences.
And after reading them, you can’t help but want to buy the product – or, at the very least, click ahead to see what it’s all about.
At first, conversion copywriting might sound like just another buzzword. You know, like ‘growth-led marketing’ or ‘product-led marketing’.
You might be thinking, but all website copywriting ultimately aims to get conversions, right? So is this just another arbitrary category?
Let’s take a look at other forms of copywriting so you can see how conversion copywriting fits within the bigger picture:
Type of Copywriting
Social media copywriting
Take note: copywriting is not to be confused with content writing. Where copywriting is about persuading, content writing is about educating and entertaining your audience.
Examples of content writing include blogs, case studies, and ebooks. Psst, a content writer wrote this blog!
I mean, in a perfect world, it might be nice. But, for most of us, that’s just not realistic.
Sure, some brands have the budget for that kind of copywriting muscle.
Like when HubSpot called in master conversion copywriter Joel Klettke and his team to go over their existing copy and make it more conversion-y. Hint: they doubled its conversion rate.
But, for most businesses, hiring multiple copywriters for one project just isn’t feasible.
Best case scenario? You find a talented copywriter who can cover most bases.
Look for a freelancer or an agency with solid experience in most types of copywriting. And ensure they use proven best practices to maximize conversions on your website.
So, what are these best practices? We’re glad you asked.
This sounds obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many marketing teams forget to collaborate with other parts of the business before galavanting forth on their quest for conversions.
Marketers, we’re looking at you. Repeat after us: Consult. Other. Teams.
Your sales team. And your product team. And your account managers.
In most cases, these people are the ones who talk to customers the most every day. When selling your products, handling queries (and complaints), and managing their accounts.
Taking the time to sit with other departments within your company is crucial to gain a foundational understanding of who your audience really is, how they talk, and what they respond well to.
Here are some questions you can ask:
Questions To Ask
These insights are absolutely key for conversion copywriting.
With this information at hand, you can start planning your website copy using actual evidence of how your customers behave and how they interact with your company.
You’ll start to get a sense of what language to use, what benefits to focus on, what myths to bust, and what sort of tone to play with.
Most marketers and copywriters spend hours making predictions and assumptions about what their customers are thinking.
We’re gonna let you in on a secret.
Instead of getting your crystal ball out every time you need to make a decision on your website copy, you should just get the words from your customers.
Think about it.
Why waste time dreaming up catchy slogans that are only enjoyed by your colleagues, when you could use the words and sentiments that are actually relevant to your customers.
Because they’re your customers’ words.
Check this out.
This is the H1 on the Home page for a company selling cutting-edge virtual accountancy software for freelancers. This is the first bit of copy that visitors see when they visit the site.
Notice that the first sentence says nothing about the business, the software, its features, or who it’s for.
But, in just five words, we know exactly how Hnry can improve the lives of freelancers.
This piece of conversion copywriting isolates the central benefit of the product using powerfully simple language. Language the audience would use to describe their experience with the software.
This is why customer surveys are so darn important.
If you don’t include some kind of customer survey in your conversion copywriting strategy, you won’t get the scroll-stopping copy you’re looking for.
Pulling information from…
Social media engagement
…will reveal the words your customers use to describe your products, their best features, how they solve problems, and why they chose your company over your competitors.
In most cases, the answers will surprise you.
And there you have it. Now you have a blueprint for epic conversion copy that will actually work.
Let’s see how you can make your conversion copy even more effective…
Do you know what sucks?
Companies who make bold claims but can’t back them up.
Like, saying you’re the best in your industry and not bothering to prove it or explain why.
Too many brands mistake this sort of message as an example of credibility.
Credibility is essential for effective conversion copywriting. But, pulling the “Number #1 Card”?
There are three powerful ways to use credibility in your conversion copywriting.
Social proof is basically where you namedrop all the great and powerful people and businesses who love your product or service.
It doesn’t have to be complicated, either. Most B2B company websites feature a section of logos on the Home page to show you they mean business.
For B2C and eCommerce websites, using celebrity endorsements within the conversion copy is another powerful tactic. Like the soccer player in the deodorant example we showed you earlier, or LeBron James’ ads with Nike.
So, if you’ve got some big dogs in your customer list, consider leveraging them in your copy.
This is when you can actually back up a bold claim.
Using awards, accolades, and testimonials from industry leaders is a powerful way to show your customers that your products are world-class.
People want to know they’re making an informed purchase decision. By highlighting your wins, you present website visitors with a highly credible reason to make a purchase.
By this, we mean giving your customers a specific way that your product or service is going to improve their life.
Instead of empty promises such as:
Waste less money
Take the time to calculate or ask customers for specific KPIs and use those in your conversion copy.
See how these messages are so much stronger:
Automate 90% of admin tasks
Save 30 hours per week on cold leads
15% cheaper than anything else on the market
If you’re describing your own product, no doubt you’ll find it extremely difficult to capture the essence of it in 6-10 words.
You might even protest – “My business is so great, I need to fill the entire page with words so visitors can learn just how amazing it is.”
But that just won’t work.
Unless you’re Oatly:
Or, Dr. Bronner’s:
Here’s a painful truth about the brevity of your website copy:
Only 20% of people read past the headline.
Now, you can look at this in two ways:
You don’t bother writing good copy for the rest of your pages
You make sure your website copy is epic but spend twice as much time perfecting the headers
Obviously, number two is the only option. Refined, clever, snappy headlines will not only make your brand stand out – it’ll encourage visitors to read further.
And this is where skillful conversion copywriters really shine.
They’re able to distil your brand’s personality, the value of your product and the language your customers respond to, in a phrase that’s barely long enough to make sense.
Let’s face it. We’re drowning in content that all looks the same.
From eCommerce to SaaS to professional services, countless companies use the same tired copywriting techniques on their websites.
It’s boring. Un-creative. And depressing – for your customers and for you.
So, what sets the epic brands apart from the rest?
Their ability to unapologetically be ‘themselves’.
Up until now, you or your marketing department or your boss might have side-stepped the opportunity to push the envelope with your website copy.
And, honestly, no one blames you guys for that.
It’s scary to break away from industry norms, to call out the bullsh*t that other brands seem to mindlessly replicate, and to say what your competitors haven’t even thought of yet.
But, taking a risk and being a little controversial with your website copy might be the difference between an apathetic visitor and a passionate customer.
And, no, we don’t mean you should be controversial for the sake of it. No one thinks it’s right to aim to offend people with your website copy.
But, as contrarian marketer Dan Kelsall says, your ability to stand out and make sales often hinges on whether you dare to be different.
The point of this strategy isn’t to create drama and attract the wrong kind of attention.
Adding some edge to your conversion copy helps ensure that the people who click that CTA button are really keen on what you have to offer. This is because what they read has excited them, awakened their curiosity, and made them hungry for more.
And, hey, if visitors have a read and decide it’s not for them, good!
Chances are that for every few “not interested” you’ll get at least one “HELL YEAH!”. And those hell yeah’s are going to be long-term customers.
So, that’s conversion copywriting in a nutshell.
Hopefully, by now, you’ve got a solid grasp of the importance of persuasive website copy and the five simple yet powerful strategies to get sales with words.
But now you might be wondering – how do I find a decent conversion copywriter?
The truth is, finding good writers is really hard.
But what helps is finding a web design agency with a secret weapon – a team of kickass copywriters who can work alongside the design team to build the website of your dreams.
A website that is fast, secure, and delightful to navigate. Complete with animations, high-quality images, and an on-brand color scheme.
A website that talks to your customers in their own words, tells them exactly what they need to hear, and maybe even entertains them along the way!
Look no further. State Creative has got you covered.