How we choose to communicate our value to customers makes or breaks conversions. Words hold serious weight in conversion optimization. They build trust, empathize, and share unique selling points as to how your product or service set’s you apart from your competition. The way we communicate our advantage points should be directly tied to knowing and speaking to our most desired target audiences.
This week’s CXL Institute course dives into conversion copywriting, starting with a quote from Dave Ogilvy, the father of modern advertising. He quickly discredits his student who states “I don’t need to learn to copywriting, I write based on how it sounds and feels to me.” Ogilvy quickly rebuttal’s with a simple question. “If you were getting your gall bladder removed, would you rather go with a surgeon who has read a few books and is educated on how to remove a gallbladder? Or would you rather choose a surgeon who performs solely based on feeling?” He’s not wrong and has a valid point.
Top copy experts spend time and resources learning how to write better copy instead of only writing from their gut feeling. I agree with this study. Intuition comes as the result of knowing your customer and their problem well. The process of writing great copy is a similar scenario to last weeks’ best optimization practices. Winning copy tests should never be mistaken as absolute truths. Copy that worked in one area, may not work in another. These six steps of effective copywriting in order are research, outline, and guideposts, draft copy, conversion boost, revise and rearrange, and testing copy as a single variation test.
I loved the weight this week’s course held on how important it is to research the customer and your competition. The closer you are to a problem, the easier the solution becomes. The more research you do the more confidence you attain.
When David Ogilvy took on Rolls Royce as a client, he was tasked with creating a two-sentence print advertisement for their newest vehicle being sold. He spent three weeks researching Rolls Royce’s most desired target audience. He devoted his time and energy to understand their direct competition in the motor industry. The more we learn about our most ideal customers, what they like, dislike, how they live, where they shop… the easier we will be able to communicate that we understand and empathize with them. If we want to serve our customers well, we need to figure out why people buy the product, how they buy it, what they use it for, and what matters to them.
Great copy needs to speak, move, and bring clarity to your most ideal customer and do it in 10-12 words or less. Clear, short effective copy takes a large amount of research to do well. When a white space user lands on a web page, in the marketing world it’s known a person needs “7 touches”. Seven positive brand interactions before feeling confident enough to purchase from a consumer. When a new customer finds your product/service they are likely researching and digesting content from your competitors as well.
By learning how your competitors are speaking to their customers gives you leverage on knowing how to position yourself as the industry leader. By being aware of your direct competition it gives us leverage on differentiating ourselves. Neuromarketing states that in order for a customer to buy with little hesitation, some sort of differentiating has to happen in a customer’s slow crocodile portion of the brain to have full trust in a product.
The importance of copy and how much weight it holds, requires you to test copy as a single variation against the control, without design or additional content changes to see the impact it has on conversion rate.
Optimizers don’t have to be copywriters, necessarily. But you do have to be able to recognize bad copy and be able to point out what exactly is wrong with it – how to improve it. The checklist on what makes copy good copy is extremely beneficial:
Two ways to critique copy are as follows: Round 1: “Would your read more? test. Peer review. Round 2: Value, clarity, credibility (VCC) test.
I enjoyed Michael Masterson’s peer review method for copy optimization as follow’s: Peer Review practice asks 4-6 people who understand copywriting to rate copy on a scale of 1-4.
Commentary and criticism are NOT welcome, instead reviewers are asked to only measure their gut response after reading the copy.
Value propositions are how you choose to communicate the promise of value to your customers and should speak to your most desired target audience. One of the most important concepts in CRO; value proposition communicates your solution to the customer’s problem and a promise to deliver.
The quicker you communicate your value proposition, the more effective your conversions will be. A good value proposition explains a solution or benefit, identifies your target audience, communicates benefits, makes you look unique, all while being simple and clear and easy to digest as the customer. Clarity is most important. If a customer can’t quickly understand why your product or service solves their problem, it will require excess calories to understand what the product is or how it benefits the customer. Your customer burns excess calories when digesting content that doesn’t quickly call out the benefits.
I enjoyed this course. The tone and order of how we speak to our customers are directly tied to how effective we will be at sympathizing and showing we understand our customers.