4 mins

How To Write Copy That Sweeps Your Customers Off Their Feet

In an ideal world, customers would visit your website, immediately fall in love with everything you do, then go and shout about it from a mountain somewhere nearby.

The reality? Not so easy. Especially for those who don't live near a mountain range.

Research shows you've got about 8 seconds to capture people's attention before they get distracted by something else. That's not a lot a time.

So how can you make an unforgettable first impression on your website?

It all comes down to great copywriting.

I'm not talking about generic copy tips like 'be direct' or 'write in short sentences' or 'use the active voice'. Sure, these are important. But we're talking about building a deep and meaningful connection with your customers. That means you've got to dig a little deeper.

In this article, I'm going to help you establish a base from which to write copy that will melt your customers like an ice cream on a hot day in August.

In marketing terms? 

Copy that will translate into better conversion rates, greater brand loyalty, and longer customer lifetime value.

Let's get to it.

1. Establish your brand voice

When people think about branding, they think about how a brand looks. What’s often overlooked is how the brand sounds. But tone of voice is the ‘what you say’ and ‘how you say it’ part of your brand identity.

(Is anything more important when it comes to digital marketing? As a copywriter, I feel inclined to say...no way.

Your tone of voice will ultimately be the way you connect with your audience. Not the fonts or colours or design styles. Yes, they all play their part. But these elements of a brand identity play a supporting role. Like Steve Buscemi in...pretty much every film he’s starred in. Your tone of voice?

More like Leonardo DiCaprio.

Think about this: Sprout Social conducted a report last year and asked consumers why some brands stood out more than others:

  • 40% said memorable content
  • 33% said distinct personality
  • 32% said compelling storytelling

In every one of these, brand voice plays an essential role. You can’t have a unique personality that tells incredible stories in memorable ways without having a distinct brand voice. It has the power to transform your brand from meh-I’ve-seen-it-all-before into a bonafide digital star.

How to create an amazing brand voice: Define a set of tone of voice guidelines. Mailchimp have got it spot on with their guidelines and may provide some inspiration.

2. Conduct customer research

One of my favourite things about customers? Their opinions. Yes, a powerful brand voice packed with personality will help you establish a connection with your audience. But it will be for nothing if you don’t craft your brand voice from the opinions, thoughts and feelings of your customers.

The most effective way of doing this?  ‘Voice of customer’ research. This is a technique used in market research and copywriting which describes the wants and needs of prospects and customers in their own language. Based on the frequency of words used, it’s possible to prioritise the wants and needs of customers into a hierarchy and structure the copy of website pages based on their relative importance.

My favourite way of gathering voice of customer data is by reading customer reviews. TrustPilot, Amazon, Google Reviews. It doesn’t matter where. The words customers use to describe products and their experience are absolute gold mines.

Another great way to gather voice of customer data? Surveys! On-site or email surveys are great ways to hear from customers in their own words what they think about your business.

Voice of customer research #1 tip: Read more customer reviews!

3. The benefit of benefit-led copy

We’ve all been there. Stuck in conversations with people who only talk about themselves. Their job. Their relationship. Their new house. Their recent promotion. The holiday they’re going on next month. Their hopes and dreams and regrets. It’s like being sucked into a conversational black hole. No fun whatsoever.

This is what most companies get wrong about their websites: it’s not about you! It’s always about your customers.

Homepage? About your customers.

Product pages? About your customers.

About page? Yes, even this is about your customers.

Of course, the temptation is always to highlight your accomplishments, clients you’ve worked with, aspects of your company that make you great. But website visitors don’t care about any of that. They only care about one thing...how your company can solve their problems.

Enter benefit-led copy.

Benefit-led copy leads with the user’s single most important question - how will this product or service make my life better or easier? When writing marketing and website copy, it’s better to go benefit-heavy because it puts your customers first and frames the conversation around their needs, not yours.

This doesn’t mean you need to abandon all feature-talk completely. It’s simply a matter of prioritising. So go ahead and include all that copy explaining how great your products are - just don’t do so without explaining how and why those products or services will make your customers’ lives 10X better.

How to write benefit-led copy: Put yourself in your customers shoes. What are their needs? What problems are they having? And conversely...how can the product or service you’re selling make their life easier or better? Do lots of customer research to help, then reframe your copy around your customer.

4. Talk like a bloody human

Guys, it’s 2021. The days of jargon-filled B2B copywriting are well and truly over. Remember, always, that the people you’re talking to are just that...people! Not professors marking your pHd dissertation or judges in the final of a competition called How Can I Talk In The Most Complex and Boring and Difficult to Understand Way Possible. First prize? No customers. (solicitors letter)

Conversational copy isn’t a new thing. Think Innocent Drinks. Oatly. Dollar Shave Club. But now there are technological factors driving the need for brands to adopt a more conversational approach to their content and tone of voice.

Take BERT. Not the muppet from Sesame Street. I’m talking about what Google have called “the biggest leaps forward in the past five years, and one of the biggest leaps forward in the history of Search.” I won’t bore you with the nitty gritty technical details (for the SEO-obsessed, you can find them here), but it basically means Google is now better equipped to understand the subtle nuances in everyday language and to answer more ‘conversational-type’ search queries.

What does all this mean for you?

You have to write for humans. Period.

How to write conversational copy: Put everything you write through Grammarly. It allows you to set writing goals tailored to your audience and then gives you a score based on whether you have matched it. Adjust things like formality, tone, and intent to strike that perfect conversational balance.

5. A/B test literally everything

Every. Damn. Thing. Leave no (digital) stone unturned. Leave no assumption untested.

A/B testing (also known as split testing) is where you compare two versions of a webpage against each other to determine which one is better. It’s an experiment, where each page is shown at random to users coming to your website, and from statistical analysis decide which variation performs better based on a set conversion goal.

Let’s say you want to test the CTA copy on your homepage. You can set up two versions of that page, one with the control (the champ) and one with the variant (the contender). Let the test play out over the course of 2 weeks (or however long it takes to get a statistically significant sample size), then see which came out on top.

Why A/B test? Simple. Testing takes the guesswork out of website optimisation. No more “I think...” or “In my opinion...” or “Why don’t we try…”. Testing enables data-informed decisions that move the business needle from “we think” to “we know”.

And “knowing” is the only truly effective way to implement website changes that yield positive results, better conversions, and greater ROI.

How to A/B test: There are lots of tools out there. My go-to is VWO. Optimizely is another great choice. Or you can use Google’s very own A/B testing platform for free.

Better Copy, Better Conversions, Better Life

That’s it. If you want to write website copy that deeply and meaningfully connects with your customers, these are the ground rules:

  • Do your research
  • Establish a brand voice that sings like Bruno Mars (not literally)
  • Talk like a bloody human
  • Lead with benefit copy
  • Test the living bejeezus out of everything

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