Note from Shae: This is a guest post by Joanne Morley of Brighter Marketing in the UK. Joanne is a 20-year marketing veteran who not only knows how to write web copy that converts browsers into buyers but also how to speak the customer’s language. After starting her career in the high-tech industry marketing complex Internet security products, she soon realized that promoting products solely on their technical merits was not a great way to get sales leads. She’s also written a book on marketing for small businesses as well as given countless seminars and training sessions on the subject of how to make your marketing messages stand out from the crowd.
When writing copy for your website it’s so easy to get caught in up in what you want to say. You want to let people know all about the products and services you have to offer and how great they are. It’s natural: you’re enthusiastic about what you do and you want the whole world to know about it too.
The problem is that so many websites are written just like this. They are so “we” focused that they forget the real reason they set the website up in the first place and focus solely on talking about themselves.
It’s a bit like going on a blind date, when the person you meet talks about nothing but themselves.
How does it make you feel? Not great, is my guess and it doesn’t really make you want to start a relationship with them. The same is true of your website. If you’re so busy writing about your business and not focusing on the customer and their needs, then you’ll find that lots of people will just click straight off the page, find another website and start a relationship with someone else.
The key to writing great web copy is to put yourself in your customers shoes.
Think about what they want to know, what their needs are and write the copy from their perspective.
Here’s an example of a typical “we” based paragraph that could be found on any website for a company that cleans offices.
Acme cleaners have been established for 10 years and we provide reliable office cleaning services to local businesses. We can clean offices, and a whole range of commercial spaces cost effectively, with trained, uniformed staff who deliver and excellent service. Call us to find out more.”
Or you could look at it from the customers perspective and say something like this:
Want to get your office or warehouse cleaned expertly?
Tired of cleaning companies letting you down and being unreliable?
Just imagine having a cleaning company that always turns up on time and makes your office sparkle ready for work the next day?
With an average satisfaction rating of 99.8% from our customers, you can be assured that you will get the results you are looking for.
Call Sarah now on 0800 249569 and we will give your office a clean absolutely free of charge so you can experience the Acme Cleaning Service for yourself. We guarantee that once you use us, you’ll see why our customers give us such a great satisfaction rating.”
See the difference? It’s entirely focused on the customer and what their needs, worries and concerns are. Here are just a few examples that outline how important it is to think like your customer.
1. Elizabeth Arden said “I don’t sell cosmetics, I sell hope.” Everything she ever sold, gave the woman buying it the hope that they would look better, have perfect skin or look amazing.
2. Ted Nichols sold over $1m of his presenting book when he changed the title from “How to Present with Confidence” to “How to Get Enthusiastic Applause, Even a Standing Ovation, Every Time you Speak .” He focused on what people actually wanted to happen at the end of their presentation or speech.
3. Finally, just think about it? No one who ever bought a drill actually wanted a drill, they wanted a hole.
Put yourself in your customers shoes and think about what would make them take action on your website.
To help you get started, just answer the following questions because they will give you some really great ideas for writing web copy that you can turn into compelling marketing messages, keep people on your website and want to begin a relationship with you.
- What keeps them awake at night, what do they need?
- What are their three daily frustrations ?
- What are they afraid of?
- What trends are happening that are having an influence on them?
- What do they secretly want and desire?
Finally, if you do have a website and want to know how “we” focused it is, take a look at the We Calculator from FutureNow. It rates your copy on how customer focused it is.
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