Writing your own copy can feel like an impossible feat.
There are so many things you need to pay attention to, and as time goes on, the list only seems to be getting longer.
You have to write good headlines, you have to pay attention to where your visitor is in the buying stage, you need to pay attention to how aware they are of your product.
It becomes very complicated very quickly.
And yet, copy is one of the most important aspects of your site. If your copy is bad, your visitors aren’t going to know what you do and how you can help them. They’re going to leave your site, even if you’re offering the right solution for them.
So how do you create good copy? How do you write something that connects with your reader on a deep level and makes them feel like you know exactly what they need?
The answer is: you let them do the writing.
Here’s something you might not know about copywriters: most of them don’t come up with something new. They go out and find what people are saying about your product or service, and they repeat what they found.
They’re not really writing copy, they’re assembling it. They’re taking pieces of opinions, reviews, and feedback, and they put it into a logical order.
Sure, it takes experience to know what that order is, but it doesn’t take a lot of experience to figure out what your customers are saying.
Why You Should Figure Out How Your Audience Talks
Every audience, online or offline, has its own way of talking and its own way of interacting with each other.
If you’re trying to sell something to that audience and you talk like you do to everyone else, you’re going to come off as an outsider. By figuring out how your audience talks, you’re going to seem more trustworthy, likeable, and convincing.
Here’s a simple example of what I’m talking about. If you go to the British version of Amazon and search for wrenches, you’ll get a bunch of good results.
You’ll notice it’s getting a good amount of feedback and it seems to be a good product. If you check the reviews, you’ll notice something interesting:
Outside of North America, wrenches are known as spanners. And while it might seem like a minor detail, it can show customers you don’t really know your market.
How to Figure Out Their Language
There are quite a few ways you can figure out how your audience talks. Some are better than others and some require you to invest a good chunk of time.
But that time is well spent because, once you do the research, you’ll have everything you need to create landing pages that convert like crazy.
One of the most effective methods of getting to know your audience is calling past customers. This is very time intensive, but it will give you the most bang for your buck.
You’ll get to hear when people are anxious or when they get excited about stuff. Those are things you just can’t figure out when you’re dealing with text.
Feedback forms are pretty straightforward. Services like Fieldboom give you the option of letting your customers judge how good the service was. They’re best used when you have a good idea of where you want to go but you want to validate your idea with your customers.
Surveys are awesome because they’re easy to scale and you can ask multiple qualitative questions. They give you a lot of flexibility, which is a blessing and a curse. You can ask any question you want, but that also means you need to be able to ask good questions.
With surveys, the best questions are negative and in the past. If you ask someone what the ideal plumbing service would look like, you’re going to get vague answers. But if you ask them what they didn’t like about past plumbers, you’re going to get a laundry list of complaints.
People tend to be a lot more vocal when it comes to the negative side of things.
Email is also very straightforward and it’s the easiest to implement. Whenever someone signs up for your service, you send them an email asking them a question.
It’s important that you focus the email on one goal. Don’t ask a million questions because you won’t get enough responses. Figure out what question will give you the most info and roll with that.
Testimonials are great because they’re directly from your customer. You get a lot of info by just looking at what they say. You get to know what they’re looking for, what they’re not looking for, and what part of your service they appreciated.
What To Do When You Don’t Have A Lot Of Traffic
Learning what language your customers use is great, but it requires you to have a decent amount of traffic or a large enough customer base.
But what if you’re just starting out? What if people don’t want to take your survey? You’re going to have a hard time getting enough responses to make good decisions.
In that case, you’ll need to get creative. You need to think of all the places where your ideal customer can leave a comment or a review. Amazon reviews, for example, are great for finding out what your customer is saying.
Go to a product that’s related to what you do ( if you run a service based business, you can check out books that solve the same problem) and click on a product that has a lot of reviews.
If you have a brick and mortar business, you can check out Yelp and see what people are saying about your competitors:
How To Extract Insights From Your Research
Once you’ve got your feedback systems set up, it’s time to organize what you find. We’re going to figure out what your customers are looking for and what they’re trying to avoid. We’re also going to collect any sayings or memorable quotes we come across.
Step 1: Prepare A Spreadsheet
We’re going to organize the feedback we’ve collected into a neat little spreadsheet that’s going to make it easy for us to figure out what people are saying. If you don’t want to create it yourself, you can get it here.
It’ll have a couple of columns:
- Dreams (what are they trying to achieve?)
- Fears (what are they trying to avoid?)
- Objections (what is stopping them from achieving their goal?)
- Memorable quotes
- Where to Use
It’s going to look something like this:
Step 2: Figure Out Who’s Worth Listening To
Whenever you’re dealing with feedback or customer quotes you have two kinds of people: people who are highly responsive, and people who aren’t.
If someone just says ‘great service’ then that’s nice, but it doesn’t provide you with the info you need to write awesome copy.
You want to find the reviews and feedback that indicate the person is passionate about what you’re offering.
Usually, this means long or highly emotional reviews. They either like your service a lot, or they really want it to be better.
You want to learn what the highly responsive people have to say about your product or service. They’ve taken the time to write a good review about your product, so the chances of them being more engaged than the other people are higher.
Step 3: Collect Feedback
The next step is going through your research and reviews and finding quotes that tell us something about their dreams, fears, and objections.
These are going to tell us what benefits they like the most, how we can overcome their objections, and how we can help avoid the pain the problem is causing.
Don’t worry about trying to make sense of it all right now. At this point, you’re just doing research, not writing. We’ll do that later.
Step 4: Create Buyer Personas
One of the best ways to write good copy is to act like you’re writing for one person. It makes it sound better, it makes it more snappy, and you don’t get the anxiety you get when you think about writing for a million people.
So, now that you’ve done your research, you’ll probably see a couple of different groups pop up. Maybe there are a lot of CEOs commenting. Or maybe you get a lot of responses from marketing managers who are looking to use your product. Whatever group stands out, create a fictional character that has all the characteristics of that group.
Here’s an example:
Don’t worry about getting everything right, though. A buyer persona doesn’t have to be 100% correct. It just serves as a guide so you can make good decisions.
Where To Use These Insights
Now that we’ve got a bunch of quotes, dreams, fears, and objections, we can start sprinkling them throughout your landing page copy to get it to convert better. You want to pay extra attention to these areas:
Headlines are the single most important aspect of your landing page. If your headline doesn’t spark interest, they’re going to click away immediately.
A good headline will either contain the biggest benefit your product has, or it will talk about your customer’s biggest pain point.
After the headline, your hook (or intro) is the most important element on the page. Your headline managed to get people to give you a chance. Your hook will have to convince them to keep reading.
In the hook, you can create a story around problems people have (check your research!).
Not everyone is going to read your copy from start to finish. Subheads will help drag in the people who skim the page.
Benefits are what’s going to sell your product. You can list out as many features as you want, but if they don’t tell your potential customer how they’re going to help them, they’re useless.
A good benefit is emotional. It takes your feature and turns it into a primal need (gain and edge, avoid a loss, prevent pain,…).
- Feature: Made from titanium (doesn’t really say much)
- Benefit: The use of long lasting materials like titanium means you’ll buy it once and it’ll last a lifetime (save money)
You can toot your own horn and praise yourself to the moon, but if you can’t back it up nobody’s going to believe you. And that’s where testimonials come in.
Instead of you telling everyone how great you are, you have other people do it for you. You still need to be careful with how you structure it, but it’s going to be a lot more believable.
Call to Action
Your call to action is the bridge that allows a visitor to become a customer. If you mess it up, you won’t get a lot of customers. You can use quotes and emotional benefits to reassure they need your product.
Writing your own copy can be a pain if you’re trying to come with everything yourself. Luckily, you don’t have to.
Spending some time figuring out how your audience talks can give you everything you need to write landing page copy that converts. It’ll make you sound more professional, look more trustworthy, and increase your sales.
It does require some work up front, but you won’t regret it.