Getting readers to say “hell yeah” when they land on your web page

As a product marketer, when you write content for your website, don’t you want your readers to say “hell, yeah” instead of closing their tabs and moving on? Don’t you want them to feel like you read their mind, sign up and try your product?

How do you write copy that truly moves your readers to take action?

Often, people will tell you that you need to get into the shoes of the person who landed on your site. They’ll tell you you need to ’empathize’ with them. They’ll say you’ll need to talk about the problem statement so that your readers just ‘get it’.

But for someone who is getting started with copywriting, ‘getting into the shoes’ or ’empathizing with visitors’ barely means anything. These concepts are alien to folks who are just getting started.

As copywriters, we often end up opening Google Docs, writing sentences, looking at them over and over again. And after a couple of days of self-loathing, we finally push the work we’re often not happy about, on our sites. We’ve all done this before  -  I’m guilty of it too.

But what comes out of this process is forgettable copy. You know what it leads to  –  poor signups, poor conversions, and whatnot.

In this post, I want to talk about how I got over this habit and learned to write better copy. I want to unpack how you can actually go about empathizing with your users so that empathizing becomes more than just a jargon everyone throws around at you. This is certainly not rocket science  -  I’ve done this only by naturally studying what the best web pages I’ve seen have done in the past with words.

Imagine I’m building a product that any home baker across the world can use. I can write this headline and description introducing it on the homepage of Goodcookie, my product:

Goodcookie  – the best marketing software for home bakers

The most intuitive marketing software for your home baking needs. Trusted by 50,000 bakers worldwide.

But guess what? It barely means anything to someone who lands on that website. Literally every product in the world is calling their software the best and the most user-friendly. This copy is not memorable precisely because it is just not relatable. It’s just too generic.

But instead of immediately writing content, what if I take a moment to listen to all the conversations that my team and I had with these home bakers before we built the product? Based on conversations with home bakers across the world, it’s clear that they predominantly use Instagram and WhatsApp to sell their products.

I browse the transcripts of these calls and listen to them again, and this is what most home bakers had said:

“I wanted to quickly reach out to all users who had previously ordered peanut butter cookies last week but I didn’t have such a list. I had to go through my messages to figure that out.”

“I need to manually go through all my WhatsApp messages to figure out who ordered choco-chip cookies in the last few months, and then copy-paste my message with the coupon code. It’s so time-consuming, especially when I’m baking already”

“Last week, I wanted to promote a new cookie amongst our existing users. I have over 2,700 followers but only about umm… I guess… 700 people saw my story about the product last week. That was a little disappointing”

“I have over 700 contacts in my WhatsApp. When I update my menu with new products, I post a story but that’s seen by just around 400 people. I see a lot more success when I send personalized messages via WhatsApp, but I barely have the time to do that. And there’s no way to bulk message on WhatsApp to people who just ordered a certain product”

It’s now very clear that home bakers have conversations with their customers spread over Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook and they find it difficult to reach out to their existing customers when they launch something new or when they’re promoting something they already sell. This is a top problem for them.

With this insight, this is how I’d change the copy that I first drafted:

Spending hours copy-pasting promotional messages to existing customers on Instagram and WhatsApp?

Personalize and reach out to your customers instantly with Goodcookie.

Reach out to customers with just a click on Goodcookie

No more going through hundreds of Instagram and WhatsApp messages to promote your new baked goods!

See what I’ve done?

  • I stripped off generic copy that spoke about user-friendliness and other attributes, and also replaced superlatives like ‘best’ etc. You should do this too, most times  -  such words are barely memorable.
  • Listened to calls with users, found similar problems expressed by those users, and extracted sentences where they described those problems.
  • I grounded the headline and subheading in the actual problem that’s happening in the home baker market, by using the words the users themselves used. Copy-pasting the way your users described their problems makes the content on your website relatable to their world.

When you do this, the person landing on the page is thinking: “Damn, this is exactly the problem I’m facing. Looks like they solve it pretty well. Let me try this out”. Your copy may not be adjective-laden and it may not be grand – but it will certainly be memorable and drive more signups and conversions.

Try this the next time you’re writing content for your landing pages and let me know how it helped you! Thanks Akkshaya for the idea for this post 🙂

Published by shankarganesh

Product manager. I solve problems that matter, make mistakes along the way, and learn from those mistakes. And then a year later, I come here to share what I've learned :)

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