Have you wondered how conversion-oriented copywriting differs from other types of writing?
I like this description: it’s about weaving scientific persuasion tactics within prose and storytelling.
The common consensus is that CRO copywriting is focused on the goal of persuading your user to perform a desired action such as a conversion or purchase (e.g. request a demo, download a free trial, read an eBook, or purchase your services).
Which is how it should always be, right? Every time you write something, it should have a purpose.
Below you’ll find a brief description of the process, along with a list of 19 tips of what you can A/B test across the key elements to increase your conversions.
I’ll include only a structure of the process, and the tips, with a few interesting examples to illustrate some of the points. The full article has A LOT of more detailed info, examples, and pictures.
What to Consider Before Writing
You’ll want to engage in heavy audience research and segmentation to understand what kind of questions your audience will ask about your company, brand, product, or service.
What Type of Traffic is Coming In?
The type of traffic you’re getting will play a big part on how you’re going to write your copy such as how familiar your visitors are with your brand, is it search or display traffic, and how much content is enough to engage or persuade that particular audience?
For example, top-of-the-funnel users may not have heard of your product before and they’re on your page to learn more. They’ll need more detailed information to familiarize themselves with your brand and product. They may be skeptical and less likely to just hand you their information, so you’ll want to focus on building trust.
What is Your Unique Value Proposition?
Your unique value proposition (also known as your unique selling proposition) is what your copy is going to revolve around. Think about what makes you stand out from your competition, how it’s going to fulfill the needs of your visitors, and what the benefit of using your product is. After you’ve gathered that information, put it all into one concise statement and you’ve got your UVP to reflect back on when you work with your copy.
Once you have your various personas and UVP defined, you can consider these 6 key elements:
- Call to Action
- Form Header
- Benefits and UVP
This is your chance to grab your users attention with a eye-catching opening. Your Unique Value Proposition will help you immensely in writing your perfect headline. Right off the bat, tell them what makes you better/different than your competitors. Grab their attention and keep them on the page with a relevant headline focused on your offer and benefits.
Bad: an unclear headline and lengthy subhead did not perform well.
Good: more concise headline and subhead
The second more concise example that’s written based off the UVP overperformed it’s predecessor by a shocking 867%.
Your subhead is a segway between your headline and the rest of your copy. Use it to support and reinforce your headline as well as at the same time, spark more interest in your reader and have them continue reading throughout your page.
Give users a clear outline with sub-head that is action-based and keep arousing curiosity, so visitors are compelled to read on and learn more.
Call to Action
CTA buttons should tell the user what they’re getting when clicking. The language you use in this is short, but significant as this button is critical for moving your user to try the demo, download the guide, get a free trial, etc. Your CTA has to tell users what they’ll get when they click that button.
The more specific CTA on the right got a 50% bump in conversions. With a CTA like “Continue,” users don’t know where they’re “continuing” onto. Instead of vague CTA’s like “Learn More”, “Read More”, “Submit”, “Continue”, “Start Now”, etc., tell users what they’re going to get by getting more detailed.
Use your form header to remind people what the offer they’re getting is when they fill it out your form. The headline of the form should give the benefit as to why the visitor should give their contact info.: “Fill out the form to get the highest price for your used car” or “Get a free consultation and learn about your financial options today”. What’s in it for them?
You can mention the features of your product, but if your users don’t understand what those features can do for them, they’re gonna bounce. Don’t just tell readers what the product does. Also, tell them what it can do for them and why they need it.
The copy on the left is more focused on telling the user about this specific feature. The one on the right emphasizes why the users might want to use this product. Both paragraphs use very similar wording, but have different goals. “Client-centric” doesn’t really tell me much about what’s in it for me, but “Keep More Clients” does exactly that. Result: boosted the conversions by 17%.
Ultimately, the reader can probably figure out the how the features will benefit them, but don’t assume that. You’ve got to impress them on the spot, so just spell it out for them.
They work. It’s a fact. But you can make them even more effective by focusing on the specific elements of testimonials: the sources (who is the testimonial from?), and the content (what does it say?)
Source: You want to use real names of real people (last names help a lot), as opposed to something like “Director of Solar Company,” which is pretty vague. This can be followed by their position in the company, what company they work for, geographic location, etc.
Content: You want your visitors to be able to relate to the quoted content and see how it would benefit them if they were to invest in your product.
What to Test and 19 Optimization Tips
1) Keep copy clear and concise.
2) Switch the subhead with the headline.
Sometimes, you accidentally write a subhead that’s better suited as a headline. Since your subhead is just reinforcing your headline, they both have similar goals. Check out these two examples:
The second option shot up conversions by a whopping 115%. The subhead turned out to be a better headline and ended up bumping up conversions by a large margin.
3) Remove your subhead.
4) Provide more detailed CTAs.
Try getting as detailed as possible and seeing how that goes.
Good: Get a Consultation
Try: Get a 15-minute Phone Consultation
The more the visitor knows what clicking the CTA will do, the more decisive they’ll be about whether or not they want to submit their information. See what amount of detail in your CTA will work for your page.
5) Speak from a first-person point-of-view for CTA’s.
Instead of: Get a Free Demo or Get Your Free Demo
Try: Get My Free Demo
6) Use disclaimers to quell fears.
Add copy like “no credit card needed,” “unsubscribe at any time,” or “it only takes 5 minutes!” for those visitors that are still weary of giving you their information.
7) Don’t group giant blocks of text together.
8) Try breaking up some text into lists.
9) If you’re using multi-step forms, don’t keep same copy on other pages.
For users to realize they’ve moved onto a different page, you’ve got to switch up your headline, form copy, and even your CTA on the next step. We want to make it as easy as possible for them to flow through the pages, so use your copy to do so.
10) Switch up adding pricing vs. removing pricing.
Sometimes, adding the pricing on your page may deter too many users from taking that next step. In other cases, users are on your page looking for pricing.
11) Wait, don’t get overly emotional.
There are lots of articles out there that insist that your CRO copywriting should be based around your users feelings, but you still need to have some logical reason to have your users go through with that conversion. A mixture emotion and logic in copywriting will be your key to success.
12) Remember to answer any questions you think page visitors might have.
What are the top 3 questions asked by potential customers and what are your answers?
13) People love FREE stuff.
14) Try message matching copy.
Your visitors clicked on your ad, because the words in the ad intrigued them. Once they land on your page, have the same message in your headline on your page to let them know they’ve arrived at the right place.
15) Use dynamic keywords.
Dynamic keywords allow you switch out keywords to match what your users are searching. By doing this, you can run many different ads that all point to the same landing page. This is a way to help you better message match your ad copy to your headline and stay relevant to what your users searched without building many different pages.
16) Change up your testimonial source information.
It looks more credible when you put a first and last name to your testimonial source. Try changing up the copy that goes after that.
Job Title: Tiffany Tran, Professional Stunt Double
Where They Work: Tiffany Tran, KlientBoost
Location: Tiffany Tran, Long Beach, CA
Where the Review Came From: Tiffany Tran, Yelp
Combination of Them: Tiffany Tran, Professional Stunt Double at KlientBoost
17) Add numbers and statistics.
Statistics like this show your users that you’ve got a lot of experience under your belt or that your product is doing an awesome job. Use these number to help convince your visitors into converting.
18) Create a sense of urgency.
19) And of course, never stop testing.
You should probably know this already. I preach it all the time.
PS. My mom’s testimonial is that this is the best newsletter she’s ever read!
PPS. Nah, just kidding. I still can’t manage to properly explain what I really do. She says she kinda knows, but not really.