Edward Bulwer-Lytton — who came up with the adage “The pen is mightier than the sword” -— was right.
Words do have the power to do more. They can change what people believe in. They can shape how people think, and they can influence how people react.
Words are, therefore, more powerful than weapons. This is especially true when it comes to writing landing page copy. On average, conversion rates are six times higher for organizations that pay particular attention to their content.
If you are looking for a way to instantly boost your landing page conversion rates, look no further than your pre-existing copy and the suggestions in this post.
Now, let’s delve into the six golden rules for creating copy that converts.
Golden rule #1: Compose a tantalizing headline
I have good news and bad news.
Getting your headline right is, therefore, essential. You have roughly six words to grab your reader’s attention and generate enough interest to persuade them to keep going.
“A headline you can read in a single glance obviously communicates its content more effectively than the one you cannot” – Vunela
Put yourself in your target market’s shoes and use human psychology strategies to invoke feelings of surprise, or curiosity. If you were them, what would make you click that headline and find out more?
You want your visitor to see your headline and think: “Ha! I was just thinking that the other day!”
Check out the below headlines, for example. They provoke interest, they are incredibly relatable, and they all went viral:
- Are You Making These Embarrassing Mistakes at Work?
- 9 Things Managers Do That Makes Good Employees Quit
- How Long Should Your Business Take to Earn Revenue?
- An Open Letter to Writers Struggling to Find Their Courage
Handy hack: People usually only see the first and last three words of a headline. Start with hard-hitting words and finish with powerful, long-lasting ones. Read this for more tips!
Golden rule #2: Carefully craft your CTA text
A powerful headline can hook your visitor in, but to get them to convert you need the perfect call-to-action (CTA) copy.
A CTA is a chance to tell your visitor exactly what you want them to do. So, make your CTA copy specific, direct, and instructional. Use words and phrases that your target audience is familiar with, and make sure it is aligned with your landing page goal.
To demonstrate the importance of CTA copy for conversions, one company changed its CTA button text from “See Plans and Pricing” to “Get Started Today” and its conversion rate increased by 252 percent.
Similarly, Fitness World, a major gym chain in Scandinavia, changed its CTA copy from “Get membership” to “Find your gym & get membership” and saw its click-through rate increase by 213.16 percent.
While another company saw a 90 percent increase in click-through rate by using first-person phrasing: “Start my free 30-day trial” vs. “Start your free 30-day trial.”
So you see? The smallest of changes can often make the biggest impact.
Handy hack: Try to write a CTA that encourages visitors to take action immediately. Use words like “Now!” and “Hurry!” or phrases such as “Save Now!” or “Do it Today!” to create a sense of urgency.
Golden rule #3: Use the power of numbers
Numbers can add substance and credibility to your writing, so it is important to try and include them where you can.
Because people trust numbers. They associate them with research, evidence, and cold, hard facts (and, as everyone knows, you can’t make a decision until you know all the facts!).
For example, if you saw that 450,000+ people had subscribed to some standard operating procedure software, you’d see it as living proof that the software must be worth a go, wouldn’t you?
To prove this point, when one website added “4,500 current subscribers” to their email sign up form, they saw sign-ups increase by 20 percent.
Including numbers like this will add a black and white level of credibility to your content.
Not only that, but numbers stand out because they are shaped differently from letters. They are easier to digest. You can understand, in a split second, exactly what is being said with numbers.
Let’s test that out. Which sentence do you find easier to understand and more credible:
- After 30 days, this landing page converted over 50 percent of its visitors
- After a few weeks, this landing page converted a lot of its visitors
Handy hack(s): Try including numbers in your headline. It’s a surefire way to attract attention and gain credibility from the word go. Also, something I recently learned: Don’t round up. For example, if you experienced an 8.765 percent increase in traffic to your site, say exactly that. Don’t round it up to 9%. The more specific you are, the more credible you’ll appear.
Golden rule #4: Tell them what they want to hear
By the time you’ve tied your shoelace, you could’ve lost a landing page visitor. You only have eight short seconds to show your landing page visitors that you are interesting, relevant, and worth sticking around for.
So, how do you do that?
You tell them what they want to hear.
Thanks to Google, your visitor will already know what they want and they will already know how much they’re prepared to pay for what they want.
What they don’t know though, is how your product or service can help them, specifically.
You need to tell them exactly what they’ll get out of your product or service, in a way they are going to understand and be able to relate to.
Apple does this incredibly well. When they first launched the iPod touch, instead of stating that it had 1GB of storage (because let’s face it, who understands what 1GB of storage really means?), they simply said: “1,000 songs in your pocket”. The benefit here is crystal clear.
“Remember everything” is the benefit you’ll get if you use Evernote, the note-taking app. It is such a simple benefit, but it is an incredibly relatable one. After all, who doesn’t want to remember everything?
Handy hack: Separating the features from the benefits sounds simple enough, but it can be tricky to do. Read this post for a fool-proof way of doing it.
Golden rule #5: Let your (happy) customers do the talking
When was the last time you bought a product, signed up for a service, or went somewhere without finding out what other people thought first?
Look at the below testimonial, from an online food ordering platform customer, for example.
As a potential customer, I can clearly see how these customers have benefited from the food ordering platform, and they look super happy as a result. It leaves me thinking: This could be me!
Handy hack: Like the above example, it is great to put a face to the name. Add an image of the customer who has given the testimonial and creates an element of intimacy and credibility.
Golden rule #6: Simplicity sells
Believe it or not, our brains crave simplicity.
“We naturally turn away from things that aren’t familiar to us, while gravitating towards the things we understand and know” – Tweak Your Biz
So, forget fancy phrases and use plain, old, simple words. Swap long, flowing sentences with short and sweet ones. Make them easy to read and even easier to understand.
Cut filler words and delete everything that gives more detail than is needed.
Your reader is busy. They need to understand exactly what you are saying in seconds (eight to be precise), otherwise, they’ll move on to something easier.
To show you an example, look at this landing page from SAP Software Solutions.
Ouch! My brain hurts. It is confusing, it is overwhelming, and I find myself wanting to leave the page to go and lie down in a cold, dark room.
Now, let’s compare it with a landing page from my favorites at Evernote.
Ahhhhhh. It is like a refreshing balm.
It is straightforward, it is clear, it is easy to understand, and it leaves me wanting to know more. I would definitely hang around for more than eight seconds on this landing page.
Handy hack: Re-read what you’ve written and ask yourself: “Would a 10-year-old understand that?” If the answer’s yes, you’ve nailed it!
Conclusion: How to Create a Copy that Converts
You know that saying:
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got” Henry Ford
I’ve given you six simple ways to do something different; change up your landing page’s text and watch your conversion rates soar. Here is to engaged readers and new customers — all thanks to your improved copy.
Handy hack: To keep your conversion rates continuously going up, build a process for writing copy that reminds you to keep revisiting these rules, keep making changes to your copy, and keep testing the new against the old to see which works best.
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