At High Position we are advocates of the importance of persuasive and compelling online content. That not only includes testing CTAs, but analysing content as part of the pre-test recommendation phase of our CRO process.
Producing persuasive sales content
For many businesses it’s easy to imagine that your website is the online salesman for its product or service. Thing is, you need the website – or its content – to really dish out the sales-patter in a clear, authoritative way. So how do you avoid producing the clichéd, tiresome, annoying and unbelievable spiel we all – as savvy consumers – try to steer clear of? Well, firstly you have to become an expert on the product, then the salesperson for that product, and finally you have to put pen to paper/finger to keyboard/quill to scroll. But never, ever skip to the final part.
Becoming The Salesperson
That’s right; channel your inner Del Boy. Well, not really. If you’re writing the copy, you have to sell the product and you have to do it well. At Conversion Conference, Conversion Rate Experts Co-Founder, Dr. Karl Blanks, recommended actually going through the process of buying the thing you’re selling and then using it to gain genuine firsthand experience. By recording your steps along the consumer path, you reveal the highs and lows. You’ll see where you may have been frustrated but similarly you can identify the particularly satisfying elements. As a bonus, you’ll also get to use the thing you’ve bought and you don’t get more firsthand than that!
Mental Shopping List
“[Website visitors] need to believe that they’ve arrived at a page that’s relevant.
They need to understand what you do and why it’s better than the alternatives.”
- Dr. Karl Blanks, Conversion Rate Experts
“Each of your visitors has a mental shopping list,” he said. “A list of all the tiny decisions that they need to make before they can decide to buy from you. Every one of the decisions is like a little hurdle they need to leap over.
“For example, they need to believe that they’ve arrived at a page that’s relevant. They need to understand what you do and why it’s better than the alternatives. They must be able to find the right page on your site — by browsing to it or searching for it — and, once there, they must be persuaded that the product meets all of their requirements. They must believe that the offer is reasonable, and that there is good reason to act promptly rather than postponing the decision.
“Find out — don’t guess — all of these things. Then present them in the order that they arise in the prospects’ minds. By doing so, you’ll make it easy for the prospect to say yes.”
So when you arrive at the site, consider your mental shopping list:
- This site is relevant – It’s showing me what I’m looking for and is satisfying my intentions for visiting in the first place
- This is the best site for my purpose – I don’t need to consider online competitors and I don’t need to look into offline options
- I can find what I’m looking for – It was quick and easy
- I know which of these products is best for me – The site has clearly outlined its recommendations and they make sense to me
- This is the type of product I need – And I can see which particular product is best suited to my needs
- I believe this site’s claims – There’s proof to substantiate assertions about quality and value
- My numerous niggles are satisfied – Every question I have is answered
- Buying it made me happy – The whole experience was a pleasure and I’d do it again
Don’t Write Like A Robot
Write. It. Down. Your target market are (I would hope) humans right? So make sure you write like a human; don’t be afraid to use as many words as you would if you had to sell this thing in real life. But be succinct.
Notice that the friendly, approachable language is careful to explain exactly how this company came about, but it isn’t a long story. It’s concise. Be concise. You’ve got all this great content, don’t make it so long that visitors to your site get bored and stop reading it. You should be very, very careful not to use words unless they are absolutely, positively necessary. Try the Plain English Campaign for guides on cutting the crap. And test them. Always test them.