How many times have you read a lame “5 Ways to Improve Your Bottom Line!” title, clicked through, and the been disappointed to find the same old generic, rehashed information on the other side?
If you roll your eyes whenever these titles come up in your Facebook feed or from some marketer’s Twitter account, you’re not alone. Unfortunately for marketers looking to take the easy way out, millions of other people are feeling the same way and are becoming immune to the type of clickbait titles that have dominated marketing communications for way too long now.
In the near future (actually, now), no one is going to be clicking on cheesy, cringe-worthy headlines that mask lackluster, uninspired content. Instead, you should be working to standout with your titles in other ways to help draw people in without misleading them. Of course, step one is to make sure your content is up to par; no great title or thumbnail image can lead to the conversions you’re after if you don’t have great words waiting for readers on the other side. Be valuable, be useful.
Next, consider tossing out additional hyped up adjectives and adverbs for statistics. Many of the most successful content marketing triumphs to pop up in 2015 were case study types which could boast a specific change in a variable in their title.
For example, the popular Groove blog wrote an article with a title along the lines of “How we raised our traffic by 12,267% with zero advertising.” It’s just about as enticing as a marketing blog post title could possibly be because it gives you an exact statistic that you can hold the author to.
By the way, that blog post really is excellent and outlines a bunch of free traffic generation methods that the company used to, no kidding, give an insane multiple-thousand percent increase to their traffic numbers in an impressive amount of time.
You should consider also making your titles platform specific. For example, WordPress has plugins which allow you to display different title and description tags for certain social networks. For example, if you know that Facebook shows only the first 70 characters of a link title and LinkedIn shows 110, you can create custom titles that fit those exact lengths and make the most of you allotted characters on each platform.
Titles which are native (made for) a platform will without a doubt perform better in terms of clickthrough and reader interest. Futhermore, platform specific titles can help you create clever synergies between the titles and preview images shown on each network, which can go a long way toward making your homegrown marketing efforts look more professional and thought out – and that’s never a bad thing!
Basically, titles still need to deliver clickthroughs and intrigue readers, but the way in which they accomplish these goals is going to need to be more genuine and helpful going forward. Working together to eliminate crappy content and titling is just one way to make audiences less skeptical of content marketing, which makes things easier on the rest of us, doesn’t it?
Copywriting is one of those easy to learn, hard to master essential skills of online marketing that is dogged by so many small mistakes that can add up and bring down even what seems like the most incredible piece of content upon first inspection.
This is specifically about uncovering some of the weak points of many sales letters, and squashing them out of your own. Let’s jump right into it.
Your traffic is misaligned
Alright, curveball, this doesn’t have to do with your copywriting exactly, but it is a reason why your sales letter isn’t pulling the weight you wanted it to. Sometimes, people craft an amazing piece of copy only to find out (if they’re luck they find out, at least), that what they’ve made isn’t striking a chord with the people who are actually visiting the site.
In fact, it’s all too common to find that the traffic sources feeding your cite are the root of your conversion problems.
Your customers are smarter than you give them credit for
More and more often, it’s not just career marketers who cringe at cheesy headlines and too-good-to-be-true testimonials and claims. As most markets become more educated and used to doing research and business online, there’s an increased level skepticism that needs to dictate how you write your copy. Namely, you can’t make the same claims you did in 2005 unless you’ve got some really kickass, indisputable evidence to back them up. Even then, you’ll have to be good to make them believe that evidence is as real as you say it is. Just look at the outrage over various election and voter fiascos this election cycle â€“ people are paying more attention, and social media makes it exceedingly easy.
Your design is detracting from your words
If you can’t write you content like it’s ten years ago, you can’t design your site like it either. It’s absolutely insane the same kind of longform, cheesy, over the top sales letters exist right now for products that are still relevant and could still be selling extremely well, if only their approach was changed.
Sometimes having bad design on a sales letter page is just the result of too much DIY spirit or of a poor designer hire, but more often it’s that people have gotten comfortable with a working sales funnel, even as it slowly declines over time, and haven’t gotten around to reworking and testing all over again.
Your pricing is too low
Interestingly enough, it’s been shown that people tend to think that a lower case indicates a lower quality, and when people have more skepticism of the online marketing world in general right now, it’s not hard to see how they might not see your $27 ebook as the epitome of quality and complete solutions. This is especially true if the price has remained constant over a long period of years where other goods have inflated and increased in cost.
Of course there are other issues – plenty to go around! – with sales letters, but these are a few that more than a few people have forgotten to consider, and have ended up losing out on sales for it.
Even in a world where live-streaming video and podcasting are gaining popularity amongst knowledge consumers at a breakneck pace, there’s still immense power in the written word. Not only is reading still the preferred medium for consumption by many, but it can also be essential in cases where streaming connections aren’t practical or when consumers want to engage deeper with their content.
Let’s face it, you are reading this right now. That has to count for something, right?
Despite its importance, many people still have lackluster writing skills, or at least don’t ever bother into the intricacies that professional writers sweat over their perfection of day in and day out. Today, we’re going to go over three ways you can make your writing more effective by increasing reader comprehension.
Be a factbacker.
One of the things that becomes quickly apparent when you start reading through successful blogs and publications is that research efforts are never an afterthought. When writing pieces which largely consist of your own opinion or which are based primarily on your own experiences, it’s easy to just ramble and say what you want to say without too much of a basis.
One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is to get used to infusing your writing with links to other sources that can back up what you want to say. If your goal is to say something completely new or put an unwritten spin on a topic (which is awesome, by the way!), then try and source some of the articles that got you thinking or that could help lead readers to your own conclusions. This push for credibility can really help the effectiveness of your messages.
What the hell is a fact-backer? I don’t know, I made it up! One of the greatest things Shakespeare and others like him did for the English language is add words to it. In fact, you’d be surprised at how many of the most common, normal-sounding words we use today were invented in the last few hundred years by a handful of creative minds.
Doing this not only makes people stop and really think about what they’re reading – you probably stop and try to figure out new words immediately when reading – but it also creates a mental association with your writing by forcing more engagement.
Get smart with formatting.
Finally, get spacey with it. Time spent reading a webpage increases with the general readability of that page, and a major contributing factor to this in the online space is how well your text is spaced out and formatted.
Unlike writing a formal article, let alone a research paper, writing for blogs and casual online properties should never exceed a couple of lines per paragraph. In fact, unlike in other forms of writing, it is perfectly acceptable for each sentence to be its own paragraph.
Beyond these three, it’s practice, practice, practice to get as good as you can at bringing concision and persuasiveness into your written words – good luck!
The reasons we buy things vary greatly from person to person. For one, the need to fix a leaky roof might be the most immediate need in their life. To another, a new flat screen TV may seem like a necessary update to keep up with all that the entertainment world has to offer. While the motivations behind specific purchases do seem vastly different, many of the most important buying motivators can be boiled down to a few needs and emotions. Today, we’re going to take a look three different universal purchase motivation factors that you can use to enhance any part of your sales funnel. Traditionally, these triggers have resided solidly in the copywriting world, but keeping them in mind when creating all kinds of marketing materials, when designing your sales funnel, and more can be a great way to implement these triggers above and beyond the standard sales letter.
The Need for Shelter & Comfort: There are few things that motivate people more than an uncomfortable or uncertain living situation. A great example of this is the seemingly miracle stories of internet marketers who may have been homeless or couchsurfing when they started out, doing whatever they could on their local library’s internet to make ends meet.
If your product solves a problem within this niche, you’ve already got some of your work done for you, because you’ve essentially got automatic demand. That said, if you can work into your copy and funnel that your product can improve living conditions or comfort, you can tap into this trigger as well from other markets.
The Need For Love and Companionship: Let’s be honest, no one is surprised by this one! With the amount of ‘get your ex back!’ and ‘seduction’ products out there, it’s pretty clear that romantic prowess and success are important to most people. This issue has only been exacerbated by modern dating apps and sites (Tinder, etc.) which focus almost exclusively on looks and nothing else. Many people feel slighted, and like they won’t be able to perform well on these platforms, making this trigger even more potent than ever.
Think about how you can suggest that your product, training, course, etc., whatever it is, can help people to increase their romantic value. Many products that don’t even directly sell dating advice can still have strong tie-ins. For example, products on public speaking can be marketed as products that help boost confidence in most any social situations, not just speeches, which can translate into a more confident dater.
Financial Success: People love to make money. Money makes the world go ’round. Whatever other cliches you want to drop here. Whether they admit it or not, most people have a large monetary motivation, and helping someone get ahead in this way is a major conversionary selling point. Again, this motivator is not only tied to products geared toward ‘making money’, but it can also be used with educational products that increase earning potential, lifestyle products that increased perceived wealth, and more.
The bottom line: Any time you’re creating communications, you should be putting yourself in your customers’ shoes and hitting them where it, um, ‘motivates’ most.
If you can work these emotional triggers into your product’s hook then you’re in good shape!