Good copy is readable, maybe even enjoyable, and probably free of spelling errors, grammatical snafus and typos. But it’s not going to win you customers (though it might show Google your website still has a pulse, which isn’t nothing). Great copy is the kind of thing people talk about and share with their friends. Great copy makes the rounds on Twitter and Facebook, garners high page views, and contributes something of genuine value to the world – or it’s just really, really funny.
But I’m not here to talk about good copy, or even great copy. I want to talk about a very specific kind of copy: Conversion copy.
I believe Joanna Wiebe coined the term “Conversion Copywriter,” a particularly clever turn of phrase that comes with a very specific definition: Conversion copy is data-driven to make people take action.
I’ve also heard conversion copy is described as “copy that has a direct and measurable impact on the audience.”
- Gets people to take action
Shouldn’t every piece of writing fall under this category?
Yes and no. Conversion copywriting isn’t appropriate for every piece of copy your company produces. Often, your copy should be more customer-success-focused, rather than always trying to get a user to click this or buy that. But, the data-driven foundation that makes conversion copy tick? That you can use everywhere.
And this is the real difference between good copy, great copy, and copy that converts: Data.
3 easy ways to use data to produce more effective copy
Find out what’s working for you
The most basic data you can use to improve your copy is this: Find what copy performs better than other copy.
Which blog posts get more views? What do they have in common? On OkDork, their writer Nate Desmond noticed that using statistics in headlines generated 10-times the engagement. He then broke down how to “scrape” your blog to analyze your own data.
“First, scrape your basic website information (titles, authors, categories, dates, etc).
Second, add social statistics for each post (Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, etc).
Finally, use Excel to uncover interesting correlations that will help you grow your blog faster.”
Find out what isn’t working for you
Joanna Wiebe measures and tests just about everything. Her recommendation: “If you want to measure your copy so you can improve it, give every element 1 job to do.”
When your copy challenge is to optimize a sales page, for example, you’ll first need to identify your primary problem.
- You’re not getting leads.
- Leads aren’t qualified.
- Super high bounce rate.
- No one makes it to the shopping cart.
- They make it to the shopping cart, but abandon it.
Or, whatever it is.
From there, it’s time to diagnose what combination of copy, design, and UX is the culprit. Focusing on copy, she suggests: “You have to start thinking like this: Every single line of copy and element on the page is responsible for its own job. Like on an assembly line, every element on your page and in your funnel has 1 job to do to keep a conversion moving forward.”
When each element, such as a headline, body text, lead gen form or CTA button, has its own job, you can better pinpoint where the breakdown happens. Is it bounce rate? Then something hinky is happening between your headline and body text. Leads aren’t qualified? That tells you that your copy isn’t effectively appealing to your ideal clients (while weeding out less ideal clients).
But you shouldn’t have to guess.
Never guess when you can test.
You can collect your own data by experimenting with split-tests of different copy (one at a time, please) to find what words work best to create the conversions you want.
Mine users for data
Your users are the single best source of data you can use to produce copy that’ll knock their socks off. Using Qualaroo, or any other website survey generator, create a short, sweet pop-up question on the landing page you want to optimize most:
“Please complete this phrase: ‘I want [insert a general term for your product or service] that _______”
Give your users a chance to tell you want they want, then use that data to give it to them.
But don’t stop there. Record the exact words they use (another Joanna trick) and repeat those same phrases in your copy.
Too many writers, and far too many businesses, completely ignore data when creating copy. And that’s fine if you’re writing for fun. But when your copy has a job to do, it becomes a marketing tool, and that means it has to be measurable, data-driven, and most importantly – it’s got to work.
What are some of the best examples of conversion copy that you have found? Share in the comments below.