No-one likes to think that the blog post, sales page or white paper they’ve just slaved over is being ignored or misunderstood by customers.
Unfortunately it does happen, but not without a simple fix. In today’s episode of AmyTV, we look briefly at 2 situations where it’s important to communicate your message clearly. Watch the video, then read the help below:
#1: When you need your customer to take action QUICKLY
While your customer might not be under attack from a giant spider (see video), sometimes you need your customer to get the message (and take action) quickly. For example if you…
- Have an event happening at a specific time and date
- Have an offer ending at a set time
- Want a quick response (when gathering feedback /testimonials etc)
If so, here are some tips to help you avoid your message being ignored:
State the time (+time zone), date and location clearly
If you have an event, whether it’s virtual or in person, letting people know when and where it is gives your customers a point of focus. It makes it easier to schedule if they have a clear idea of when this event will take place.
If your event is virtual, re-calculate and list the timing for other timezones. Working with clients around the world my international timezone clock isn’t bad, but working out 3pm MST in GMT can be a headache for people, so make it easier for your audience by listing the main timezones.
Promote for different timezones
If you’re using social media to promote your event, and it’s a virtual one, don’t forget to schedule posts to accommodate different timezones. Consider sending a post in the morning, afternoon and evening to cover people around the world.
Don’t be afraid to repeat
We get so much information online it’s easy to miss content about an event, and frustrating to miss an event you’d love. If you are promoting an event or offer that expires at a set-time, don’t be afraid to offer reminders to your audience. For example you might send an email promoting the event in advance, then one the week before, and then one on the actual day.
For webinars I’ve received (and sent) reminders right up until the minute of broadcasting which has worked well to improve attendance. Rather than pestering your audience, keep it conversational. For example, your email on the day of the event / offer doesn’t have to be a whole sales pitch, it might be as simple as:
Subject: Don’t forget [event name] starts today at [time]. Are you joining us?
Body: Hey [name], just a quick reminder that [event name] will be on tonight and I didn’t want you to miss it….
#2: When you need your customer to follow SPECIFIC instructions
Whether your’e telling your customer how to order, register, vote or use your product, it pays to be extra clear. It’s not always easy because writing detailed copy does take time. But it’s worth it if you can increase your conversions of readers taking actions.
Got something specific you want your customer or prospect to do? Follow these tips.
Break it down step-by-step
Unlike my husband, I love reading instruction manuals, and the rules to boardgames. I like to fully understand what needs to be done.
If you want your customer to take some action, break it down into the individual steps. For example:
- To order your [product], simple scroll to the bottom of this page
- Click the “Register” button and you’ll be taken to a secure area to make payment
- Once payment is made, check your inbox
- You’ll receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription
- Click the link in that email and you’ll be taken to your members’ area.
Not only does this make it easy for your customer to follow your instructions, it builds confidence and trust. You’re managing their expectations. They know what actions to take, and importantly, what happens AFTER those actions.
Use visual aids
Something else to consider is to use video or screenshots to illustrate exactly what you want your customer to do. Screen capture software is affordable, easy-to-use and adds an extra depth to your written content.
Mistakes that create “white noise” copywriting
This is where I see the most white noise in copywriting. The pressure to write a headline can make a business owner look for a ‘fancy’ way of saying things, believing that headlines need to be clever.
Your headline needs to do a few simple things:
- Highlight a specific audience
- Say what you’ve got
- Make a promise
A common mistake with headlines is to think of a clever sounding slogan for example:
Why wrestle with your financial challenges? Tame the beast the right way.
We know that this is about something to do with financial help, but we don’t know whether this is for personal use or businesses and it’s not clear HOW the help will be administered.
A simpler sounding headline that is more effective is:
Online software to help you get out of your debt and on top of your household finances.
It says what it is, who it’s for and what the user can expect from the product. For more help writing a headline, check out my free Headline Shaker Maker.
Missing out important details
I worked with an organisation that, as part of the wider content marketing strategy wanted to improve event sign ups. The events were run by external companies, and the company I worked with simply promoted them. But on the events pages, there were no links or details about how to buy tickets.
There were details about the event, the cultural significance and the benefits, but the most important detail had been missed out: how to book.
When running sales page writing workshops before we write anything participants must list all the details, big and small about their product. This is then used as a checklist after writing to make sure all the information the customer needs is there.
What about you? Have you seen adverts, or content techniques that automatically make you tune out, as if the copy was white noise? Let me know in the comments below