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9 Ways to Write Higher-Converting Copy

Lianna Patch

Conversion copy + comedy + cats. Working mostly with #ecommerce and #SaaS. Wanna write better, funnier copy? Get Just The Tips: https://t.co/gRTNYWU4Ed

New Orleans, LA
Lianna Patch

1. 4 MUSTS of high-converting copy

1. Pull copy directly from customer research

  • mine your own reviews and competitor reviews
  • mine support chat transcripts and ask support people what they hear
  • send surveys and polls (3 open-ended questions max)

You're looking for patterns, preferences, and phrases. Pay special attention to sticky phrases like "I want to be burried on top of this mattress."

User survey results can be ripe with sticky phrases

The more customer research data you look through, the more gold you'll find. It's more helpful to have the quotes in context.

Here are some example survey questions to ask:

  • What was going on in your life that led you to consider #{product}?
  • How will #{product} make your life better?
  • What would make #{product} irresistible to you?
  • Who do you think #{product} is perfect for?

That last question in particular is useful because it can open you up to markets you weren't even considering.

2. Lighten up!

For a lot more on humor in copy, check out Patch's 2018 talk How to Be Funny (Even If You’re Not): Improv-Inspired Copywriting Tips for Software Founders.

Amy Hoy's email for Pep is full of light humor

Here are a few tips:

  • aim to reduce anxiety and build trust
  • give your brand an unmistakable voice
  • joke about what you know, like common problems, objections, and feelings

3. Get emotional

Wistia tells a story starring you, the uploader

Tell a story starring your reader. Help them envision your SaaS in their life.

Try using harder-hitting adjectives and verbs. For example:

  • Great => Phenomenal
  • Easy => Foolproof
  • Miss out => Sacrifice
  • Find => Discover
  • Take advantage of => Grab

4. Pay attention to the details

Lianna Patch calls opportunities to have humor in small details "copy-tunities." Some places to hide fun bits of humor:

  • click trigger copy ("yup, this is my email" on email verification emails)
  • trial or upgrade policies
  • 404 pages
  • photo captions
  • easter eggs
  • thank you pages ("Email us at help@harrys.com with any quesitons, suggestions, or your favorite Gordon Lightfoot track.")

2. 4 LTV-Growing emails to improve activation + increase customer LTV (that virtually no one is sending)

1. The personal onboarder

An example of a great personal onboarding email

Send this email in plain text after the account is created, but before activation.

2. The preemptive segmenter

A preemptive segmenting email

Send this email near the beginning of onboarding. This helps get buy-in early. You can tailor following emails to their needs or job role.

3. The real person case study

A great real person case study email

Send this email during onboarding to reinforce your value. Tell the story of a real user: from pain/problem to discovering you, to ultimate happiness and/or world domination.

4. The exclusive upgrade invite

loom sends an exclusive upgrade invitation that makes users feel amazing

Send to regular or longtime users. Reward loyalty and spark excitement with a sneak peek at upcoming features, and make existing users feel like VIPs!

Recap of onboarding flow

  1. Welcome email with ONE next step
  2. Personal onboarder from the founder
  3. Reminder of concrete value your SaaS provides (real person case study)
  4. ??? (segmented activation emails and next steps)
  5. Exclusive upgrade invite

3. 4 Conversion-Killing Copy Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

1. Me-Centric Copy

It's not about you - it's about your reader! Write in second person (the "you" voice).

Don't write an email about yourself.

Fix your copy by flipping sentences into "you" voice. For example: "our product lets you get contracts signed faster" => "get your contracts signed faster."

2. Writing like a robot

"Take a peek into our March updates" isn't how people talk, so don't write that way in emails.

To avoid talking like a robot, dictate your draft copy into your voice recordings app. Better yet, record a Zoom conversation with a target user to explain your product. You can use rev.com to get transcripts.

3. Sentences trying to do too much

Sentences trying to do too much don't accomplish anything.

Avoid writing sentences trying to do too much by giving every sentence one (and only one) job. If a sentence isn't getting readers to the next sentence, cut it.

Great copy has sentences that accomplish only one job each.

4. CLICHEEEEEEES + nonsense phrases (God, the clichés)

Phrases like "unparalleled experiences" and "exclusive offers" don't actually mean anything. Similarly, "jump in and get started," "loop back around," and "circle back around" are ambiguous and uncompelling. Instead,

Good copy has compelling and specific calls to action that describe exactly what's about to happen.

Cut other copy clichés like:

  • quick and easy
  • ${verb} like never before
  • you'll love how...
  • makes ${thing} a breeze
  • ${adjective}, yet ${adjective}
  • ${word}. ${word}. ${word}.

TL;DR

  • pull directly from research
  • get emotional and personal
  • capitalize on details and copy-tunities
  • kill cliches and overworked sentences
  • lighten up a little!

Questions

Contact Lianna @punchlinecopy, and check out more fun stuff.

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