A Quick Trick for Writing 1 Page for 2 Audiences

Speak to 2 audiences at 1 timeMy first startup was a realtor rating site called What Customers Say. On the home page for What Customers Say, we had to speak to two groups: 1) realtors and 2) home buyers and sellers.

Naturally, the value + benefits associated with using the rating site were very different for realtors than for home buyers / sellers. But we knew we needed to speak to both groups because, well, we were a startup, and we were trying hard to grow both sides at the same time.

My second startup was Page 99 Test, a site where fiction readers rate one page of a book submitted by a novelist.

Once again, we had 2 groups to attract… and 2 groups to keep on the site. All with a single home page as an entry point. And with a single headline on that page.

Is it easy to speak to both groups? Um, no. When you’re actually faced with sitting down and writing the copy, you can only pray that someone walks in and gives you something else to do.

But even then – eventually – you have to get back to the task at hand.

Sometimes, you choose one audience and subordinate the other. That’s the easiest approach, from a copywriter’s perspective, and it’s what TutorSpree has opted to do. Even though they’re connecting 2 groups, the goal is clearly to focus on attracting students first, tutors second (see the tiny button in the top right corner):

TutorSpree

Other times, you don’t have the luxury of choosing 1 group over the other, which then begs the question…:

What Happens When You Need to Attract 2 Groups Equally… on the Same Page?

Here’s what I do. When I’m helping my startup clients with this issue, I ask them to create a Venn diagram in which the values X, Y and Z audience derive from your product are listed, and the similarities overlap.

Simple, right? Well it’s amazing how rarely people actually sit down and do this exercise, given the simplicity of doing it + the heartache it can eliminate.

Here’s an example of how it works. Let’s say you were to write the home page for Appbackr, which is a marketplace-style site offering a solution designed for both app developers and app sellers / retailers. You want to speak to both groups in the same headline… so here’s what your Venn diagram might look like:

Writing 1 home page for 2 audiences

With that Venn diagram complete – and you know it wouldn’t take you long to do – you can then craft a single home page headline that speaks to both audiences:

Where App Developers & App Sellers Make More Money & Generate More App Installs

Once your headline has brought both groups into the page, you have a few choices for displaying content to each group separately:

  1. Choose one group to target on the rest of your home page, and use a call to action to quickly drive the other group to a targeted landing page
  2. Write for both groups on the same page, but use section headers to help people identify the right message for their needs
  3. Write for both groups on the same page, but keep the page very short, driving each group to its own targeted landing page

Let’s check out what direction Appbackr takes. As you’ll see in the screenshot here, Appbackr first addresses both audiences in the headline… and then, below the PR mentions, employs the UX + messaging strategy from the third point above: they keep the page short and quickly drive each group to its own targeted landing page.

Appbackr 2 audiences 1 page

That’s it. Writing 1 page for 2 audiences is that simple. :) I mean, sure, there are always exceptions…

But if you look deep enough – or even high enough – you’ll see that there IS overlap between what your 2 audiences are looking for when they land on your site. And that overlap can be used to help you craft the right headline to reduce bounce… and increase the likelihood that your 2 audiences will actually read the more targeted messages you’ve got for ‘em elsewhere on your site.

So, have you written copy targeted at more than 1 audience before? In a comment below, tell me what strategy you used.

~joanna

 

Discover How to Write High-Converting Copy...
Without trickery. Without ugliness. And even if you're skerred of the Blank White Page...

  • Free persuasion guide
  • Free 4-part CRO copy mini-course
  • Weekly CRO copy tips

  • http://twitter.com/stargliderbr Luiz Marques

    Really liked the ideas. I usually have to write copy for programs with distinct audiences and I was always lost on how to do it. This should help.

  • http://twitter.com/copyhackers Joanna Wiebe

    It sounds like a good idea for a test, Penny! If you’re not sure whom you should target, then a split-test of a page that targets the harder-to-attract group (your control) against a page that targets both (your treatment) might really clear things up and ensure you don’t have to “make a call” without knowing it’s the right one.

  • Noely

    This is a great piece. I did notice however that while the appbacker site speaks to both developers and sellers, the images on the site seem to include only men (aka exclude women). Is this the target audience or is there an assumption that women aren’t interested in making money from apps? Not being a super feminist here, I have a public health background and have grown a sensitivity to the meaning of language and images. Eg., using phrases like disabled children versus children with disabilities…

    • http://twitter.com/copyhackers Joanna Wiebe

      Oh, Noely, you and I could share a “not trying to be a super feminist but” pulpit! :) I am in a shockingly male-dominated world — copywriting + tech startups — and I have a humanities background with major emphasis on women’s studies / feminism, so I feel like I notice / question *everything* to do with gender… and I end up holding my tongue about 99.5% of it.

      Yes, agreed that it’s strange that they focus on dudes only in their images… but maybe the cold hard truth is that the app world is currently male-dominated. If so, then I suppose they’re as right to use male-only images as a mother-focused site is right to use female-only images. Yes? That’s the trouble with marketing and targeting audiences — well, that’s one of the points of contention with mktg and it’s definitely one of the things I struggle with in the world of selling + creating messages that shape how we look at the world. Great point to bring up!—I’m glad you did.

  • http://www.toppingtwo.com/ Lance Jones

    Frequent lurker coming out of the woodwork here… :-) :-)

    I am a big fan of technique #3: “Write for both groups on the same page, but keep the page very short, driving each group to its own targeted landing page”

    Getting people to recognize themselves in some well-placed “profiling copy” and say, “That’s me!”, is a great way to generate momentum for a first-time visitor and make them feel like they’re stepping toward a solution. I also think that an immediate recognition of oneself on a home page establishes the first level of trust between a new visitor and the site owner.

  • Martin

    Very clever technique. Always thought that I had to prioritize one audience over another. Thanks for sharing!

    • http://twitter.com/copyhackers Joanna Wiebe

      Glad you like! Yeah, it’s usually the case that, as your startup grows, you can switch from speaking to both groups to speaking to just one —- but you need to have a solid number of users in X group in order to focus on Y entirely. At least, that seems to be the case if you want to grow your biz. :)