And that’s okay.
In fact, that may actually help you sell more.
Consider the following ‘messages’ we take in regularly:
- “The following program is intended for adult audiences only. Viewer discretion is advised.”
- A symbol of a stick figure in a skirt on a bathroom door
- A sign reading “Business” over one of the tellers at the bank
Those messages are there to help consumers understand if they’re in the right spot — if they should take what’s being offered. They usually eliminate at least half of their audience.
…Obviously, the previous examples are about weeding out people who are absolutely wrong for the item being offered. Children shouldn’t watch adult programs. Men shouldn’t go in women’s bathrooms. And businesses have unique needs that take up time, so they need to be served in a separate line.
But what about your startup? Do YOU have people coming to your site who shouldn’t be there?
If you do, your bounce rate could be quite high. Your engagement and task completion could be quite low. And your conversion rate could be suffering.
Do Your Visitors a Favor! Tell Them If They Belong
The media we consume and the places we go are designed to help us identify with a group in order to make decisions quickly. In fact, the majority of products, services, offerings and so forth are designed to be consumed by one market, market segment or sliver of a market segment.
And that market needs to be told X is for them.
Which means your website visitors need to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they’re looking on the right site and looking at a solution that is highly likely to work for their needs.
Hence, the “ideal-for statement”. As in, “this movie is ideal for adults” or “this bathroom is the one girls choose” or “this teller will serve you, if you’re a business”.
In the case of the average website, that ideal for statement could be like any of the following:
Ideal for startup founders, including programmers, designers and product marketers
Designed for single moms and dads
Created exclusively for tween girls, tween boys and their parents
Ideal for small businesses building websites in-house and on a budget
Ideal for statements state explicitly – on the page – the types of people or industries your product is designed for and/or currently used by.
Such statements can be reassuring to people who are looking for a solution like yours… but aren’t sure if they’ve come to the right place.
Use an “Ideal For Statement” on Your Home Page or Primary Landing Page
Ideal for statements can reduce bounce and increase engagement / time on site by saying explicitly to visitors, “Yes, you should be here.”
That’s why you should have a solid ideal for statement on your home page and primary landing pages.
Although I call these “ideal for statements”, such statements, as you can see, don’t need to use the phrase “ideal for”. You could use any of the following as intro copy:
- Designed just for
- Made exclusively for
- Created for
- Intended for
- Just for
- Used by
Some ideal for statements are even part of the home page headline or value proposition. Take Bellstrike for example:
Do You Risk Alienating Some Visitors by Getting Too Specific with Your Ideal For Statement?
You should have 2 goals in mind when writing your ideal-for statement:
- Telling the right people that your solution is designed for them
- Not turning off other people who are likely to use your solution
The second goal is, for most business owners and web managers, just as important as the first. It’s important to keep select traffic – the people who may be right for your solution but may not fit nicely into your target market – from exiting if they ought to stay.
Include. Don’t exclude.
Unless you’re positive that you have a solution that’s only going to work for one segment of people, don’t make your ideal for statement unnecessarily specific.
Freckle Invoicing (LetsFreckle.com) does a great job of including without excluding:
Kagan Online doesn’t speak to any one group of teachers but to all teachers with their ideal for statement:
How Do You Find Out Who Your Solution Is Ideal For?
In Copyhackers Book 1, I recommend going out and learning about your customers before you write a word.
The same is true now. When you want to know something about your customers, ask them!
Use a simple tool like Survey.io (which, like any good drug, is free the first time you use it) to email your customers and ask them what group they identify with. Provide a short list to make it easier.
Then, craft a handful of ideal for statements using the top responses you get from customers… and test them! This is an extremely simple split test idea. And, as is the case with clean, straightforward tests, you’ll be able to learn quickly… And, with the winning recipe, you stand a better chance of converting more visitors more often.
What Happens If Your Solution Is Ideal for at Least 2 Distinct Groups?
Let’s say you created an app to help parents monitor their tweens’ mobile usage. This app might also be a great fit for businesses that would like to monitor their employees’ business phone usage.
What do you do?
You don’t want to alienate the latter group. But you wouldn’t want to include them in your ideal for statement because that would be confusing to your primary audience.
My recommendation would be to roll with the ideal for statement that best matches your “lowest-hanging fruit” – that is, the visitors to your site who are going to be easiest to convert – and then create an Adwords campaign and PPC landing page targeted to the secondary group your solution is ideal for.
Indirect Ideal For Statements: Logos & Testimonials
Most B2B startups have logos on their home page of the companies or organizations that are already using their solutions. Your home page might already be plastered with such logos.
Those logos can be persuasive in that they suggest authority… but did you realize that they can also imply who your solution is ideal for?
If you’re a business that builds websites for micropreneurs, you would want to think carefully before putting the logo of a non-micropreneur client like Intuit, Cisco or even SalesForce on your home page. Yes, it makes you look big and important – and you deserve to feel good about that – but it’s potentially confusing for your visitors and potential customers.
Be careful about using logos and testimonials from people who are far outside the segment you’re targeting.
For example, if you’re creating DIY invoicing software for small businesses, it can be odd to see a testimonial from an accountant who says they use your software to work with their small business clients. After all, this is supposed to be ideal for small businesses… so what the Helsinki is an accountant doing getting involved?
There may be an explanation, but don’t expect your visitors to put 2 and 2 together on their own.
NEXT STEPS POUR VOUS:
Craft an ideal for statement on your home page. If you don’t know who your solution is best for, send out a survey to customers or your beta sign-up list.
If you already have an ideal for statement, survey your customers to see if there are other groups that might need to be included in your ideal for statement… or that may require a landing page of their own.
You might also wish to put a KISSinsights question on your home page to see if you can learn more about the segments of traffic visiting your site and how they fit into your current ideal for statement.