At CTA Conf in 2014, I presented on 3 things I know to be true after a decade spent writing copy.
One of those things was (and is) this: If you want to stop struggling with how to write and measure the success of your copy, make every element you write responsible for one job only.
Here’s the idea.
Everyone wants to write better-performing copy. Agreed?
And by “better performing”, we generally mean “copy that sells better.” Yes?
But when it comes time to a) write or b) assess what’s going on with your copy that’s preventing conversions, the whole page becomes one big mess of Copy. A blur. You see the forest; you don’t see the trees. So you decide to burn down the whole forest and start from scratch rather than find the offending tree, chop it down and plant a more suitable one in its place.
That’s because it seems like there’s no way to find said Offending Tree.
But there is.
If you know what the problem is, you can find the culprit in your copy. Importantly, the problem is not “We’re not converting.” If you want to optimize your site, you need to go deeper than that. Problems you identify may be:
- We’re not getting any leads from this landing page
- The leads we’re getting aren’t qualified
- Our lead-gen page has crazy bounce rates
- Our emails keep going to spam
- No one’s opening our emails
- They open our emails but they don’t click the links
- Our engagement sucks on this page – exit rates are higher than usual
- No one’s even making it to our cart
- The time on page in our checkout is super high, but paid conversions are low
All of the above can be solved. With copy, design and UX. But starting with copy.
You just have to find the culprit… the Offending Tree…. the element preventing conversions, business growth and piles of money you can swim in.
And to do that, 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. Failure to do one job stops the line. You, the factory manager, then go to that problem point on the line and fix it.
Check out what I mean in this shareable graphic for CRO stars everywhere:
But I want to point something important out.
Each element is acting independently and is responsible for its own job.
But the elements must all work together toward a common goal: producing a conversion at the end of the line.
I say this because you might look at the above and go, “Wait, Joanna, if an email CTA is only responsible for getting a click, then there’s all sorts of trickery that it could be doing to get that click. When the prospect lands on the subsequent landing page, conversion rates could totally plummet because the email CTA was all wrong. Or because the email body promised something that the landing page couldn’t deliver. Or–!!”
To which I’d say you’re right.
But you’re jumping ahead.
If the email body engages by promising terrific results, which leads to a juicy CTA the prospect rushes to click, and if the prospect then lands on a landing page but bounces quickly – as would happen if the email CTA was tricky – then we can identify that the landing page headline is not doing its job: to keep prospects. That’s good. That’s great, actually. By identifying the landing page headline as the problem, we are not saying the headline is wrong; we’re just saying the assembly line falls apart at the point of the landing page headline. We can then say, “The problem is that the landing page headline is not keeping prospects.”
And we can then say, “Well, what might it be doing wrong?”
Like any good factory manager, we’d look at both the headline and the step (or two) that came before. There, we could identify a disconnect between the email CTA and the landing page headline. And we could develop at least 2 testing options:
- Test a different CTA in the email
- Test a different headline on the landing page
Quite painlessly, you can put an end to tricky CTAs and actually improve your overall conversion rate.
You’ve tried writing everything so it’s all responsible for either an opt-in or a paid conversion.
That hasn’t made your life easier.
So test the Assembly Line technique for writing and optimizing copy throughout your funnel.
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