The Original Conversion Copywriter, Joanna Wiebe
Teaches an Essential Technique for Writing Customer-Centric Copy
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Hi, there. I’m Joanna, conversion copywriter and founder of Copy Hackers. Today we are going to talk about how to take the messages that you already have on your homepage or your tours/how it works/why us? Page and make those sound like they are about your visitor or prospect rather that about you. It’s called “customer-centric copy.” So that’s our goal today, that’s what our lesson will cover. And your assignment will see you actually go and edit the copy on your pages so it sounds more like it’s about your prospect, so you can get them more interested in it. And we’ll do that right now.
Okay, so my friend, Neville, who was over at AppSumo, a copywriter there, put this really nicely once, and it’s quite memorable, and if you know Neville and you’ve read any of his stuff and taken his copywriting course, you probably heard this from him and it’s probably stuck with you. And it goes like this, “People don’t care about you, they only care about themselves.” This is something that copywriters have been saying for a long time but never quite as nicely as Neville put that or as memorably as he put it.
You on your website, you care about you. And your momma cares about you, but there’s almost nobody coming to your site that actually cares about your company, that unless you have fan boys. You probably don’t have people who are coming to your site to learn about your company. They are not coming for that. They’re not coming to learn about something that you created out of the clear blue sky or all of these other things that you might have done to get to a certain point, they don’t necessarily care about that stuff.
Later on, in experience saying in your company and brand … When they come into your site specially for the first few times before they’ve converted, they don’t care. They only care about themselves. Your message has to get down to what they want, it has to actually has to sound like it’s about them. That’s the goal, that’s the end goal. We’re not selling a product, we’re not selling a service, we’re selling our prospector or a visitor a better version of themselves. A happier version of themselves, a richer version of themselves, either way whatever it is, it’s a better version of themselves.
Your product or service fits into that, under that and helps them get there. But you’re not focusing down here on the product, you are focusing on what they really want and that is something for themselves, to satisfy the ego essentially. So one thing that we know about the way people behave, and studies have been done on this. You probably already heard about this too but it definitely applies here that means that people need to be told directly what to do.
So if there’s a fire happening, and there’s a crowd of people gathered around, no one’s doing anything. You need to point out to someone and say, “You in the red hat, go call the police” and “You, walking the dog, go grab a bucket of water.” If you just say, “Help or fire. Call the police”, nobody does that thing. The rare person does that thing, the rest of the group doesn’t. We need specific directions.
Your assignment today is not just to go through your copy and find where you talk about yourself by using the words we, our, my or your brand name but to go through and then replace those words with “you” language. With the words you and the words similar to you, similar what is for you, whatever it might be in that exact case at that point obviously. You wanted to sound, right? And sound like you just work the word you in. But there are phrase is rephrased so it’s in the point of view of you sort of talking you, you need, you want, you’ll get this – that kind of language.
The reason that we want to actually use the word “you” where possible is because it’s pointing to them in a way. It’s doing a thing that simply shouting out, “get this free” doesn’t do as well as “you’ll get this free”. There’s something more to it. You could explore that, we can talk about it later but the point is really to tap into that human desire or human need to be pointed at. This is you. You are doing this now. So that is what you’re going to do today and that’s the theory behind it. Let’s look really quickly at what that will mean for you.
Here we are on Where I Give, which is at whereigiveapp.com and we are looking at the homepage copy that leads with you and you-focused messaging. The easy way for you to donate online, don’t be enforced has an implied you. And then down below, we’re seeing nothing but “you”s. It’s leading up your whole life, your users, your organization and you’ll enjoy. Now that is what happens after we do what we’re going to do in today’s exercise. Let’s take a look at the before. This is what we’re actually working with, messages where it’s all about we. We make on-line donations easy. Where I Give offers and user-friendly experience. We help your organization, Where I Give uses. Just in having seen the previous one versus this one, we can I believe see a difference in the messages already. One is definitely you-focused, the other is fully we-focused.
Now, let’s quickly go through and see how to turn these we-messages into the you-focused messages that we just saw. But before we do that, let’s talk quickly about two scenarios in which it’s A. Okay to mention your brand name on the page or to say words like we, us, our.
Number one, situation number one is when you’re tying a thought up. We just don’t want to lead with talking about ourselves. We want to lead about talking about our prospects. Talking directly to our prospect in the second person using the you-focused messaging. We don’t want to be in the first person, we don’t want to be in the third person, we want it in the second person until we’re ready to tie up. In which case you can say something like they’re doing here, “Don’t be forced to choose between price and quality, get both with Where I Give.” So you could make this even more you-focused by saying, “You won’t be forced any longer to choose between price and quality. You will get both with Where I Give.”
The second is when you’re start up is super brand new when nobody has no clue about it and you have to make this strategic decision to put your brand name on the page. When you make that decision strategically, okay I get it. What we’re trying to do is pull back and just falling into talking about ourselves because that’s basically how we’ve been trained to talk. We want to talk about them first, us second and when strategic, talk a little bit more about us. Now let’s go through and actually edit this copy just like you’re going to hopefully do with a page on your site today.
Now, the idea is to keep the essence of the message. This is an ease message and this is about online donations, so they are offering an online donation solution and the value they’re suggesting the benefit that comes out of it is that it’s easy which suggests that the current way of doing it is hard. So we want to keep the message as it is and just reword it.
Here’s the second version, the easy way to make donations online. I think that we could add more you-language in here to really add that extra you-focused that we’re looking for. That’s it, the easy way for you to make donations online, we may want to fill it up a little bit because make donations is slightly cluncky here. The easy way for you to donate online.
Moving down, we can re-organize all of this and right now, I want to point out “Where I give offers a user-friendly experience and its browser based.” User-friendly as language is third person rather than the second person which we’re hoping for. Which means users can donate. You would never want to talk about your prospect or the person who’s visiting your page and considering your solution as a user. You don’t want to say those kinds of words to them. It would really be which means you can donate wherever there’s Internet access. It’s really as often as easy as just slipping in the word you and that’s what Bob’s, your uncle.
Here’s an updated version that begins with you, it’s keeping the message the same about Internet access versus having to go down and actually drop your envelope into a mailbox. We can see how many instances of you or your type messaging there is in here. Your, you, you, you. We don’t say we anywhere at all.
This second line already leads with you so we’re not going to worry about it. The third one, “We help your organization make money by pledging, affordability”. I’m not sure what pledging affordability is and to me it feels a little bit like a typo or a slip up or an edit that went wrong at some point. So let’s not focus on the confusing language here but rather again on just leading with you. We can simply take out the part we don’t want and now we’ll left with, “Your organization make money by pledging affordability”, obviously is not right.
Finally, “Where I Give uses a state of the art web technology to ensure that all data is stays encrypted and secure.” We can do a lot to add in some you-focused messaging here. There we have it, “You’ll enjoy the state of the art web technology so you can be sure that all your data stays encrypted and secure.”
That is the exercise today. Go in and make those very simple changes to the language you’re already using on your site. Do it today, publish today. The goal again is not to change the message, it’s to change the wording so that were leading with “you”. Down the road if you want to test a different messages, great. I would recommend a better practice to lead with “you” in all the messages that you test. And if you don’t, that will make a very interesting test. So there you have it. Good luck.