Somewhere, somehow, some Australian marketer that doesn’t understand conversion copy pooh poohed it long enough and loud enough to put us all off. Which means just about every single time I onboard a new done-for-you copy client or copy coaching client and I mention this ‘c word’ they ask;
“Isn’t conversion copywriting an American thing?”
There’s a definite difference between the way we buy in comparison to other countries. A lot of our decision making depends on our own psychology – which includes influences from how we’ve been raised, our values and belief systems, and what we believe in. This can be further influenced by the country we’ve grown up in. And Australians are unique! No one’s arguing that.
But, it’s arrogant to say Australians don’t respond to conversion copywriting. Just like it’s a bit rude to say Americans only buy when they’re sold to.
To say conversion copywriting is an American thing is like putting yourself in your happily little labelled box and not looking outside of the 4 walls. “US markets like this, Australian markets like that, UK markets like this, and NZ marketing is hilarious”.
It’s a little ignorant. And a little wrong.
In fact, it makes conversion copywriting out to be a smarmy Salesman without respecting the good it can do your business.
Conversion copy is actually your friend. Your nice friend.
What does conversion copy do?
Fundamentally, it makes people click.
If you’ve done any of my training, you’ll remember how we discussed the pathway your reader will take (because you’ve laid out signposts and lighting for them showing them the way) through your site.
You’ll know to attack each page on your website not as an island, but as an important cog of a big, juicy whole.
You’ll know a lot of gumf about your ideal client and how they’ll probably access your website:
- They’ll usually land on your Home page.
- Then, they might click on your About page.
- Then, you’ll not let them nick off to Instagram, but direct them to your Work With Me page.
- And from there you might choose to send them to a Sales page selling one particular thing.
What is conversion copywriting according to the woman that created it?
Joanna Weibe – Copyhackers fame – is the Grand Poobah coiner of the term ‘conversion copy’. She’s the OG. We’ve all just adopted it along the way.
She says: “Conversion copywriting is about moving somebody to take action. Your role is to convince someone to say yes to your offer—whether it’s buying your product, signing up for your email list, or clicking a link to read your latest blog post.”
“The difference between writing persuasive copy and “meh” copy is how much you focus on your audience. You should be thinking about your audience the entire time you’re writing copy. It’s not about the words you would use to describe your product.”
In addition, conversion copywriting doesn’t stop where creative copywriting does.
It involves a lot more than just writing the copy, including a tonne of consumer research (not just their regular details, but more about the language they use) and then data data data. It’s less about guessing and more about going into the project with the bones in a bag. And who doesn’t want bones?
It’s also about the follow up: I firmly believe you can’t call yourself a conversion copywriter until part of your process includes checking if your copy converted (which is why, after completing the Copy Hackers course in 2019, I now include a 3 and 6 month follow up tweak to my Sales page copy and email copywriting).
It’s time to make them want to click.
Which is why you send them to your Sales page. But conversion copy doesn’t only have to be relegated to Sales pages and Sales email sequences. You can use the fundamentals on every page of your website and to build your brand voice.
Because when you use conversion copywriting you aren’t just making your ideal client feel like they’re in exactly the right spot, you’re narrowing your focus like a laser beam on just one of their problems and solving it. Quick smart.
But, aren’t our readers smarter than conversion copy?
Just like my initial resistance to pricing everything ending in a 7 or 9 (because I justified the women who bought from me were clever and wouldn’t fall for the number obviously being just $3 less than the real number), this isn’t something to resist.
Sometimes, you can’t argue with psychology.
And we know; brand storytelling isn’t enough.
Not anywhere on your website, in fact. But certainly not on your Sales pages and in emails. But it can be used, especially for Australian markets. Because Americans, they’re kind of a little bit more honest when it comes to Sales. They’re a bit, “you need this thing, you’ll want this thing, buy this thing”. It’s clean. It’s full on and as Australians we can find it a bit OTT, but it’s straight-up.
When selling to Australians, we like to lead with a story and finish with a sale.
So storytelling is a major part of how and why we buy. Blend the two, and you’re on your way.
How is conversion copy different than traditional copywriting?
Unlike traditional print copy (like in an advertisement you’d read on the back of a newspaper), conversion copy focuses on the way ideal clients like to read and react to copy, layout, and calls to action. It uses SEO keywords, Facebook marketing, or a well-designed website to bring people onto a Sales page, then carefully chooses and structures each sentence to get that reader to do something.
Just because Americans respond to it doesn’t have to mean it’s salesy, pushy, or annoying. I believe the trick is to blend what we know about our ideal client with what we know works for conversion to maximise the clicky finger itch.
What do we know works?
Research has shown that engaging (but not annoying) headlines are clickable. These are the ones that have a hook – they get the reader excited about opening and devouring the article without giving away everything in the headline.
We know speaking your ideal clients’ language is a huge conversion tool. If you have a young, funky ideal client they will appreciate language that sounds like them, for example. Which is why a big part of getting the conversion is repeating back the language of the consumer or client.
What do you need to start writing conversion copywriting?
Let’s start with a Sales page example.
- A concept of how to reverse-engineer:
What is the (single) purpose of this Sales page?
Then, work backwards.
- What does this Sales page offer as a solution?
- How will you deliver the solution?
- Who needs the solution?
- What individual problems do those people have by NOT having your thing?
Fundamentally, you need to know what your ideal client wants, what they come up against by not having this thing, and how you can clearly communicate how you can provide it.
- A good understanding of your ideal client and how they use language.
Sorry, I know, we keep coming back to this.
However, if you start banging on about why your ideal client needs this thing without really digging deep into what they believe, you’re spouting on your own point of view. No one wants to know why you think it’s good.
We only want to know why we will think it’s good.
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