7 Reasons Why Your Copy Still Doesn’t Convert

Crafting copy that actually converts your leads into customers is no easy feat. That’s why there are professional copywriters scattered across the internet, who make a living designing and implementing content strategies for all kinds of businesses. However, if you adopt the steps outlined here, and make sure to test your results and adapt over time, you should be well on your way to creating more effective copy – and winning more conversions. Here’s 7 reasons why your copy isn’t working and some tips on what to do about it:

  1. You don’t know your reader.

Research your audience. Speak to your sales and account management teams who deal directly with leads and customers day in and day out. What are they like? What do they talk about? What do they need or desire? What specifically do they struggle with? If you’re still not sure, do the unthinkable – and call them directly. Connect with them on social media. If they post something, use that intel to inform your perception of them and if appropriate, apply it to the group profile.

Send out surveys. Spotler has a nifty survey tool as part of the full suite – GatorSurvey – that’s really easy to use. Send regular surveys to customers, asking for honest feedback, and not just about your products and services but about what they are spending their time and budget on at the moment, in order to understand them better.

Another useful piece of research could be mining reviews (from your audience) online. You can make a note of the words and phrases they use and what they are happy or unsatisfied with.  The more you know about the audience you’re writing for, the more targeted and relevant your copy will be.

Here are some questions you might want to ask your account management team:

  • What problems are they attempting to solve?
  • What’s stopping them from achieving their goals?
  • How would you describe their ‘endgame’?
  • What does success look like to them?
  • How does your product solve their problems?
  • What are your customers’ primary barriers to purchasing?

Profiling your target personas is a key strategy for any marketing team. You can use our handy tool to help you do this.

Or try to think of an individual person that you know personally who fits as a target reader. If you know them personally, like in real life, you are going to approach the copywriting differently than if you’re thinking of a made up “avatar” or “ideal customer map.” And write it for that one person.

However, basing your buyer personas on real data as opposed to “gut instinct” is always preferred. This includes gathering basic customer information such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Geography
  • Hobbies
  • Interests

This can all be pulled from market research, your CRM, Google Analytics, LinkedIn Navigator, and other social media analysis tools.

    Now before you start writing, think about who this email is going to and picture the average person on your list. Give them a name even. Now put yourselves in their shoes when they read your copy. Is your message relevant, does it speak to them directly and address their needs and problems? Your copy needs to speak to these people. Whether it’s B2B or B2C – your messaging should be person to person.

    2. You write too much about your company and your product features.

    Look, I get it. You have a job to do. To sell and market your products and services. But banging on about your amazing products and everything they do will only work if your prospect is well on their way down the buying funnel anyway.  You need to think about the longer game and transforming your reader from cold lead to loyal customer. That is where your copy can have the most power.

    First step, is to determine your value proposition. Make sure you understand the following and use them to write the right copy:

    • Major customer pain points
    • Their individual goals
    • How your product meets their need
    • Why is your product different and better than the competition. How is it unique?

    Next, think about transition for your reader. What do you want them to think and do when they have read your blog or email? How can you provide them with content and messaging that will get them to that point? Think about your ‘story’ as a conversation. What do you want to say and what do you want them to reply? You could even write out the ideal script.

    Focus on your sweet spot. Trying to be everything to everyone just won’t work. So instead of fighting that fact, you should work with what you do have. As Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, puts it:

    “The sweet spot is where your particular fields of knowledge and your skill sets intersect with a passion point — something you feel is of great value to you personally, or to society at large.”

    Once you’ve found your sweet spot. You can write about it with the utmost confidence and make the copy about the reader, not about you.

    3. You forget about what you want the reader to do.

    Before you start writing, establish an objective. What’s the purpose of this email? What action are you trying to get the reader to take that’s going to help them with that specific struggle, need or desire? You need to be clear on this before you start writing. If the answer isn’t clear to you, it certainly won’t be clear to your reader.

    ACTION. That’s what persuasive copywriting is about. This isn’t writing for expression, though expression is sometimes useful to inspire action. This isn’t writing for emotional connection, though emotional connection is often times useful to inspire action. This is writing for ACTION.

    For example, the aim of writing this blog is three-fold.

    • I’d like you stop and think before you write.
    • I’d like you to write compelling copy that converts.
    • And I’d like you to consider Spotler and how our platform can help to give you that time to think and write by automating a lot of your marketing and sales activity.

    So when I’m writing this, I’m considering these outcomes and how I can guide you towards them.

    4. You’re not speaking their language.

    In the world of marketing tech, we love an acronym. AI, CRM, ESP, SAAS, SEO, CTR, PPC, CMS, CRO, CTA, ROI – and the list goes on. Now some of these are more commonly known by our audience and we can get away with using them in some of our copy. But don’t assume people know what you’re talking about. Explain the acronyms and the industry nuances. Don’t make people google your terms, make it easy for them to understand.

    If you want to write, you have to read. Reading on a wide range of topics offers mental stimulation, new ideas and loads of information. When you feed your mind, it will begin dicing up all these bits and may churn up surprisingly complex and creative concepts down the road.

    But it also gives you a feel for the language used and required within the sector you are targeting. Get to know their acronyms so you can use them like you’re already in the club!

    Don’t be too clever! Long words and hyperbole may make you sound smart, but you will be the only one who’s impressed. Ensure your text is easily digestible and gets straight to the point. It’s useful to know the Flesch–Kincaid score or reader age of your audience so you can tailor your words and phrases to suit them. Spotler has a state-of-the-art AI tool that helps your readability score within your email campaigns and takes away the guesswork.

    Sound like a human. You. Are. Not. A. Robot. Affirmative. Please don’t talk like one.

    When we talk face to face, we have no problem saying things in a casual tone. But whenever we sit down to type copy, we tend to go all formal. Write casually, as you would speak. In different industries, the tone of voice for your copywriting may vary. However, keeping things slightly casual reduces confusion and is more efficient than long-winded and vague language. Use metaphors, incomplete sentences and other unique embellishments that make you more . . . you.

    Most brands have an idea of the kind of voice they want to portray to their audience. For some companies, particularly those in B2B, that voice needs to be sophisticated, formal and chockful of information. If you’re not sure how to speak to your customers, play around with your voice a little. Check out different formats and see what has the best impact.

    5. You’re overwhelming your reader and causing inaction.

    The dreaded copy deadline. Forcing us Marketers to do stupid things every day! Instead of rushing, stop and think about what you want to say and how you want it to be received. Don’t write chapter and verse in attempt to cover all the details. Get straight to the point and make it easy for your audience to consume.

    Don’t get obsessed with word count, just give your reader enough information to give them confidence and eliminate doubt.

    If you need a formula to follow, you could use AIDA. It’s an acronym for:

    A  –  Attract Attention

    I   –  Trigger Interest

    D –  Create a strong Desire

    A –  Call to Action

    Write a clear and engaging headline or subject line. Most people will read a headline for a blog, article, or paper, but few are likely to read further, and fewer will bother to consider your copy if your headline isn’t engaging enough to capture their interest.

    A compelling email subject line is the only way to get your audience to open and start reading your emails. You can check out our page of top subject lines that win here.

    The subject line is what gets your e-mail opened, so don’t write something quickly just before sending. You have to convince your readers that they really need to open your e-mail. The best word you can use to get the reader’s attention is you. The word you says that the message is about them. Other great words for subject lines (and headlines) include new, exciting, exclusive and introducing. Also, try to keep your subject line to 50 characters or less, including spaces. I would recommend split testing your email subject lines on a regular basis to see what sort of thing your audience prefers.

    Don’t forget a killer call to action. What are you asking your reader to do? Click a button? Buy a product? Share something on social media? If you want them to buy a product, what are the necessary steps they’ll need to take? Explain so they are easy to follow.

    6. You’re not (yet) a trusted source.

    When you yourself are a customer thinking about giving your money to a new business or start-up, what’s the number one thing that stops you? Most people feel uncomfortable handing their cash over to new businesses simply because they’re not familiar with them. They haven’t built up any trust yet; so you can’t be sure whether these companies are going to offer you a great experience or deliver something depressingly sub-standard.

    Knowing and trusting people are two scenarios that usually go hand in hand. So, as a business, you need to create content that does more than just persuade your customers that you’re worth their cash and can actually make people feel that they know you.

    Trust can take time to build but the main thing is that you deliver what you promise. If you say ‘download this exciting report’ and the data is years old and not that exciting, you will lose trust.

    And back up what you say with evidence. Customer reviews, quotes and case studies can help. A brief and convincing quote can add credibility to your campaign. But do the work and make sure it’s a real one from a real customer. Fake testimonials and reviews can do more damage than good.

    Is your one-size-fits-all approach to content not working? Try shaking things up a bit. A little bit of controversy and individuality can go a long way toward helping you make an impact in today’s big, bad world. Controversy can be a dangerous thing to play with in the business world, but it can also be something that shakes your prospects out of their boring lives and forces them to take notice!

    7. You don’t get to the point.

    Write it all down. Then trim once and then trim again. As you edit, cut unnecessary words and consolidate ideas. See if you can get your text down to 30 to 50 percent of what you started with. Also, include bullet points to make it easy to read-and, more importantly, easy to scan – as most readers scan a page before deciding whether or not to read all the details.

    No one likes being explicitly sold to. It turns people off. That’s why you should sell by using a 70:30 formula, where 70% = good information and 30% = selling. This way the person gets useful information from you, plus you get to pitch them a small sale.

    Typically, people don’t like reading a sales pitch, but if it contains a tonne of valuable content, they won’t mind so much.


    So let me practice what I preach and get to the point. What’s the key to copy that converts? It’s 100% focused on the reader.

    About Spotler

    Spotler provides AI powered marketing automation and lead generation software. It’s an all-in-one inbound & outbound platform, allowing marketing & sales teams to get more leads, convert more traffic and run complete marketing campaigns. Please speak to us or book a demo to see how it works for you.

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