I noticed that quite a lot of websites on the "Share your startup" thread lack the basic principles of copywriting. So I wrote this post to help you out.
If you've not heard of copywriting before, it's simply salesmanship in print.
Now, I'm not saying that your website has to be salesy. No one likes that! But it needs to sell. That's why you have one in the first place.
Use empathy. Don't manipulate. Don't hard sell. Don't be aggressive. Persuade with compassion.
Do your research first
Research is very important. I can't stress this enough. You already know your target audience. Now, dig deeper. Find out what they like and don't like about your competitors. Notice how they speak on forums, social media, and the keywords they use in reviews.
Why is research so important? You are writing for your ideal customer, not for yourself. What you believe in doesn't matter. Your opinions don't matter. You don't know what's best, your ideal customers do even though you may fit the buyer persona.
You need to put yourself in your prospects' shoes and see things from their perspective.
Focus on one big idea – your USP
Highlight your USP first then build on it with the benefits and features of your product/service.
We find it easier to focus on one thing at a time. Your readers will find it easier to differentiate you from competitors with one thing. So highlight your USP in the main title and optional subtitle, then use the headings, subheadings, and body to build on it.
You can be creative with the wording but use a voice your ideal customer can relate to.
Here's an example:
main title: "Unlimited movies, TV shows, and more."
subtitle: "Watch anywhere. Cancel anytime."
heading #1: "Enjoy on your TV."
heading #2: "Download your shows to watch offline."
heading #3: "Watch everywhere."
Write like how your ideal customers speak
Use the language your prospects use in terms of slang and technical jargon. Use the keywords they use they talk about their pain points and the perfect solution to their problem. Match their tone as well.
This makes you sound like someone who can relate to them and understand their problems.
Your website is like your salesperson working 24/7. So write as if you're speaking to one person.
Every visitor has a one-on-one interaction with your website. Using "you" will let them know that you're directly speaking to them, like how I'm directly speaking to you.
As the saying goes: if you're speaking to everyone, you're speaking to no one.
Add social proof or an alternative
If you have testimonials, reviews, client lists, places you've been featured in, add them. It builds credibility instantly.
If you don't, find another way to build authority. It could be your values, your process, your background, your team's background. You can also add badges or even make a promise.
Earn. Their. Trust.
Be clear and concise
Get straight to the point. Don't waste your reader's time beating around the bush.
For example, instead of this:
"Our team has already been recognized by market leaders and we are setting the trend for industry standards."
"Our team is recognized by market leaders as industry trendsetters."
ONE compelling call to action
Stick with ONE call to action. The more CTAs, the lower the conversion rates. This is because of decision fatigue (the weary feeling you get after being faced with too many decisions).
If you have to use more than one, use different colors and text sizes to contrast between them. You may also make one look more compelling than the other.
You can repeat this call to action throughout your landing page. But make it easier for them to choose by sticking with a uniform text. More variations will give your prospect decision fatigue.
I hope this helps! And hope I'll now see more r/startups websites following these basic copywriting principles.
Any questions? Go ahead and pick my brain!