Ahhhh Salesmen!: How to Not Scare Away Prospects With Your Website’s Marketing Language
What kind of marketing results is your website producing? Are you attracting new leads that are filling out calls to action, or are people hitting the back button as soon as they read your page’s headline? How you word your sales pitch can make or break your entire marketing campaign.
When crafting your marketing message, one thing you must understand is that people are naturally skeptical of sales. In fact, some may even want to run and hide as soon as they sense from your website that they’re being sold to.
Today’s Secret Word is “Salesmen”
One great illustration of this fear-of-sales mindset comes from the 1980’s television show “Pee Wee’s Playhouse.” On this popular kid’s show, there’s a regular segment where Pee Wee’s doorbell rings and he’s greeted by a door-to-door salesman going straight into his predictable sales pitch. Try as he must, every call by the salesman turn out the same: With Pee Wee slamming the door and screaming, “Ahhh Salesmen!”
A website that’s out of touch with what the target audience is searching for will come off the same way as the creepy salesman puppet--being over-the-top about how great their featured product is, along with how awesome their deal is (a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!). This kind of heavy-handed approach to sales is enough to make every visitor to your website go, “Ahhhh, salesmen!”
Meecaa Lecca Hi, Mecca Copy Ho
It’s highly unlikely that your modern company utilizes the door-to-door sales strategy--not even Jambi the genie has the power to bring the position of door-to-door salesman back from the dead. Instead, it’s the wording of your online marketing campaigns and the content of your website that acts as “a virtual salesman” of sorts.
The words used on your website that are designed to convert leads are known as “copy,” and according to Dan Levy, Content Strategist at Unbounce, “Copy is so pivotal to the success or failure of your landing page that it’s easy to take it for granted. No matter how valuable your offer or beautiful your design, it’s the actual words on the page that will ultimately persuade prospects to click, or drive them to bounce.”
I Know You Are, But What am I... Saying to You?
Now that we’ve established the importance of copywriting, it’s time to hone in on your message. In the same way that a salesman takes extra care to perfect their sales pitch, so too must you scrutinize every word on your landing page and marketing campaign in order to make it as relevant, persuasive, and engaging as possible.
The nitty-gritty details like this should be based on both your goals and the expectations of your audience. For example, the reason why door-to-door is such a highly ineffective sales method is because the audience is at home where they’re not expecting, or wanting to hear, a sales pitch. Thus, Pee Wee’s reaction to the salesman is very true to life, and may be the same reaction your website’s audience is having if your sales copy is poorly written.
‘Cause You’ve Landed In a Place Where Anything Can Happen!
When reviewing your website’s sales copy, make your content very specific in order to meet your company’s goals. Additionally, your copy should match the tone of your company culture, and every step of your marketing plan needs to be consistently worded. A great place to start is with the expectations of your audience.
Peter Michaels, creator of Rock & Roll Copy, makes the point that the number one mistake small businesses make with their landing page copy is to focus on the product before the audience:
One thing I still see a lot of businesses doing on landing pages is focusing on their product rather than your problem. They’ll lead with telling us “How awesome this widget is” but go really soft on WHY that matter to the prospect... Remember that your customers are still people with problems to be solved. Try entering the conversation already going on in their head and they’ll think twice about closing that page.
By focusing your website’s sales copy on the expectations and needs of your target audience, you will see less doors slammed in your face and more people sticking around to hear what you have to say.