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Strengthen your copy in 35 minutes: Proven strategies to boost the effectiveness of your words

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You are under constant pressure to quickly pump out copy, often under seemingly impossible deadlines. Without always having the time to test, how can you give your copy the best chance of actually being effective?

In this 35-minute Web clinic, we’ll dive into over 15 years of research from the MECLABS Institute to answer such questions as:

• How long should your copy be?
• What format should it take?
• What should you emphasize?
• What order should it be presented in?

During the November Web clinic, we will share numerous tests that have revealed actionable tactics to strengthen copy across emails, landing pages and PPC ads, and provide attendees with transferable takeaways that they can leverage for their own copy.

Published in: Marketing

Strengthen your copy in 35 minutes: Proven strategies to boost the effectiveness of your words

  1. 1. Strengthen Your Copy in 35 minutes: Proven strategies to boost the effectiveness of your words
  2. 2. We’re sharing on Twitter! #WebClinic
  3. 3. #WebClinic Today’s speakers Austin McCraw Senior Director, Content Production, MECLABS Institute Kylie Hyer Curriculum Design Manager, MECLABS Institute
  4. 4. #WebClinic Which version will win? Version A Version B 36% Conversion
  5. 5. #WebClinic Which version will win? Version B Version A 188% Increase In Conversion
  6. 6. #WebClinic Which version will win? Version A Version B Conversion 330% Conversion
  7. 7. How Copy Relates to Thought Sequences and Story People’s thoughts arrange themselves into a story. Therefore, understanding your customer’s thought sequence comes down to understanding the basic structure of a story. Each part of the conversion process can be tied to story. Exposition Climax Resolution Beginning (The Setup) Middle (The Confrontation) End (The Resolve) ACT 1 ACT 2 ACT 3 Climax Rising Act. Resolution Falling Act. Exposition SUB STORY
  8. 8. In today’s clinic, we will discuss five discoveries that will help you strengthen your copy. Today’s Focus
  9. 9. Strengthen Your Copy Key Discoveries 1. You have only seven seconds to arrest the attention of your prospect.
  10. 10. Lead With Value Though the term “Dedicated Servers” was used several times in the existing copy, none of the instances detailed the value of the product. This new version utilizes copy that detailed the credibility and exclusivity of the product being offered. From this To this 188% Conversion
  11. 11. Lead With Value To this From this The original headline asks customers to complete a difficult form without first orienting them or giving them a compelling reason to do so. The new headline better emphasizes what customers “get” for signing up. Conversion 103%
  12. 12. Lead With Value SUBJECT: Get the NEW [Name] for 50% off SUBJECT: Save 50% on your choice of two new subscription options FROM THIS TO THIS Design Open Rate Relative Change Get the NEW [Name] for 50% off 15.9% -- Save 50% on your choice of two new subscription options 21.1% 32.7% Increase in Open Rate33%
  13. 13. Strengthen Your Copy Key Discoveries 1. You have only seven seconds to arrest the attention of your prospect. 2. Never present the solution before building the problem.
  14. 14. Experiment IDs: [Protected] Record Location: MECLABS Research Library Test Protocol Number: TP1700 Background: An organization that offers a single car repair product for a specific problem. Goal: To increase overall product sales. Research Question: Which page copy will generate the highest sales conversion rate? Test Design: A/B multi-factorial test Experiment: Background
  15. 15. Experiment: Control Headline: [Company name] Repairs [Problem] In Just One Hour Customer Problem Questions:  Does my car have a blown head gasket?  How do I know it is blown?  What are the consequences of a blown head gasket?
  16. 16. Experiment: Treatment Headline: [Company name] Repairs [Problem] In Just One Hour Customer Problem Questions:  Does my car have a blown head gasket?  How do I know it is blown?  What are the consequences of a blown head gasket?
  17. 17. Headline: Does your car have a blown head gasket?  Does my car have a blown head gasket  How do I know it is blown?  What are the consequences of a blown head gasket? Experiment: Treatment
  18. 18. Headline: Steel Seal Repairs Broken Head Gaskets In Just One Hour Customer Problem Questions:  Does my car have a blown head gasket?  How do I know it is blown?  What are the consequences of a blown head gasket? Experiment: Treatment
  19. 19. Design Conversion Rate Relative Difference Version A 1.33% - Version B 1.81% 36.1% Relative Increase in Sales36%The new page copy increased product sales by 36.1%. Experiment: Results ! What you need to understand: By significantly escalating the problem, the Treatment page generated a 36% relative increase in product sales.
  20. 20. #WebClinic Strengthen Your Copy Key Discoveries 1. You have only seven seconds to arrest the attention of your prospect. 2. Never present the solution before building the problem. 3. Clarity trumps persuasion.
  21. 21. #WebClinic Experiment: Control • The headline is company-centric and doesn’t clearly state the value of the product. • The copy fails to note specific points of value.
  22. 22. #WebClinic Experiment: Treatment • The new headline and sub-headline clearly describe exactly what customers get. • Bullets are used to emphasize the valuable features of the service in an easy-to-read format.
  23. 23. #WebClinic Experiment: Side-by-side TreatmentControl 103% Conversion
  24. 24. #WebClinic Design Conversion Rate Control 1.00% Treatment 2.03% % Relative Change: 103% Relative Increase in Free Trials103%By implementing more effective copy that clearly presents the value proposition, the Treatment outperformed the Control by 103%. Experiment: Results
  25. 25. #WebClinic Clarity Trumps Persuasion From this The original headline utilizes a creative ask, but lacks specificity about the actual product. This revised headline clearly describes exactly what is being offered. To this 330% Conversion
  26. 26. #WebClinic Strengthen Your Copy Key Discoveries 1. You have only seven seconds to arrest the attention of your prospect. 2. Never present the solution before building the problem. 3. Clarity trumps persuasion. 4. Be ruthlessly unsentimental with your copy.
  27. 27. #WebClinic27 Background: A company offering professional financial advice to investors and consumers. Goal: To increase marketable email captures in the subscription process. Research Question: Which page will have the highest email capture rate? Test Design: A/B multi-factorial split test Company: (Protected) Record Location: MECLABS Research Library Experiment ID: TP2011 Experiment: Background
  28. 28. Experiment: Treatments 16.52% 19.95% 23.14% 25.40% Conversion increases as page-length decreases Control T1 T2 T3 54% Increase In Conversion
  29. 29. Copy Length The original form is long and doesn’t call out specific points of value. The new form is significantly shorter and focuses only on the key points of value. Not this But this 43%Increase In Conversion
  30. 30. Copy Length Not this But this 138%Increase In Conversion The original form is long and doesn’t call out specific points of value. The new form is significantly shorter and focuses only on the key points of value. When does long copy outperform short copy?
  31. 31. Copy Length • Average short-form page template with a rotating banner. • Call-to-action is on the right hand side and “above the fold.” Control
  32. 32. Copy Length Treatment — Top
  33. 33. Copy Length Treatment — Middle
  34. 34. Copy Length Treatment — Bottom
  35. 35. Copy Length: Side-by-side Treatment Control 220% Conversion
  36. 36. Design Conversion Rate Relative Difference Control 0.78% - Treatment 2.48% 220% Increase in Total Conversions220%The new page copy length increased total conversions by 220%. ! What you need to understand: By increasing the amount of information presented on the page, the Treatment page generated a 220% relative increase in conversion. Copy Length
  37. 37. Remember: Smaller asks benefit from shorter copy; larger asks require more. ! Copy Length
  38. 38. Strengthen Your Copy Key Discoveries 1. You have only seven seconds to arrest the attention of your prospect. 2. Never present the solution before building the problem. 3. Clarity trumps persuasion. 4. Be ruthlessly unsentimental with your copy. 5. Asks must align with expectations.
  39. 39. Experiment: Control
  40. 40. Experiment: Treatment
  41. 41. Experiment: Side-by-side Treatment Control 104%Conversion
  42. 42. Asks Must Align With Expectations To thisFrom this 7%In Clicks 125%In Conversions
  43. 43. Asks Must Align With Expectations To thisFrom this 548% In Conversions
  44. 44.  Does my copy immediately arrest the attention of the prospect?  Am I sufficiently building the problem before presenting the solution?  Does my copy clearly express the value of my offer?  Am I using the proper amount of copy relative the magnitude of my ask?  Does my call-to-action align with the expectations of my prospect? Checklist: Strengthen your copy

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