Below you’ll find a number of tricks that you can use to create convincing copy for your website. We’ll discuss how to use everything from hyperbole to sarcasm to snag users and score more conversions.
Start with a Question
Creating a headline that’s a question is a great way to grab a user’s attention. Suddenly the statement is no longer passive but reaches out and demands interaction (if only internally) on the part of the reader.
This is most effective if the question is short and straightforward: “Are you listening to your customers?” is a solid example of a question that will immediately make business owners think about what you mean and whether they are missing out. Questions like this often bring realization to a reader and can cause them to doubt any reasons for not exploring your site more or trying your product. “Maybe I’m not listening to my customers. But how would I do that anyway?” If their brains take them this far, you’ve got ’em hooked.
Quote: “How nice are your emails? Let your customers decide.”
Steven Little Design
Quote: “I Make Websites, Want One?”
Quote: “Are you listening to your customers?”
Use a Metaphor
Metaphors can be a great way to make your copy more relatable to the person reading it. Rather than discussing web forms in cold technological terms, the site below calls them “fresh baked” and encourages users to “cut serve and enjoy” them.
This metaphor is carried out not just through copy but also in the visuals on the page via the chef character. This makes the site much more friendly and causes the product to feel more approachable.
Quote: “Fresh baked forms for your websites! We cooked a compliant webstandard form for you. xHTML and CSS are the secret ingredients! Cut, serve and enjoy!”
Quote: “Get notified when the scales of love tip in your favor at your favorite local hangouts.”
Tell Them It’s Easy
There are very few statements that website users want to hear more than “it’s easy.” This is especially true among productivity and team management apps which have been traditionally over-complicated. One of the key elements that prevents users from signing up for a service is that they simply don’t want to take the time to learn it. By assuring them that the learning curve is low or non-existant, you’re directly addressing one of their primary reservations.
Just make sure your website is in fact easy to use before making this claim. There’s no quicker way to make a customer mad than providing them with a complex system while promising a simple one!
Quote: “Crazy simple client tracking for small teams.”
Quote: “Productivity isn’t about drop-downs, or rating systems. It’s about quickly recording the things that need done, capturing what you don’t want to forget, and charting your way to the finish line.”
Quote: “Shoply is the easiest way to sell online. We’re not joking, seriously!”
Quote: “Spend less time managing your projects & tasks
and more time doing them.”
Tell Them Who It’s For
This one is extremely simple and extremely effective: state who the site is for in the headline. If you’ve built an app or blog specifically for a select group, let them know! When browsing various email campaign options, I was most impressed with Campaign Monitor simply because they stated that it was “for designers” in their headline copy.
This single statement told me that they had built this entire service with me in mind and that if I was going to like any of these services, surely this would be the one.
Quote: “Email Marketing Software for Designers and Their Clients”
There’s nothing wrong with a little confidence, even to the point of near hyperbole. Notice the words used in the statements below: perfection, beautiful, stunning, etc. These companies aren’t shy about the greatness of their work.
If you’re confident in your product, don’t be afraid to use grandiose verbiage to describe it. Keep it short and simple, but do it justice.
Quote: “Websites Mixed to Perfection”
Quote: “We craft beautiful and useable websites.”
Quote: “We design, build and host stunning websites.”
The Color Cure
Quote: “We are the cure for all things ordinary.”
Ask For Help
The site below caught my attention because it was a simple and honest plea for help. This guy moved to a new city and wants a job, so he asked anyone who finds this site to help him out by sharing it. I saw humanity in the words that he wrote and genuinely felt like I was doing a good deed by sharing it.
If you want to ask a simple favor of the people stopping by your site, don’t skirt around the issue, come right out and ask. Use plain and clear language just as if you were speaking to a friend.
Quote: “To get there I’m going to need some help. All I’m asking is for you to share this website and somebody, somewhere in Copenhagen might just see it. You never know what that could lead to.”
I love the wit that went into the statements below. What better way to describe a URL shortener than “the incredible shrinking URL?” It’s a fantastic way to represent a fairly mundane service.
The second example takes the common road of using opposites to make a point. They make a “best of both worlds” claim by identifying their strengths over what you’d find in a traditional agency.
Quote: “The incredible shrinking URL”
Quote: “A big agency’s expertise with a small agency’s flexibility and creative solutions.”
Finally, when all else fails, just try to be funny. I absolutely loved the “invite me to Dribbble” plea put together in the form of the site below. It’s quite hilarious and was in fact successful in scoring the designer an invite.
The other two examples follow suit by using a little tongue in cheek humor to get their message across. This can be hard to pull off effectively and should only be attempted by those who really have a gift for sarcasm.
Please Invite Me to Dribbble
Quote: “I even drew a chart! Designers love charts!”
Quote: “One score & eight years ago, BlackRabbit was born, albeit in physicality alone. After learning to walk & talk (with limited success) sitting down at a computer seemed a better idea. The rest is history.”
Quote: “It’s rocket science without rockets or science. We know what you’re thinking. Rocket Science?! Puleese! Alright, fine, it’s a bit grandiose.”