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Conversion Copywriting: Copy Teardowns & Message-Mining

Whether you like it or not, copywriting is an essential skill for any marketer or conversion rate optimizer.

This week’s review is going to be all about copywriting. I know what you are probably thinking… “Oh God, I really don’t like copywriting” and I will tell you right now, you are not alone.

For the longest time I used to really hate writing. It felt long, time-consuming, and honestly a waste of time… That was until I wanted to become a marketing expert and realized the only way to truly sell something is well… through words.

Whether you like it or not, copywriting is an essential skill for any marketer or conversion rate optimizer. You need to understand how to communicate to your audience and convey the right messaging for your product or service.

Getting this right takes time and it definitely should. There’s research and analysis that goes behind writing good copy and for that reason I am going to be reviewing a copywriting course at CXL Institute to give you the ins and outs of copy teardowns and message-mining!

Conducting A Copy “Teardown” AKA: Copy Audit

So first of all, you are probably wondering, “What is a copy ‘teardown’ and how is it used”?

According to Momo at CXL, a copy “teardown” is an auditing copy on any website page to see if it addresses the conversion formula. (see a sneak peek to the document below)

Your website copy teardown addresses the following conversion requirements:

  • Orient Upon Entrance – Do you have a clear UVP?
  • Appeal to User Motivation – Are you addressing needs and desires or eliminating pain-points?
  • Convey Unique Value – Does your site clearly explain the advantages of your product or service?
  • Establish Credibility – Do you have endorsements from your customers or high-profile media?
  • Address Objections/Fears – Are you offering any guarantees?
  • Present The Offer – Does the CTA focus on acquiring value or the desired outcome? Is it the most dominant thing on the page?
  • Form Design – The way you ask for information on a form is honestly very important and if not done correctly can SERIOUSLY hurt your conversions. So this part of the teardown process is crucial.

The reason for conducting a copy teardown like this is to give you a sense of what’s missing or what can be improved so when you go to write a new copy you know what to add, expand upon, or take away.

I found this to be super valuable in understanding how I should write any new copy for a client. This also allows you to show a client what they are missing or doing wrong to prove why you want to make certain updates etc.

The more comprehensive data you can show to your client or to yourself to prove your theories the better!

Message-Mining: Mining Messages From Your Customers or Competitors To Write Copy That Sells

Writing copy isn’t always easy especially if you are a startup, have no reviews, and don’t know what communicates directly to your target audience. So to aid the process, we do what we call “message-mining”.

Message-mining is essentially the process of scouring the internet or other sources for instances of your target customer voicing what they care about most when it comes to your product or solution.

And it might be about a competitor product or other solutions within your space if you are sort of new to the market.

The original conversion copywriter, Joanna Wiebe once said it best, “instead of writing your message on a blank page, just steal it because the reality is, most of the time, your target customer is way more effective at recognizing and explaining what the value of your product or solution is than you are.”

And she’s right! They’re the ones who actually use it and they’re the ones who justified paying money for it, right?

So let’s get into how you perform this with a simple 5-step process.

Step one: Make a list of keywords – your brand (if well-known), your product type, and competitor brands
Step two: Google “[Keyword]” reviews. Also: complaints, forum, questions, discussion, comment.
Step three: Also check popular review sites like Amazon, Yelp, ConsumerReports, TrustPilot, TripAdvisor, Facebook Pages, and your own site reviews!
Step four: Collect into a spreadsheet
Step five: Categorize and rank the motivators/pain points, purchase prompts, objections, and swipe-worthy copy!

I found this super helpful in my own CRO work. When I started writing copy a few years back I had no idea where to start or how to begin collecting this kind of information especially when I was working at a startup at the time.

Utilizing this 5-step process will most certainly help you grasp the type of conversations your target customer is already having so you can write sales copy that speaks directly to them not at them!

Go practice this for yourself, put this information into a spreadsheet and then go look at your website to see if you’re communicating the motivations, values, and anxieties that your customers want or have.

Utilizing a Checklist For Your Sales Page

Another thing I found super valuable and learned from this program at CXL is utilizing checklists. For almost everything you do.

Momo has shared a great checklist that I think every person who is writing copy should utilize so I wanted to share that with you here. Use this checklist to check your sales page copy as I do!

  1. Are you being as CLEAR as possible about what you’re offering and why?
  2. Did you make sure that your page’s hero copy (above the fold copy) is closely aligned with the copy that compels most users to click over to the page (ad copy, SERP copy, etc.)?
  3. Did you overwhelm the reader with awesome value? Would someone read your page and think “holy crap, this is an amazing opportunity that would make my life SO much better”?
  4. Would your copy stand up to and clearly address a skeptical, grumpy prospect’s 2 questions of “So what?” and “Prove it”?
  5. Did you remove dull, abstract, or generic descriptions with word pictures (i.e. copy that paints a picture)?
  6. Does your copy explicitly call out things that should be noticed in your imagery/video?
  7. Does your imagery/video explicitly support the messaging of the copy?
  8. Have you gone through and cut EVERYTHING that isn’t doing at least one of the following tasks:
    1. … reflecting/matching your reader’s motivation?
    2. … conveying/clarifying the value that’s being offered?
    3. … proving a claim?
    4. … addressing anxiety?
    5. … adding authenticity or memorable specificity?

If you want to build a powerfully successful CRO program within your business reach out to us for a free consultation. We’ll see how we can help you achieve your business goals through CRO!

I’ll see you in the next blog post and happy optimizing!

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