Well, I thought the new home page content sounded good... But the sky was dimming, the beer in my fridge was calling to me, and I couldn't decide whether a potential customer would understand this headline.
When tired at the end of a day buried in subheadings and testimonials, trying to judge the impact of my own work left me wanting to throw up my hands and shout 'how the hell am I mean to know?!?'
Three Questions to Self-Assess Your Copy
Now you've probably heard how being specific in your copy will let you connect more strongly with the reader. But...how do you know if you’ve managed this?
Having a defined benchmark or aim can illuminate the way ahead when reviewing your work. So, I came up with a set of three questions to reveal the weaknesses, prompt me in to how to overcome them, and then ensure I'm matching reader expectations.
Q1, What else could this apply to?
First up is my new favourite question of ‘what else could this apply to?’ Challenge yourself to think broad, even to other industries or customer types.
This is already miles better than the common ‘grow your business’ statement that could apply to any b2b startup. But let’s ask ourselves what else could this apply to? My answers include
Q2, How can I exclude these other answers?
Our follow up then becomes what could we add or modify to exclude these other answers?
Browsing the rest of the site reveals Routific to be awesome for routes with lots of stops. Mentioning this would remove most of those single A to B applications. So we could modify the statement to become:
Plan all of your delivery stops in minutes
This removes the there-and-back-again answers, but still leaves answers like google maps where you can add multiple stops. We could add many further modifications here to remove other wrong interpretations, but we'll move on to the third question
Q3, Is this how my customers would describe it?
We can look for inspiration from how clients have described the product. This is vital to ensure visitors don't have to sit and translate your statements into how they would naturally think about it.
This can be subtleties like noticing a difference in testimonials between having to plan routes before with other satnavs, but now they receive them from Routific. Another testimonial talked about 'fastest, most efficient route' which is far more descriptive than route optimisation.
Feeding in these changes creates the statement
Receive the fastest, most efficient routes to make all your deliveries
How do you think this compares to the original 'plan your delivery route in minutes'? If you were Routific's ideal customer of a delivery fleet manager, do you think you'd respond differently to seeing these two statements?
Time to Iterate
I hope you didn't think you were done!
You should now go back to the first question, and start again. The answers will become more subtle, but that's a sign of progress.
The answers will become more subtle, but that's a sign of progress
For instance, Routific's new statement could still apply to people planning flights and shipping routes, in which case changes like drive to all your deliveries could make the statement instantly connect more closely with anyone organising a fleet of vans.
The challenge is to narrow it down to the point where even your direct competitor would find it hard to truthfully say your statement
If your visitors aren’t getting that ‘wow, this sounds great!’ feeling then check you’re getting to the heart of the matter in everything you’re saying.
Step 1: Ask yourself ‘who else could this apply to?’ in terms of both other industries, companies or customer types.
Step 2: Next think through 'what details can I add or modify details to remove those other interpretations?'
Step 3: Now to make it more relatable, check 'is this how much customers would describe it?'
You can then apply this to everything from a headline to your feature list to ensure that your visitor really ‘gets’ how you can help them. For example, Routific could refine this statement as invoicing software also helps me win back time.
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