I have to be completely honest.
We had a bit of a strange encounter recently.
We received a call on the phone from a gentle chap who was pricing proofreading services for his new company’s website text. The design was complete, and he simply wanted a steady hand and eye to be sure that what he had was clear, complete and error free.
We were happy to take a look and put together a quote, but what I found scared me, and it made it hard to give a basic quote (for the record, we cannot be one thing when we have specialization in several services).
So we decided to talk about it here—gently, in the hopes that the price checker checks our website for some cheap but very useful tips.
This is what we found in his work:
The web writing was all about the business (features) and not
about the clients (benefits).
One of the most important elements of web writing, and marketing writing, is this:
You must focus on the client’s benefits first and talk about your features last.
CLIENT’S BENEFITS FIRST.
YOUR. FEATURES. LAST.
The average website has about 6-10 seconds to make its case before the reader makes a beeline for the address bar. Don’t tell them what you have, tell them the benefits quickly, then work on to what it is. One of the easiest ways to do this is to pose a scenario or question. You can use the most common scenario of your target client. Something like:
Are you a [target client] who is [client scenario] while still [secondary scenario]?
We can help you [client benefit] through [your system/technique name or process]
Our [features] can give you the edge on [secondary client benefit], and get your business/customers [client solution].
This might sound a bit choppy at first, but try plugging your benefits and features into the spaces. You can rework the sentences to better highlight them and watch your client benefits rise in the writing. You can even further emphasize them by using bold letters or larger fonts, but be careful not to overdo it.
Keep working the text until you have something that sounds and feels smooth. Test it on some current clients and see if they “feel” the difference compared to what you had before. You might be surprised with the outcome.
Oh, and as for the curious shopper? He ended up choosing someone cheaper, but let’s hope he still pops by! We’d hate for him to miss this…