Website Survey

What if your landing page could convert MORE?

Time to read: 7 minutes

There is a secret ingredient that makes all the difference between a great landing page, one that drives more conversions and an okay one.

This ingredient is called:

drumroll

the language of your customer.

You might have heard me say this before and you will find the same piece of advice on many popular marketing blogs.

It’s a fact:

The best copy comes from your potential customer.

Okay, but how can you learn your customer’s language?

The fancy scary unsexy term is “market research”. Ugh!

But what if I told you can actually learn enough about your potential customers and their language in an afternoon?

What if I told you that you can write a better headline for your landing page this afternoon?

Let me walk you through it.

Part 1: Super fast market research in the wild

For the purposes of our little experiment, I will try optimizing the already good landing page of a mobile app. The app is called Raydar and it allows you to find deals at restaurants near you in real time:

Raydar App- The Smart Coupon App.jpg

What’s in this post for you?

There will be actionable steps for you along the way in case you want to optimize your landing page right now.

What’s the goal of the research?

To learn how the potential users describe in their language their:

  • Profile What kind of people are they? What situation are they in? What do they care about? What is their demographic?
  • Pains What motivates them to seek a solution to the problem you’re solving? How do they solve it now? What do they dislike/hate about the way they are solving it?
  • Dreams In a perfect world, where the pain doesn’t exist, what would they be able to do?

Sidenote: You can have several groups of people with different profiles, pains and dreams.

Knowing their profile, you will know what they care about, what bothers them and what they might want even if they aren’t saying it.

Knowing their pains, you will be able to reassure them.

Knowing their dreams, you will be able to promise them what they really want, using the words they use to describe it.

Step 1: Where do the potential users hang out?

I have one vague Profile of the potential users of Raydar in my head right now:

  • they care about saving money
  • they are looking for food deals
  • they want to know what deals there are around them at any moment

So, how do I find them?

If you were seeking food deals yourself where would you go?

Besides Google, where would you go to ask for advice?

Wherever people like you hang out. On a forum that you frequent.

9/10 times reddit will be the best place to find specific groups of people since it’s probably the largest internet community.

So, that’s where I will search.

Actionable advice for you: List the things you know about your potential user and find one large online forum where such people hang out.

Step 2: Search their community

So, what would a potential user of the Raydar app search for on reddit?

I’ll start off with the obvious search term from the mobile app’s headline—”food deals”.

Surprise! The search yielded a bunch of discussions for supermarket promotions and coupons.

This isn’t what the Raydar app is about.

So, its headline is not quite sending the right message…

This is a classic example of why you need to speak your potential user’s language.

Next, I’ll try the other obvious keyword: “restaurant deals”

The results are much more relevant to what the Raydar app does.

So, for my very basic super fast research I will use the keyword “restaurant deals”.

Actionable advice for you: Try out a few search terms until you get results related to the problem you’re solving.

Tip: If you’re out of ideas about what to search for or your results seem bogus, just ask the Google Keyword Planner for suggestions.

Step 3: Distill info from the search results

Here I highlighted the info I get from my search results (topics of interest and insights):


Insights:

  • 3 of the topics on the front page are posted in university subreddits. One group of potential users of this app might be college students.
  • There is one topic about restaurant deals with lots of upvotes in /r/frugal. This is where people who like saving resources (time, money, etc) hang out. They are another group of potential users.
  • There are also 2 attempts of someone to promote a similar app. It will be interesting to see how people react to it.

By the way, I didn’t know “frugal” was a word. Another reason why research rocks.

Of course, I will take a look at the rest of the search results and try to confirm the trends I see here.

Actionable advice for you: While looking at the search results try to find out more about the person who posted the thread. Look for trends. Note what language people use to call things, e.g. not “food deals”, but “restaurant deals”. Write down everything.

Step 3: Take a closer look

Since I’m pressed for time, I’ll analyze as much as 20-30 forum topics. That’s as many as I can go through in 2-3 hours.

Now I’ll open the topics that I highlighted above and I’ll try to fill in the gaps:

  • Profile. What kind of people are they? What situation are they in? What do they care about? What is their demographic?
  • Pains. What makes them go out of their way to seek deals? How do they solve the food deals problem right now? What do they dislike/hate about the way they solve it?
  • Dreams. In a perfect world, how would they want to find food deals?

In essence, I’ll just copy/paste text that answers any of the questions above.

For example, one of the topics in a university subreddit:

3 - screen-1

Profile: college student, 20-something, on a budget
Pain: “Don’t feel like cooking”
Dream: “cheap ways to eat at restaurants on campus”

And another example from /r/frugal :

screen_1.jpg

Profile: adult, has a family, on a tight budget, needs to save money, frugal
Pains: “the family had to buckle down on the budget to save money”, “eating out is a huge drain on the budget”
Dream: “want to go out every now and then”

I also found pain related to the current solutions /r/frugal use:

screen-5.jpg

Profile: frugal, has a family
Pain: “they [Restaurant.com deals] are often frustrating to deal with”, “sometimes those coupons are a PITA”
Dreams: “go to some nicer places/bring the whole family, without having to break the bank”

And here’s how I save my results:

Screenshot_032715_120958_PM.jpg

Actionable advice for you: Do this for 10-20 topics. Just copy/paste the pains and dreams and distill information about the user profile. Note that you can have more than one user profile. That’s okay.

Part 2: Watch me optimize RaydarApp’s copy NOW

Here comes the fun part.

Step 1: Pick one user profile to target

I know your gut might be telling you otherwise, but trust me on this:

Copy that speaks to everyone doesn’t convert.

Also, when you’re new on the market, you’ll take off faster if you’re targeting a small group of people.

As with anything in life, you can’t have your cake, and eat it and not get fat.

You can’t target a super large market, and get a lot of customers super fast and not spend a cent on marketing.

And you can always expand your reach later.

In my swift research for the Raydar app I noticed 3 distinct user profiles:

  • College students
  • Frugals
  • People who don’t need to save but would still check for deals

Out of these I would target the frugal community, because:

  • it’s the largest
  • they hang in one place (unlike students who can be found on dozens of different university subreddits)
  • these people are motivated to find deals. They have a true pain—they need to save money.

Actionable advice for you: Pick one user profile to target.

Step 2: Pack all of the value they care about in the headline

The purpose of the headline is to attract the visitor’s attention and make them read more.

By including all the value you offer in the headline, you’re making a promise. This promise attracts attention. If the visitor is your target customer they will be interested to learn more about how you’re going to fulfill it.

What can the Raydar app offer to the people on a tight budget? What do they care about? What can the app help them with?

Let’s make this very easy and use this headline formula:

[Do something desirable (Dream)] without [Pain]

I’ll fill in the gaps with the data I have from research and try not to rephrase too much.

Here are some variations for Raydar app’s headline:

Enjoy eating out without breaking the bank

Get local restaurant deals without having to scour your email for promotions

Get all the best restaurant deals in town. No fine print.

Enjoy cheap eating out options when you don’t feel like cooking

Enjoy eating out without draining the budget

Enjoy a restaurant deal without planning

Of course I can’t literally follow the formula every time and neither should you. It’s just there to guide you.

Out of these I would pick:

Enjoy eating out without breaking the bank

because it’s short and contains a clear promise.

I would A/B test it with:

Get local restaurant deals without having to scour your email for promotions

because this one is more vivid and it will make people actually imagine the painful email scouring.

Actionable advice for you: Use the formula above and literally fill in the blanks with your potential users’ words.

Step 2: Pick a subheadline that clarifies the headline

To keep this short, I’ll only look for a subheadline for the first headline:

Enjoy eating out without breaking the bank

The purpose of the subheadline is to clarify the headline and support it.

Our headline is making a promise. The subheadline has to support the headline by explaining how this promise going to be fulfilled.

And here is a subheadline:

Use Raydar to get the best restaurant deals in town instantly. No fine print.

Again, “best restaurant deals in town” and “fine print” are terms that I “stole” from the app’s potential users.

Actionable advice for you: Use your subheadline to clarify your headline. What promises or claims are you making?

If you got this far, you learned a magic trick

or not really… It’s a system.

As you saw, I didn’t pull copy out of my behind. I didn’t come up with some super clever headline on my own. I just did a teeny bit of homework.

And you can, too.

Copywriting works sans magic tricks.

About the author Gergana Dimova

I use my non-magical persuasion methods to help small business owners, digital agencies, entrepreneurs and consultants get more leads and sales. You can learn more about working with me here.

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