6 Copywriting Mistakes that Kill Your Conversion Rate

Sales. Lead generation. Downloads. 

When we talk about copywriting and its ROI, these are the metrics that we should be looking at. Unfortunately, they don’t always say what we want to hear.

So we divert our attention to vanity metrics like traffic and social shares.

But this doesn’t fix the issue at hand – why isn’t your page doing what it’s supposed to be doing? Why isn’t your page converting?

It’s one of the questions we get asked most frequently by our copywriting clients. And, quite often, one (or more) of these is the reason why you don’t get enough conversions:

1. You ‘we’d’ all over the page

  • We are the best (of course, aren’t we all?)
  • Our products are top quality (who would say otherwise?)
  • We sell ‘it’ very cheap (who needs profits these days?)

If you recognize this tone of voice, then you need to take another stab at your landing page.

I’m sorry to say but no one really cares about you. Sure, a short blurb about yourself at the end of a landing page is fine. But when you make it all about you, no one is going to buy.

Try this instead:

  • You will get excellent results by working with our dedicated team
  • Your ROI is safe for years to come because X product is designed to last
  • You can’t afford to pass up this offer – a price like this will never return.

See what I did there? I turned everything around to make it about the customer. It’s about their needs and their pain points, not about your need to sell.

2. You Speak about Features, not Benefits

  • Our smart watch has an incorporated GPS
  • This floss has a peppermint flavor

Good to know. But how does this help ME, the potential buyer?

Let’s rephrase:

  • Track your runs with incorporated GPS
  • Enjoy super-clean teeth and a cool peppermint aftertaste. 

Here’s the catch: yes, you have to brag about the features and amazing services you offer. After all, that’s why you worked so hard to develop a product, right?

Right! But you didn’t develop the product for yourself or to simply brag about your innovative approach. You built it for humans. Other humans need to buy it. So tell them why it’s great for THEM. If you tell them that, they will understand that you’re awesome for creating something they really need. You don’t have to spell it out.

3. You don’t know the stage of awareness your customer is in

You can say that sales pages are for people who are ready to buy. People who already know the type of product you are selling and are now trying to make the best choice in terms of brand and manufacturer.

Sure, but where does this leave actual innovators?

I’m talking about brand new products that people don’t know they need yet.

Let’s take the smart watch for example. We are now accustomed to the concept, but it hasn’t been that long since they were first introduced to the market. This means that not everyone who might buy a smart watch knows exactly what they are and what they can do.

So where do you start in this case?

Well, first of all you analyze your buyer persona. You establish whether they are aware that they could use a smart watch or not.

How does the difference reflect in your copy?

In the first case, where the user is aware of their need, you emphasize on your products benefits when compared to your competitors’. Example: “Get insights into your health with the most advanced heart rate tracker and analyzer on the market.”

In the second case, where you still need to educate your audience you focus on introducing pain points and their solution. Example: “Did you know that your resting heart rate is a health indicator? You can now easily track it 24/7 with our smart watch.”

4. You don’t explain why

Throwing statements and CTAs is easy. Claiming you’re the best is even easier.

But today’s consumer knows better than to believe everything they read online. 

As marketers, we are so accustomed to making statements that we often forget people need additional explanations.

A few examples:

  • 50% discount. Buy now! Why and why? Why can you sell so cheap and why shouldn’t I wait until tomorrow?
  • You can’t cancel your order. Why? Are you robbing me for clicking in the right place?
  • You’ll sleep better on this new mattress. Why?

Now the right way to do it:

  • Clearance sale! We’re making room for our autumn collection, so the summer one is 50% for three whole days. Buy now! [This explains that the sense of urgency is not just a marketing ploy.]
  • Your order is prepared as soon as you place it so it can reach you in no time. You can’t cancel your order after more than 30 minutes. [Now I know you’re not robbing me; you actually have a process in place.]
  • You’ll sleep better on this mattress – extensive studies by [Authority Name] have confirmed that foam mattresses are better for you. [Cool, gimme three!]

5. You don’t have a clear goal

I’ve seen a lot of sales pages trying to sell two or three things. Here, we have this great product – you like it, don’t you?

But while you’re at it, why not download this white paper, subscribe to our email list and check out some similar products?

Every one of these things needs a separate landing page. Sure, you can add your social icons to any page and even a small opt-in form. But don’t make either of them the center of attention.

Every landing page needs to focus on a single product. The fewer distractions, the better. You don’t want to confuse the reader. You want them to think about nothing else except buying what you’re selling.

And if your writing has a clear flow that takes them through pain points, solutions and benefits, you’re half way there. Leave the bells and whistles for Christmas, OK?

6. You DIY landing pages and you’re not a copywriter

Everyone past the fourth grade can write. Well, sure they can. But copywriting is a skill in itself. And you need more than four grades to master it.

The cost of copywriting services has soared in the past few years for a very simple reason: GOOD copywriters make sales. In other words: you can’t afford NOT to pay for professional.

Not convinced? Make an experiment: DIY a landing page and test it against one written by a GOOD copywriter (not the cheapest one you can find on Upwork, OK?). If you make the right hire, your ROI should be sky-high.

Final thoughts

Having a good product or service is only half the battle. Yes, it’s an important half, but if people don’t learn about it the right way, how are you going to sell it?

The era where a website, just any website was enough is over. Today, every word on your website matters. And it can make or break your sales goals.