By Karon Thackston © 2012
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, the message we most want our customers to hear gets lost in a sea of superlatives. The marketer within us takes over and – before we know it – the core focus of the Web page, brochure or flyer becomes blurred. Let me assure you of one thing… if your prospects can’t determine – with crystal clarity – what you do and how it will benefit them, all your copywriting efforts will be in vain.
Provider Watch suffered from a bit of this problem. When I read their original home page copy I was confused about what they offered. While all the information seemed to be within the copy, I didn’t get it. That’s what happens all too often when we write our own copy: *we* understand what we mean, but that clarity isn’t passed on to our readers.
The owner of Provider Watch knew she had a great product. She also knew it should be very popular with daycare providers. What the owner didn’t understand was why her copy wasn’t triggering the reaction she was hoping for.
There was no major problem with the Provider Watch home page. Instead, there were several little problems; the sum of which was costing Provider Watch conversions.
First the copy certainly did strike an emotional chord by relating to the site visitors on their level. What happened, however, was a delay in moving from an emotional tug at the heart to delivery of the message. As the visitors read on, they felt connected to *what* was being said, but they weren’t clear about *why* it was being said.
The second thing that struck me when I read the home page copy of this site was the “No Regrets” system. There were a few things I was unclear about. At some points there was mention of signing up for a free membership. At other points, a mention of how little it cost per month was made.
There was also mention of a credit reporting system, but I was confused as to whether the daycare provider reported *to* the system or received reports *from* the system. I saw information about collection help along with statements that Provider Watch was not a collection agency.
And third, search engine optimization also came into play with this site. The original home page had an odd choice of keywords. To make it successful, we’d have to come up with new phrases to help drive more targeted traffic to the site.
The solutions for this home page were quite simple. Outline what Provider Watch did, then clearly provide that information to the site visitors while keeping the emotional attraction. I wanted the site visitors to know immediately what was being offered and precisely how it would benefit them.
Because Provider Watch has such terrific knowledge about their target audience, I was able to accurately outline who I was talking with through the copy. Most of their daycare providers were small, independent, work-from-home operations that didn’t have any financial wiggle room. Every time a parent bounced a check or left without giving the required notice, it hurt the provider badly. I wanted the feeling that Provider Watch knew this, understood it and was offering help to come through.
In addition, I needed to find a way to offer proof that this was a viable service that filled a very real need. Because the service was unusual, educating the site visitor would be as important as selling to them.
The original headline read:
“Warning! Deadbeat daycare parents don’t want you to know about this website!”
“The Provider Watch “No Regrets” Risk Management System contains over $615,654 in unpaid daycare debt, and that number grows daily!”
“There are a growing number of parents who simply steal childcare services by refusing to pay.”
I wanted to make that much more clear and also plainly deliver a major benefit to daycare providers so I changed the headline to:
Find Out If Parents Are Bad Payment Risks BEFORE You Accept Them As Customers
That spoke loudly to providers who had been burned one time too many. It let them know immediately that this was a site that offered help in the way of prevention.
I went one step further by constructing a bullet list of what was included in both the free membership and the paid membership. I also gave them a method for getting more information and for signing up for whichever membership level met their needs.
The next challenge was to outline what services were provided, then clearly point out the benefits of these services to the site visitor. At the same time, I kept an eye open for opportunities to include keyphrases within the natural flow of the copy.
Overall, the home page was made to be much more simple, clear and concise with an unmistakable path that the site visitor could follow from introduction to purchase. You can view the new copy here: http://www.copywritingcourse.com/providerwatch-after.pdf.
Did it work? Did it ever! Provider Watch has seen a:
- 52% increase in unique visitors to the site
- 22% increase in overall sign-ups
- 86% increase in paid subscribers
- Steady increase in phone traffic
Another mystery solved!
Photo courtesy Shutterstock, patpitchaya