I am a word nerd.
I love writing and crafting the perfect message…the one that gets someone to say “Yes,” to buy, to sign up, to click, to engage.
Words can be incredibly powerful things, and they can literally translate into “more” for your business: more money, more emails, more leads.
But don’t take my word for it (see what I did there?). Here are three clever messaging tweaks that can help your business grow:
1. The Re-worked Product Title and Description
If you’re like most Americans, you’ve probably done a little shopping online.
And if you’re like me, you’ve done more than a little shopping online.
One of the things I like to observe in my online shopping is how companies write product descriptions or calls to action. There are a few sites out there that are masters of getting you to see, think or feel about their products in a new and different way.
But the BEST example of this I’ve seen is how clothing companies are now describing “pleather.”
You know pleather…leather’s plastic cousin. Designed to be more affordable and (for those who care) kinder than actual animal skin, pleather has previously just been a passable (and sometimes even tacky) option for women looking to get that leather look without the leather price (or guilt).
But “pleather” has always had the connotation of being “cheap” rather than affordable. I mean, after all, it’s not the real deal. And many of us still have this idea that pleather is responsible for some rather reprehensible looks from the early 80’s.
Behold, one small word tweak that changes everything:
“VEGAN LEATHER,” Y’ALL.
Now, how much better does vegan leather sound than pleather? Like, I’d say as a rough estimate, a MILLION TIMES better. “Vegan leather” still has the word “leather” in it, which makes the buyer feel like she is purchasing something of quality, while “vegan” has the connotation of being socially responsible or even–yes–kind.
So not only is the purchaser getting a leather look-a-like, she also gets the sense that she is doing something good for the world by purchasing this particular dress in this particular finish…
(…though the materials clearly indicate that this dress is still largely made of plastic and probably should not get near an open flame).
How this applies to your business: Do you have a product that consistently has low sales, or that customers have lots of questions about before buying? Or perhaps you receive feedback that your products are “different than expected.” It may be in the way the product is presented either by title or description. Try split testing a new title or description to see if customers respond more favorably to one or the other. Or, ask your customers how they might describe your product in their own words.
I am sure there are some of you out there who are smirking a bit or feeling as though this re-wording is a deliberate way to mislead or manipulate customers.
But to me, this re-wording is not dishonest or misleading…only a clever way to reframe the message.
Still, if you’re feeling a little meh about that last example, let’s go with a more subtle word choice that is likely to have big returns (man, I’d love to get my hands on the analytics for this one!).
2. The Enhanced Label
It feels like Facebook changes a million things a week with the platform. Many changes feel almost seismic in nature, while many others you may not even notice.
This little gem just rolled out very, very quietly about a week ago:
This little box used to read “promote post.” Now it reads “boost post.”
Very, very smart, Facebook.
“Promote” has the immediate connotation of, “this is going to cost me money,” while “boost,”…well, who WOULDN’T want to boost their post? Give it a lil’ nudge-nudge out into the Interwebosphere? Suddenly, this little button is helpful to users just from a simple word change.
How this applies to your business: Are you making your customers feel like interacting with your site, products or services is a burden rather than a privilege? Making small tweaks in language, breaking up large chunks of text in favor of bullets, or even offering “shortcuts” in the form of videos or infographics can take your stuff from a “have to” to a “want to.”
3. The Targeted Call to Action
Online customers are more savvy than ever. We are used to “click here” and “click links below for whatnot!” languaging. We KNOW what an underlined or bold set of words mean, and any extra jargon is, quite simply, getting in between us buying your product or service and not.
But we are also a little lazy and like to be told what to do. Social Media is a great place to test and try Calls to Action.
For example, if you have a Company Page on Facebook and you are looking to drive a certain type of engagement, tell your customers EXACTLY what you want them to do. Ask them to “Like if you agree!” or “Tell us in the comments just how much you love bacon!” or “Share this post if you love vegan leather!” or “ReTweet if you’ve tried our new wine!”
Here’s a new page I just started for a local comedy group. Their two highest posts for April were ones where they specifically asked the audience to respond in a certain way. As a result the post reached twice the audience as the current amount of Likes on the page:
Remember, customers are zooming by your posts a mile a minute while they look to play their next round of Candy Crush and just need a little targeted direction.
It’s not that your customers WANT to ignore you, it’s just that you have a ton of competition for their attention, so learn to be savvy in what you ask them to do, both in Social and on your site.
How this applies to your business: What are you asking your customers to do as they interact with your site and social platforms? Are you asking them to “Click here” or are you telling them to “Talk to us,” or “Sign up for our newsletter for free updates and offers,” or “Tell us your favorite memory in the comments”? Get specific…the more targeted to your audience and their behavior, the better.
What clever messaging tweaks have you used in your business to drum up more leads, sales or engagement? Tell me your success stories in the comments!