Helen Peatfield helps SaaS B2B companies by improving their conversion copy and customer flow so they win more customers and keep them too.
The 7 Deadly Sins That Kill Your SaaS Website Conversion
This session focuses on the seven deadly sins that are killing your conversions and how to fix them.
Seven deadly sins that are killing your conversions and how to fix them
1) Poor positioning:
There is no point in performing any kind of copywriting exercise without getting the foundations right.
The first thing you need to figure out is your unique value prop (UVP). There are three circles in the diagram above and they comprise of what you do well, what your customers want and what your competitors does well.
Your unique value prop (UVP) is what you do well and what your customers want. There is a tricky zone represented by the sad face which is what your customers want and your competitors excel at but you are left out in the cold.
The red UVP represents what you and your competitors do well at but nobody wants it, it is the useless value prop you need to avoid. This occurs because one of the first things SaaS founders do when starting their company is checking out their competitors’ websites however the way you look at your competitors’ websites should be in line with what the customers wants.
There is a central region denoted by ??? which represents what you and your competitors do well and your customers also want it. It is necessary to focus on your UVP but there is also an opportunity in the central area which must not be ignored. You need to find a way to harness it and you can do this by adopting clever messaging.
A prime example is Drift which has very clever messaging which they have tapped into better than their competitors. Although their features and benefits may not be as good as some of their competitors, they are winning on messaging.
You need to understand the awareness levels of your customers, this can be explained using the five stages of awareness highlighted in the image below.
The easiest people to market to are people who know your product, they know what it can do and what they need it to do. They just need to know the offer.
The completely unaware are not ideal to market to because it would be very expensive.
2) Logic vs Emotion
Technical people have the tendency to reel off a load of stats and facts while ignoring the fact that humans actually buy partly on emotion and it is difficult to admit it because we like to think of ourselves as highly evolved beings who bring logic to the table whenever we make a buying decision.
We still apply logic before we make the purchase, in most cases, especially in B2B, but we have to make sure we don’t ignore the human emotional side.
There are three main buckets you need to consider to help you understand your customers mindset
You need to understand your customers pain points and your copy needs to reflect the fact that you understand their struggles. When they find your copy and your brand, they will feel that they are in the right place and your product can solve their problems.
When looking at desires, it is important to go beyond surface desires. If you are producing a CRM, it is easy to think people need it to get their jobs done quicker or they want better reports but often times there are underlying reasons why people want to buy which could differ for different personas or different use cases within your audience.
A person might just want to get out of work on time to go and read to their kids while another person wants to buy a super yacht so that they can boost sales and get more revenue.
It is important to have a picture of that person in your head and how they are feeling when you talk about the pain points they want to avoid and where they want to be while you are writing your copy.
Triggers has to do with the events that made them go and look for a solution like yours. Conducting one on one interviews is a great way to discover what triggered people to consider your product. Showing them a special offer at the right time might be a trigger if they are in the highly aware segment.
Asking for interviews
If I’ve got somebody who’s lucky enough to have a few thousand users, then I will start with a survey, and one of the questions I would ask at the end is are you be open to a call, but not everybody has that luxury.
You usually want to pick people that have purchased from you in the last few months, or signed up in the last few months because they are more likely to remember the triggers and the pain they had.
You just need to ask, I’ve got an email template that I give to my clients that they can send out.
You can also incentivize people, you can offer them a little treat for talking to you, perhaps there is something you can give away that’s part of your product or sometimes you can just give an Amazon gift card,
Alternatively you can also frame it as we want to hear from you, because we want to make the product better for you, we’re not just grilling you because we want to write really good copy, we also want your feedback about the product, this is your chance to tell us everything you’ve wanted to tell us about our product.
It is advisable to keep the interview short so you should make it about 20 minutes.
3) Unhelpful headlines:
One of the wonderful things about working out your unique value prop especially if you are at an early stage is rewording your value prop can give you a headline.
There are also some headlines that work really well, they include:
Achieve X desire – which you have already spoken about and found out what it is
Achieve X desire without painful outcome you are dealing with
Your headline and hero section has to answer these questions that your customers have in their head.
The supporting copy that you’ve got underneath also counts as headline copy.
4) Sucky CTAs
This is really problematic because there are so many suggestions in various blogs and among your peers about what makes a good CTA.
There is going to be a different answer for everybody based on different situations however one underlying thing you must do is to think of it from your customers perspective.
For the majority of SaaS companies, you are giving something of value such as a free trial or a demo or you might ask them to watch an explainer video.
You need to flip how you think of CTAs, you need to stop seeing it as a call to action or an ask, you need to start seeing them as something you are offering to the reader. You need to see it as you are giving them something instead of you are asking for something from them.
Thinking about it in this way will change the way you write CTAs.
The image above is a variant I’ve worked on with a client and strategist. We reminded people of the pain that they told us in the that they felt. This is for a tool that helps you manage revision requests with clients, and communicate with your clients.
Ready to stop fighting fires and get back to wowing your customers, which was one of their desires, they wanted to impress their customers and feel good?
The CTA isn’t just the button, you can make big waves by reminding people why they should start the free trial. It is also ideal to add in a risk reducer such as there’s no credit card required because that will help you to overcome hesitations.
The ultimate goal is to give them value and tell them why.
5) Wasted imagery:
There are two camps people generally fall into, they are either sort of design first people or copy first people. Your ideal situation is when you’re writing your copy, you are thinking about the designs as well or you are working with somebody who’s really good at that and helping you make things look nice.
It is not just about making things pretty, there is the sin of sameness you need to avoid. The images below are all shot in different places with different people however they all look the same. Stock photos do not do help your brand, they look like stock photos, everyone knows it’s a stock photo and you are using prime real estate at the top of your website.
Unique imagery – Supports your message
Hotjar is showing a product image and it is a really lovely idea to it see inside the tool like this. An easy thing for you to do especially for startups is to show somebody your tool by taking a screenshot of your tool, you don’t even necessarily have to animate something.
Hotjar shows something inside the tool that backs up their headline and unique value prop.
Slack have got this kind of hybrid thing going of having nice friendly human faces. We’re kind of programmed to like seeing faces on a page. It makes us trust something even though these faces have nothing to do with anybody at slack but we’re just hardwired to connect with that immediately.
They’ve got little animation here as well, which shows you a conversation in action. It is a way of showing their products, the experience of the product and some of the value of the products without having to do the whole usual block, image or video tour that I think is quite cool.
You won’t just have a big person there because we are talking about tech and it feels as if Drift is breaking the rules but it is not. If you work your way back to their unique value prop, everything about them is being human and the conversational marketing thing that they talk about.
This friendly face with the Drift shirt who is looking super approachable actually plays into the brand. Now, they’ve got the advantages of being very popular because a lot of people already knowing what Drift is and what the tool might be like before they get here because their marketing game is strong but there is a certain charm to this and it still fits within the brand.
6) Problematic Promises
You need to make promises in your copy, but people are a little bit scared of doing that. It’s good to make big promises, as long as you can back them up and by big promises I’m talking about the outcomes you’re going to deliver and you need to be as specific as you can be. If you know that you’re saving people 10 hours a week, say 10 hours a week.
The bigger the promise, the bigger the proof is going to be and that could be very difficult especially when you are at an early stage so you need to start collecting it as quickly as possible. Proof doesn’t have to be limited to testimonials, case studies etc, it could be something transactional. If you have a social media tool and you helped your clients schedule 1000 or 2000 messages that week, that can also serve as proof as well.
The image below is an example of a very short video testimonial we used at Product Onboarders. It’s got a number in it and that number means something to my ideal customers. You can ask people to just shoot a really quick video on loom, if they are not camera shy and they will do it. If you are making a testimonial about how amazing they are and you make your customer, the hero, they will be willing to do it
The sooner you can start getting case studies, the better. Don’t be intimidated by the idea that you need to have these big numbers. There are other outcomes that people want to know and you can write a case study around them. This could include increasing customer satisfaction, if that’s what your ideal customer wants.
7) Value gaps
You need to make sure that what you are promising in the copy aligns with the experience inside your product. If you promised that it is so easy, it can be setup in five minutes or it is so easy there is no code. You need to make sure that someone with no technical know how has done it within the timeframe you promised.
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