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Deep dive into CRO (Conversion Research Optimization) Best Practices – Product Messaging

conversion-rate
In this second part of the CRO, series let us see the best practices.
 
Thanks a lot, CXL for giving me this awesome opportunity.
 
This Growth Marketing mini degree is a real game-changer in my life.
 

Product Messaging

Momoko Price, who is a conversion-focused copywriter introduces this part of the course. She discusses her way of coming up with effective copywriting, starting off with how to do a “teardown” of your copy.
 
Price’s method is based on 3 different persuasion approaches:
  • MEClabs’s Conversion Sequence Heuristic, which says that the probability of conversion is based on a combination of your visitor’s expectations (motivation), how you align your offer with their expectations (value), and how much incentive you can offer, which will reduce friction. Their model also shows that it is important to address any fears or doubts your audience may have (anxieties).
  • Cialdini’s 7 Principles of Persuasion, get deeper look with the following articles
  • Claude Hopkins’s Scientific Advertising, which says you should be very specific (numbers, claims), offer service (craft your message around helping your customer), tell the full story (talk about where your customer is at, and what’s at the end of their journey), and finally, act as a salesperson (as if you’re selling to people in person).
 Message mining is a recommended way of finding customer needs. Price suggests looking at product reviews and other customer comments. Try to find why users were looking for a specific product/service in the first place. What was their “aha” moment, which feature did they really need to make the decision to buy it? What fears or concerns did they have? Also, pay attention to how they describe the product, and which problems they’ve addressed with it.
 
Another common way of collecting useful information from your users is through surveys. Price highlights that it’s important to distinguish between visitors and existing customers, as they require completely different approaches. Visitors will reveal any anxieties or problems they may have before being committed to buying, while repeat buyers will help you better understand hidden benefits. Focus on questions that help you understand their motivation, the benefits they see/they are looking for, and their anxieties.
 
Next, Momoko Price shares her view on creating an effective value proposition. Here’s an interesting take, she recommends thinking of your customer as Ron Swanson! Yes, Ron Swanson, the breakfast-loving grumpy guy from Parks and Rec. Try to get someone like that excited. On a more serious note:
 
  • List the key product features
  • Highlight the unique features from the list
  • List pain points associated with the features (your solution)
  • Rate the severity and the frequency of the pain points
  • Rank the unique features based on the highest severity and frequency
Throughout the course, Price shares several incredibly useful templates, together with a detailed explanation about how to connect all of her different methods in order to find the best way to write and organize your sales messaging. For example, she recommends using pivot tables to rank answers based on the number of occurrences, and type of message (motivation, value or anxiety). Top occurrences in each category should be included in the following message hierarchy:
 
  • Offer a desirable outcome paired with a unique feature of your product (UVP)
  • Address their motivation
  • Explain the value of the product
  • Address their anxiety
  • Offer them a CTA
 
The core principle of the hierarchy is that you should address their motivation, show the unique value of the product, and address any anxieties.
 
After you finish the first draft, it’s time to go over it again and edit it. Here are a few final tips about how to edit your copy from this part of the course:
 
  • Clarity beats persuasion: be clear, don’t make people think.
  • Match the reader’s mindset: research your audience, message match your headlines with your reader’s questions (Google searches) and answer with a unique benefit.
  • Blow your customer away with value: make them an offer they can’t refuse. “So what? Prove it” (remember Ron Swanson).
  • Give people quantifiable benefits: this will make your offer more convincing and believable.
  • Tell a story: paint a picture of what you’re offering.
  • Show and tell generously: don’t forget to explain what you offer clearly, and show people what to pay attention to while you’re telling a story with annotation and extra copy.
  • Cut out any copy that doesn’t help fulfill your sales goal: does it address value, motivation, anxiety? Is it proving a claim with specifics? If not, then it can be taken out.
 
Next, Momoko Prices discusses formatting and layout. Here is what can dramatically impact the effectiveness of copy:
 
  • Position: people read in an F-shaped pattern, so they will notice things on the top right first.
  • Size: people will pay attention to larger elements first.
  • Order: copy and elements that get placed first will get far more attention.
  • Space / Clutter: reducing clutter will help people make decisions easier, so focus on only giving visitors a few options/CTAs
  • Typography: your copy must be easily readable. Try to follow these guidelines:
  • Minimum 16px
  • At least 1.5 line height
  • Less than 900px wide
  • Less than 4 lines per paragraph
  • Avoid “light” font styles
  • Maximize contrast
  • Change it up as you go
  • Directional cues: arrows and other directional cues are very effective at directing attention
  • Color contrast: should be used only to highlight important buttons/CTA. Here’s a fun test, squint your eyes and check your page for what you pay attention to when you can’t read the content.
 
Finally, the course recommends placing all of the copy in a wireframing tool like Figma. Putting everything together into a real design will help you figure out what works and what doesn’t. Don’t forget to test everything, and always match the level of your customer’s expectations.
 
Next week let’s deep dive into Landing Page Optimization and its best practices.
 
Stay safe and be curious,
Naveen

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