The key words that will win you business

The key words that will win you business

14th April 2016 in Applied News

The initial marketing message that prospective customers see when they land on your homepage is one of the most important elements of your business’s website. Get it right and users will click through to the key selling pages, but get it wrong and they’ll return to Google to find another supplier.

Unfortunately, trying to write it can feel like you are faced by a fearsome interviewer demanding that you give them a ten-word sales pitch about yourself to clinch the job. What makes your business unique? How do you want people to view your business? Why should customers buy from you?  How on earth do you convey all that in a handful of words?

Big brands can get away with relying on slogans they are already closely associated with (even if they are essentially meaningless), but less high-profile businesses need to use those first few seconds a visitor is on site to grab their attention. If you can successfully use the limited number of words available to at least convince prospective customers to find out more about your products and services, you at least earn the opportunity to convert them into a sale.  

What not to do

One of the most common mistakes is to assume that your target customers will regard the same things as being important as you do. If it isn’t immediately relevant to them, they are likely to think “so what”!

You may, understandably, be proud of the fact that your company  has been “Family-run for more than a 100 years”  - but that doesn’t mean prospective customers will necessarily be impressed. Try to see things from their point of view and apply the so what test. Does the mere fact that you were trading in 1936 or that you work with your brother really give the customer a reason to buy?

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t use the things that make your business special as the central part of your marketing message, just that you need to think about how to make them relevant to potential new customers. “Engineering excellence since 1905 - Unrivalled expertise developed over more than a century of solving technical problems”.

Another common error is trying to be too clever or conceptual.  There are occasions when it is better to be Jason Manford than Stewart Lee - and this is one of them, as you won’t have the opportunity to explain or expand on the message unless you persuade visitors to stay on site.

You only have a few seconds to make a positive first impression when a user lands on your website homepage, so why make the task more difficult by using a vague or nuanced message? Your carefully-crafted thought provoking or mysterious slogan may just seem like nonsense to visitors, giving them little incentive to click through to product or service pages.

It is also worth remembering that with no human voice to convey tone, people tend to be very literal when digesting information online (a problem at the root of the many social media spats that occur when people fail to spot that something was intended as a joke).  So while you may think that telling visitors that you’re a “recruitment agency with a difference” makes your business sound interesting, they may think “why, because you don’t find people jobs”?

What should the message be?

The precise wording will depend on your product, service or USP, but there are two key areas that can be used to create particularly strong messages for growing businesses.

1. How the customer benefits.  The message may be about your business, but it is for your target customers, so think about why they should buy from you. It may be price or a limited time offer, a product that solves a problem or does more than the competition, excellent service levels or something you know that your customers really value. 

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2. Proof. When buying from a new supplier, customers like to be reassured that they are making a good decision. If your average rating on Trustpilot is 4.9 or 90% of your work is repeat business from satisfied customers, that can help to create a powerful message. Alternatively, you could use a case study as evidence of your ability to deliver results for customers. 

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Some good examples

It may be difficult but it is possible to write a strong message for businesses of all sizes, as these two examples show.

Salesforce’s message is simple, to the point and packed with benefits:

Sell smarter and faster with the world’s #1 CRM.
Connect with your customers. Anytime. Anywhere.


Yorkshire-based gardening business Your Lawn also focuses on customer benefits:

A lush green lawn all year round
Professional lawncare for less than the cost of doing it yourself


If you need help with digital marketing (or even a new website to put your carefully-crafted messages on), contact us to find out what we can do for your business.

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