Have you ever updated your landing page and expected better sales would follow? You spend lots of time and money making your website look really cool with all of your new branding, photography, videos, a blog. All the goods.
Despite having a beautiful new website and content, your sales still don’t get better.
Why is that?
You’re confusing your customers with poor messaging
People are looking for simple ways to make their lives better. As a business, you must clearly communicate how you can help them with your product. Let’s talk about what you need to stop doing to so you can start making progress.
Examples of how you can confuse a customer
They have too many choices to make.
Customers don’t want to have to figure out where to go and more importantly, what to do. Be direct with them. You need to remove unnecessary text, menu items and buttons. Make the decision easier for them. Cut it down to one call to action that will lead them to either purchase or contact you.
You know too much about your business.
“Customers don’t buy the best products or services–they buy the products and services that are easiest to understand.” - Donald Miller
You love your business and know everything about it. The problem is that your customers probably don’t. And presenting too much knowledge can overwhelm a customer. You only need to talk to your customers about the bottom line. That their life will be a better one with your product.
You have too much information on your front page.
Think about it this way. When you go to a website, what do you usually do? You skim through and look for headings and images that interest you. When something catches your attention you click a button or decide to read more.
That’s exactly what your customers do too. We are all trying to make the best of our time. And on a mobile phone, it’s even harder to read. Less text means more focus on the things that matter. And less clutter for them to dig through. You need clear design and most of all, clear messaging.
Tips on creating an effective message that connects with customers
Tell your customers what they want to hear.
When someone comes to your website, they are focused on themselves. Not you. They are living their own narrative and they are looking for help to solve a problem they have. The first website that can clearly tell them how their life will be better with their product is going to win.
“Here’s what our product can do” and “Here’s what you can do with our product” sound similar, but they are completely different approaches.” - Jason Fried
Don’t talk features, talk about how it benefits them.
What is the difference between a feature and a benefit?
Feature: This is a trait or ability that your product has. If you were to describe what your product does and why it can do those things, those are features.
While they are great, they don’t tell the customer how those features make their life better. And that is what a benefit is.
Benefit: This is a positive result that comes from using the product. It’s how a feature or the product as a whole, can make the customer’s life better and more enjoyable.
Features vs Benefits Example
Let’s use the idea of a photo editing app to see the difference between features and benefits. cloud storage, presets, professional editing tools, social sharing, text layers, etc.
Photo Editing App
How features would be described normally.
- Cloud Storage
- 100 Presets and Filters
- Curves, Layers, and Blending Modes.
- Skin Retouching Tool.
How those features could be described as benefits
- Never lose your photos again.
- Easily edit photos to the styles you love.
- Tweak your edits to perfection with powerful tools.
- Remove blemishes and imperfections in one tap.
Great examples of clear messaging that focuses on how their product benefits the customer.
Mailchimp knows the main reason why you want to send emails out. You want to build your brand and sell more stuff, so they say exactly that. Right at the top of the page. They even have a button right below that clear and powerful statement to get you to purchase sooner. As you scroll down through their website they tell you the benefits of their features and how it can help you and your business. They are presenting statements that make you feel like you can achieve something you’ve been struggling with on your own.
Squarespace lets their customers know that they can make a beautiful website with zero experience in web design. Rather than getting deeper into the features and details, they just tell you how easy it will be with them by sharing the benefits. And with every benefit, they show a call to action to get you started right now or learn more if you’re interested.
Airbnb has many features, but provides one major benefit to their customers. Beyond the stress of booking a place to stay, they know that most people don’t want to feel like a tourist when they travel. Experiencing a city like a local is where the true value is. Airbnb knows that’s what makes them different from their competitors. They also make it easy for people to search with three simple questions. Where, when, and how many people? One call to action… Search
Invision makes a pretty bold statement on the top of their homepage, but as you can see, based on their clients and testimonials, it’s more than just hype. It is very true. They are telling the customer that they will be able to do work better and faster while being able to collaborate with teams and clients. World class tools that you can try for free. Now that’s an invitation you can’t turn down.
While there are many features, they focus on a major problem that designers constantly face. How can I quickly design and collaborate with my team and clients? Those are big expectations and Invision has the solution for that problem. And the evidence is provided through their client list and strong testimonials throughout the home page.
Less words. More Impact.
No matter how complex your product or business may be, the key is to say more with less. How can you make your customer’s life easier with your product? What’s your one liner?