Copywriting for luxury brands? It’s usually the domain of high-end ad agencies… the kind that typically don’t talk about conversions.
But what if you’re a luxury brand marketer obsessed with ROI? What if you want a copywriter who’s equally focused on earning the sale? Well, you might be challenged to find a conversion copywriter who specializes in luxury brands.
And I’ll tell you why.
4 Reasons Conversion Copywriting is Harder for Luxury Brands
1. Customer insight is harder to find
If luxury were conspicuously consumed, conversion copywriting would be easy.
But luxury can be deeply private. Clients of elite services, for example, are often discrete about their buying decisions and experiences. In fact, I would argue that discretion is one of the key selling points of true luxury, like the private jet services offered by my client.
Private jet patrons don’t post on Reddit. They rarely leave public reviews. And they’re less likely to answer surveys or agree to interviews…
Which makes it hard to tap into the motivations of the buyer. (Key for conversion copy.)
2. We’re working with small data sets
The luxury market is growing, no doubt. The world is simply richer. And so, all new categories of “luxury” products and services are now affordable for hundreds of millions of consumers…
Extreme luxury, on the other hand, is the preserve of the few, as evidenced by the hierarchy of luxury in travel.
More of us can fly business class than ever before, but not many can afford to spend $100k to charter a private flight from Toronto to London.
Truly exclusive luxury products and services have few true buyers, as evidenced by this graph:
(Source: The Independent, Here’s the hierarchy of luxury brands around the world)
That’s why in luxury markets, getting to a statistically significant lift in conversions is tough.
Luxury brand websites can have deceptively high traffic, but you have to remember that a lot of those clicks are from fantasy shoppers. Luxury brands have far lower conversion rates than mass brands.
3. Luxury services are high-touch sales
Also challenging: the sale isn’t made on the page. The page is the portal to a high-touch sale.
For high-end services, the copy can only drive leads. The results, ultimately, depend on whether the salesperson on the call can stick the landing.
4. Entering a luxury market means building a brand
While we can sell mass-market goods based on features and benefits, when it comes to luxury, the brand is everything.
If you’re spending $50k on private jet travel, you’re used to paying more for intangibles, like a brand.
And your sense of safety is deeply tied in with the brand… by which I mean not only the brand’s key messages and design but reputation.
That makes it harder for newer or smaller luxury brands to get a foothold — even with conversion copy.
Why we took on this luxury copywriting project anyway
When the founder of InsiJets approached me to write copy for two pages on his new site, I had reasons to doubt.
I really wasn’t sure that the tools of conversion copy could work in such a rarified realm. But the more I underlined the risk, the more they wanted to work together…
Plus, I’ve got to admit, the vicarious travel was a huge draw. We’re all locked down with the pandemic indefinitely, so imagining a world of travel with no limits is the ultimate fantasy… if morally questionable, am I right?
(Let’s just say we offset the carbon emissions incurred by selling private jet travel via our work with this eco-friendly charity. Is that a thing we can claim?)
In any case…
While the conversion rate is still TBD, we have some interesting early results.
Since going live, we’re seeing about a 500% increase in organic pageviews of the Jet Card page and an increase of about ~300% for About Us.
Higher rankings are just one more benefit of long-form sales copy.
How we approached the luxury challenge to write this copy
For some B2C brands, there are treasure troves of voice-of-customer data online.
For example, I once wrote copy for a golden retriever supplement brand and found myself deep in the mind of the golden lover. Pet owners post online prolifically.
When your audience is vocal about your product or service online, it’s easy to discover their:
- Pain points solved by your product or service
- What else they’ve tried and how that worked
- Priorities (which benefits and features matter most)
- Objections and beliefs around purchases
In other words, with access to this kind of customer insight, you can find all of the key ingredients for high-converting copy.
As expected, the private jet crowd is not so emotive online. They rarely chat in forums or post public reviews about their luxury travel experiences.
So, I turned to other conversion copy research techniques. Namely:
- Analysis of other private jet brokerages’ copywriting
- A deep dive into the media coverage of private jet travel
Here’s how these techniques work.
Competitor Messaging Audits
First, why do we audit competitor messaging to write conversion copy?
Isn’t that, like, copying?
Nope. It’s actually quite the opposite.
What we want is to break down the competitors’ claims and find opportunities to differentiate.
- What problem do your competitors say they solve?
- Why do they say they’re different and better?
- What benefits and features do they highlight?
- What proofs or reasons to believe do they include?
Once we understand the world of alternatives for your customer, we can come up with copy that shows why your luxury brand is different and better.
My job was easier here because Insijets is clearly differentiated.
InsiJets gives clients more freedom and flexibility to choose flights and aircraft on short notice, and their brokerage services are more cost-effective.
Unless we know the answer to why your customer should choose you over the competition, we can’t write really persuasive copy.
To learn more, read my post on positioning.
If your customers aren’t talking about your luxury product or service online, who is?
Well, sometimes the media.
Some media will publish unvarnished, authentic reviews. But not all.
Take beauty, for example. Beauty media coverage is driven by affiliate revenue or ad spend. You rarely get a true critique or deep insights from classic, magazine-style media coverage.
Sometimes you can find independent industry experts in a niche – reporters or influencers whose coverage of brands isn’t as obviously biased.
Luckily, I found just this for the Insijets project. It’s the next best thing to a high volume of true customer insight.
Again, I was looking for things like:
- Private jet customer pain points
- What’s great and not so great about other private jet companies
- Which benefits and features matter most
- Objections and beliefs around purchases
Insights into topics like these are key for conversion copy. Without it, you just have ‘creative’ copy.
Check out the final copy for this luxury services brand
So many factors go into whether a brand succeeds. It’s never just the copy.
You need to have great product-market fit, clear reasons for customers to choose you over the competition, targeted traffic, and sales funnels.
But few brands have made it without investing in copywriting. Because copy is your online salesperson.
Luxury Brand About Page Copywriting
Services Page Luxury Travel Copywriting
Another example of luxury brand copywriting
Another product people don’t buy en masse? Custom homes.
By way of illustrating copywriting for luxury brands, I’d like to share an example of a custom homebuilding website. I was the copywriter for this project for Confederation Log Homes, an internationally renowned custom log and timber frame home design and kit company.
Confederation clients order these custom home kits from across Canada and internationally. The company has never built the same design twice, so this brand is the definition of bespoke luxury.
I was lucky to have analytics from the marketing team, insights from the family owners, and several customer interviews I conducted before writing this luxury brand conversion copy.
Check it out below or visit the Confederation Log & Timer Frame website.
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