Imagine you’re sleeping…
(Just ignore the time on this screenshot.)
And suddenly your phone makes a panic-inducing sound at top volume, accompanied by this text:
Followed a bit later by this “the thing we said wasn’t an emergency really isn’t an emergency” text.
Issued with another the-world-is-absolutely-ending sound.
Facebook that day was exploding with sarcastic “marked safe” memes.
At least a quarter of the province was having an apoplectic fit – based on my sweeping assessment of personality type distribution.
But can you imagine the employee who hit SEND on those? That’s the story I want to hear.
This is not to minimize real public emergencies. (We are so lucky here in Canada.)
It’s to say, mistakes happen.
For most of us, anything that goes “wrong” in copy can be fixed and forgotten.
And thank goodness.
Because when you hand over your client’s brand messaging – their “Conversion Copy DNA” – you open up more room for, erm, creative interpretation.
Suddenly they’re empowered with the messages and they get the WHY.
And that’s a good thing.
But they also have to know what messages to put where.
And that does take copywriting training. As in, deep time inside Copyhackers’ Copy School. Or, very close attention to the proven copywriting formulas.
The other week my Copy DNA client soft-launched their brand and I jumped on sharing it…
Only to realize as the days progressed, the copy kept morphing. Sections disappeared. New pieces appeared. Bits cropped up in unexpected places.
I watched it unfold, thinking about all the people in my network who KNOW what good copy looks like…
More importantly, visitors were getting confused. Because the hierarchy of messaging matters.
You can’t move pieces around or leave pieces out without missing steps in the conversation with your reader. The risk is that you end up sounding something like, “Here’s a problem you may have. Now buy this. Bye now.”
Conversion copy is the crafting of an intricate argument that follows the train of your visitor’s thoughts. Sequentially.
Lessons learned from this?
1) As a copywriter, don’t assume everyone else gets why every single line of copy is essential.
Clients, designers, developers… they all have reasons to make changes. Maybe they want the pages to be shorter or to fit a template layout.
It’s up to us to explain why, based on the visitor’s likely awareness, each piece of copy has earned its way.
In that exact order.
And that conversation is a lot more dignified if it happens before the pages go live. Because after it goes live, you just look like a diva who’s defensive about her copy. Rather than a messaging pro, who knows what converts.
And then, when the client sees the numbers and despairs, you have your work cut out explaining why every piece that was changed could be at the root of the problem.
That’s a very time-consuming process on par with doing a line-by-line copy audit.
2) As a marketer, designer, developer, if you’re thinking of rearranging the copy…
Talk to the copywriter first.
Find out why they included that piece so you know the implications of nixing it or moving it. Otherwise, you might find traffic bouncing for very simple reasons.
So, not a copywriting emergency…
Because unless you have send-all access to the cell phones of the world, the internet is a massive place where most people are ignoring us.
But it did have me refreshing my screen way too many times on the weekend.