troll copy conversions

How to Kill the Fear Troll that Stops Copy Conversions From Happening & Win Over Your Readers (Case Study)

What is it in your copy that leads someone on your site from the point of almost purchasing, to actually converting?

Better yet… What stops them from that last step (the sale)?

The answer is relatively simple.

At some point, they came face-to-face with an ugly troll that is known as prospect fear.

Today, we’re calling it the “Copy Fear Troll.”

If you’re lacking copy conversions, this troll is out there, living and breathing in your copy, on your web pages, ready to pounce on anyone who is considering a purchase on your site. The good news? You can do more than just stop it: you can kill it.

Read on to learn what website visitors fear the most (defining the Copy Fear Troll), and how I overcame a personal troll of our own, living and breathing on our site, as a New Year’s goal for my agency’s online presence.

fear troll instagram title

The 3 Subconscious Fears of Your Online Visitors (Before Copy Conversions Ever Happen)

Every member of your audience has a different buying style: some are impulsive and will buy with little to no research, while others will want their decisions reaffirmed before making any commitments.

Here are some reasons your potential customers may do a quick dash for the figurative door before taking action.

1. Insecurity

Insecurities come from many different places, including past experiences, a lack of information, and a sense that the product or service is not quite good enough. This is the fear troll’s area of expertise – dredging up all the reasons why this transaction is going to fail.

2. Mistrust

The goal in content marketing is to build trust and keep readers coming back for more quality content. There are many reasons to not trust, especially if your readers have been burned before. The fear troll loves sending subtle reminders about why a customer should quit before getting too involved.

3. Waste

Most of us can remember a time when we wasted money on something foolish, whether it was a door-to-door scheme or online purchase we felt we could not do without. No one wants to repeat that mistake, so the fear troll whispers doubt at every step.

Getting Rid of the Copy Fear Troll

copywriting troll

So, what’s a content marketer to do?

You might be surprised at how easy the answer is: kill the fear troll with real, down-to-earth, authentic copy that transparently situates your brand and your services before your prospects.

Thorough transparency.

It’s the name of the anti-copy fear troll game.

We recently worked on going from almost-good-enough to fear-killing-copy on our site, and the results have been promising.

A Case Study of How Killing the Fear Troll in Your Copy Works

In December of 2016, to prep for a great January and an even better 2017, I recruited one of our top internal marketing writers from my agency to help boost our site copy.

As of December, we had roughly 6,000 monthly site visitors, and our non-paid reach in Google SERPs was worth $13,000 in organic value:

google rankings

Yet our average new customer number was around 20-30 a month, and some converted at low numbers. Only one or two visitors per day actually sent in a contact form. We wanted to change that!

Together, my ad writer and I looked at my agency site, our services, and worked out the best emphasis on “how to sell” in our own copy.

3 Ways We Banished the Copy Conversions Fear Troll—& Won

The problem we found was that visitors were bouncing early on—after a few clicks from the home page.

My ad copywriter decided that we needed a) more copy and b) more effective copy.

The biggest two takeaways I learned from auditing our site and reinventing the weak copy that we had:

  • Cut to the core of what you do best. Be simple and authentic about your product and value.
  • Be confident and speak with confidence. You’re the A-team: show clients that!

Here’s the core of the changes we did:

1. New Fear-Banishing Page Around Our Values

Inspired, I created the new Our Values page. In it, I concentrated on telling – from my heart – why our brand stands out above all our competitors. We take a lot of pride in a process that removes 98% of the applicants that approach our writing team, but I wasn’t telling the story of our process on the site.

2. New Image Choices (Visualizing a Happy Client) & Friendlier Menu

We then re-created the menu at the top of our site with more clarity:

  • We have a lot of resources—podcast, blog, and Twitter chat—and we grouped that under one tab called “Learn.”
  • We created an “About” menu that included Success Stories (which we didn’t have live on the site previously), and a Meet the Team page.
  • We worked together to create a strong page that emphatically shared “our values.” The end result was so strong that we took it out of the About tab and put it live in the menu as Our Values.

We even changed the image on the home page. We had a stock image of a writer, thinking, pen in hand. The new image my ad consultant suggested was a visualization of a happy client receiving their content. Literally, someone smiling at a computer, with at least one other person. It was important to visualize the end result for the client rather than just our team doing the work. The result when we changed up the image concept (simple—a Shutterstock purchase!) was tremendously better looking.

Here’s the difference, visually, between our old menu and home page stock image:

old home page ew

And our new home page menu and image:

new home page ew

In less than a week, more than three live chats have been started from the Our Values page by brand new, incoming agency leads (our ideal client type), discussing thousands of dollars’ worth of work.

We’re starting to attract communications from our ideal client typeafter I decided it was time to speak to them, in our copy!

After reading the Values page, and landing on it, here is what one of those leads had to say on our live chat (we use Drift for onsite chat). Names hidden for privacy reasons:

drift lead from the our values page convo

She converted at $5,000 inside the next two weeks.

The language in the entire chat that came from this lead was so friendly, natural, and at a level where we didn’t have to “hard sell” at all. She was “sold” from the start, instead, after landing on that page. We didn’t experience conversations like these, prior to the new site page being launched. Typically, we had to convince with multiple phone calls and meetings to get a lead to that point.

Killing the fear troll with more on-site, real, down-to-earth, authentic copy, works.

Different Content for Different Goals

Your authentic copy must be uniquely created for your brand, especially when you consider that certain content types won’t work as well for conversions as others.

For instance, if increasing sales is a priority, your time may be better spent creating buying guides, product videos, and page descriptions. On the other hand, if you run a DIY website, a consistent and high-quality blog with step-by-step instructions could be a valuable tool for your audience.

Remember the 4 Stages of Customer Wooing

Different content marketers will explain the stages of the audience differently, but they all end up at the same place: conversion and retention. No matter where your prospects may fall, the key is to pay attention to all the details, however small they may seem, and make sure each one builds trust and smashes fear.

moz funnel

Graphic courtesy of Moz

1. Discovery

At the top of the funnel is discovery, which is kind of like trying catch the eye of someone you like across the room.

Is he aware of me?

Would she be interested?

Should I make a move?

For content marketers, it’s more difficult to make batty eyes, so we focus more on brand awareness and educational content. This is the stage where we tell people that yes, they do have a problem and yes, we do have the solutions.

It’s not a time to talk about ourselves – it’s the stage where we get to know them.

No one likes the guy who won’t shut up about himself, right?

Keep in mind, also, that your potential conversions may have been burned in the past and are really, really looking for trustworthy solutions.

Smash the fear by providing quality content that will make your audience feel secure in their dealings with you and your brand, whether it’s in the form of email newsletters, how-to guides, or webinars.

2. Consideration

After you catch the eye of your lead, you will probably want to move onto considering whether or not to make a move.

Meanwhile, your readers are starting to think about making a move with the solution you’ve presented. They will be researching specific product or brand information, credible authority to back up your claims, and all the evidence that points to your superiority over your competitors.

In other words, why should Mr. or Mrs. Cutie like you more than all the other Cuties in the room?

Smash the fear by being authoritative, confident, and authentic. Be yourself – you have something awesome to share, so let it show.

3. Conversion

Ah, conversion. That lovely place where you are finally interacting with that potential lead through conversation that will hopefully retain them for a long time to come. They are looking at reviews and product descriptions in order to compare and, hopefully, buy what you’re selling.

It’s the courting of the marketing world.

Smash the fear by providing honest answers and following-up at the appropriate time.

4. Retention

The goal at this stage is to keep your customers coming back for all the good content you have to offer. This will look different for everyone, but may include the creative use of technology to understand your audience, educating your customers, and focusing on quality service.

Retention is the marriage of the content world.

Check out how nine successful companies have used innovative approaches to making sure their customers have a great experience and stay loyal.

Smash the fear by continuing to offer quality resources and interacting on every channel.

Overcome Your Content Fear Troll

When you are armed with the right tools, knowledge, and resources, it is possible to kill the fear troll at every stage of the buying journey.

Take inspiration and get on the road to more copy conversions and a better, higher quality online presence.

Let us help you kill that troll today with copy written to suit your brand audience! 🙂

engagement cta

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