But what makes good copy?
The companies Toggl, WordPress, and SurveyMonkey all sell their products or services exclusively from their websites. Each company takes a slightly different approach to their homepage that is unique to the company’s market positioning. What techniques do they use to write websites that drive sales?
Toggl Focuses on Demonstrating Customer Value
Toggl Track is a time and productivity tracking website, browser extension, and app. It can be used by individuals to track their own time or by companies as an HR tool.
Toggl’s homepage is clean and easy to read with simple design. It directs your attention to the important text (the main heading) and doesn’t waste your time with anything unimportant.
Instead of focusing on Toggl’s features, this main heading tells you what Toggl’s software gives you and why you should use Toggl. In other words, this heading focuses on the intangible benefits rather than the tangible features, and only after establishing the benefits of Toggl Track does this webpage tell you more about what Toggl is.
When you scroll past this first screen, then you can read more about Toggl’s features and the service itself in small paragraphs with links to read more. However, each of these points focuses on how the feature gives value to you, the customer, rather than the nitty gritty details of the feature.
For example, instead of telling the reader about Toggl’s feature that allows the user to apply tags, projects, and other categories to logged hours, the website says that Toggl will help you examine your time use, efficiency, and profitability, implying that Toggl can help you better manage your business, remove uncertainty from your life, and can increase your company’s profitability. How? Through the feature that allows you to categorize and label hours.
Next, Toggl offers a signup form, which gives readers an easy place to start using Toggl, now that they’ve read more about Toggl’s features. Like all marketing, all good copy should include a call-to-action to keep readers traveling through the marketing funnel.
WordPress Builds Customer Confidence with Brand Popularity
WordPress.com is a website building, hosting, and blogging platform that opened to the public in 2005. I actually used WordPress to build this website (and I recommend it if you are looking for a website platform).
WordPress’s initial screen is similar to Toggl’s: They both have a big headline, followed by some extra text with a bit of explanation, and a button for the customer to make an easy purchase. Both sites have also kept this front screen very easy to read and minimalistic.
However, while Toggl uses its headline to tell you how it will make your life easier, WordPress uses its headline to tout its credibility: Readers expect “the world’s most popular website builder” to be a website builder that is amazing. The subheading builds on the heading by telling the readers that WordPress is the right fit for them because WordPress works for so many other companies and individuals.
WordPress is a bigger company than Toggl, which means it can get away with this different approach in its initial pitch to readers. But both sites tell readers right away why they should use the company’s product or service.
Next, WordPress reiterates their point that their website builder fits everybody’s needs by saying, “Build a site. Sell your stuff. Start a blog. And so much more.”
After all of this, the website begins to describe its features, focusing on how they benefit the customer—like Toggl does.
For example, instead of giving the reader unnecessary details about their “professionally-designed themes,” WordPress tells the reader how these themes provide value: They make the customer’s website “stand out” in a world with over 1.7 billion websites.
All of these features and benefits apply to anybody building a website: Everybody wants to have their website or their company’s website stand out and look beautifully designed. So, next, WordPress focuses on readers who want to build a site for their business or brand by talking about how WordPress can help the reader grow their company.
Most companies are seeking to grow, and it’s a safe bet that a company that is looking to start a website or get a better website is looking to grow. Therefore, on this part of the homepage, WordPress does the same thing as above: focuses on how it provides value to its customers, instead of boring readers with details of the features.
Finally, the bottom of the page shows customers the different plans and pricing options, giving customers another spot to continue along the marketing funnel.
SurveyMonkey Markets with Ethos, Pathos, and Logos
As the name implies, SurveyMonkey is a software allowing companies and individuals to create and send surveys to customers, readers, or anybody else.
SurveyMonkey takes a slightly different approach to its homepage heading than Toggl or WordPress. Instead of a static message, SurveyMonkey uses a line of changing questions to tell readers about their service. These questions serve two purposes. First, they fit the branding of a survey company, demonstrating exactly what SurveyMonkey does. Second, these questions tap into the reader’s emotions to tell the reader what he or she can gain by using SurveyMonkey: confidence.
For example, the question below—“Will my product be a success or a flop?”—is a common concern for business owners and a source of constant stress and uncertainty. SurveyMonkey is suggesting that by using its software, customers can replace these feelings with confidence driven by data and market research.
Next, similar to WordPress’s subheading, SurveyMonkey’s subheading draws on the company’s popularity to demonstrate credibility and brand reputation.
Then, like Toggl and WordPress, SurveyMonkey’s website talks about some of the benefits and features of the brand. In this section, SurveyMonkey uses various statistics to back up its earlier claim of its popularity. Not only does incorporating this data into the website copy make sense for a survey company’s branding, people like seeing data to backup claims.
As marketer Neil Patel puts it, “When you include data journalism in your content, readers perceive your content to be more valuable, more authoritative and more trustworthy.” Not only is this true in content (blog posts), it is also true in copy (the writing on webpages).
One unique thing that caught my eye in this section was SurveyMonkey’s use of a hashtag in one of its headings. This fits with what would be expected from a company that likely targets technology-savvy individuals.
And last but not least, the page ends with a call-to-action button that visitors can click to begin using SurveyMonkey.
Final Thoughts: The Best Websites Focus on Their Target Market
Each of these companies has taken a slightly different approach to its website to match its individual business position. But all of these websites are easy to read: You can read through all of the benefits and features of the product or service and understand exactly what the company is telling you. This means the companies have chosen words (aka diction) that are appropriate to their audience. They have used grammar correctly and sentence structure (aka syntax) appropriately.
Overall, each of these websites fits within its company’s marketing funnel and serves its purpose as an important marketing tool.
What can copy do for your business? Book your free consultation with Jantz Writing Services to find out how copy can be your company’s newest asset.