If you've followed me for a bit, you know I'm not one to really rock the boat or create controversy just for the sake of it. I know there are many marketers that will disagree with me on the subject, but I think we put too much emphasis on conversion rates in our sales copy.
Yes, we want to generate revenue - otherwise, we don’t have a business (we have a hobby) and tracking metrics is 100% important to our growth (as a former Director of Operations I preached this to my clients).
However, revenue and data are not the only things we need to pay attention to as we grow our businesses.
I joined the online space as a business owner in 2017 (and was a consumer/student before that) and I’ve seen this trend to be zoned in on our conversion rates at the expense of other parts of our business. Today I’m opening the door to another conversation, an alternative viewpoint, of why conversion rates aren’t the holy grail of metrics when you’re looking for a conversion copywriter.
So let’s jump right in shall we?
Why using conversion rates as your “measuring rod” can create a disconnect between your expectations and reality and have a negative impact on how you view your launch or promotion
Comparison to others vs yourself
When we focus on the conversion rates of a copywriter, we’re comparing ourselves to others. This can have a drastic impact on our mental health as a business owner. We feel “less than” if our rates aren’t the same as others. But theres so much more to consider than the conversion rates. The other campaign could be in a different industry, niche. The business owner has a different background than you do, could have been in the online space longer, have a bigger audience, have personal connections to influencers in the space … there are so many factors that go into the “success” of a promotion. Comparing yourself to others only sets you up for mindset challenges.
Instead, compare yourself to you! What were your metrics from your last promotion? Have your rates increased? Are your conversions up from your last promotion? Focus on improving yourself and your customer journey instead of focusing on the conversion rates of others in the online space.
Copywriters don’t collect or analyze data
Copywriters are creatives. They’re great at writing, but may not always have the stats pulled together about past projects . Most conversion copywriters will ask for some stats to start the project, but aren't great at following up after the launch to collect and analyze the stats. It’s just not at the forefront of how their mind works - they’re onto crafting their next written masterpiece (leaving the launch managers and Integrators to examine the data).
As a strategic copywriter, that left-brained side of me wants to know the details (a holdover from when I was managing the backend of launches), so I do ask my clients for their post-launch data. And, TBH it’s a challenge to get. It’s kind of like requesting testimonials - you have some people who are over-the-moon about sharing the success and others it’s like pulling teeth. And it’s not because they don’t want to share, it’s just that they have 1436 emails in their inbox, 87 Facebook notifications, and a team to support in Slack and the request gets pushed down their to-do list. As a copywriter, I will follow up on the request a couple of times, but then I just let it go.
But, not all copywriters have that business mermaid in them (ie use both sides of their brain almost equally) and as a result, they may not have the stats pulled together for you. That doesn’t mean they’re not fantastic conversion copywriters - it just means that the right side of their brain is really dominant .
Impact of iOS updates
With updates to iOS and other privacy settings for users a lot of the email service providers aren’t able to accurately track your email open rates anymore because people have blocked that. What they’re giving you is a best guess, an educated estimate, but it’s not 100% accurate.
This holds true for many platforms. Accurately tracking metrics has become difficult as we expand our use of different softwares that don’t always “talk-to-eachother” in a way that allows for precise metrics.
And while click-through rates are more important because they can be measured via Google Analytics, many business owners don’t have their email service provider set up to track this information (tip: get this set up ASAP! Hire a VA to help you if needed because the data you get from this investment is incredible).
Copywriting can’t save a product your audience doesn’t want
The conversions don’t rest 100% on your copywriter. They can’t “save” your launch if you’re trying to promote a product your audience doesn’t want. Sometimes the offer is no good. Perhaps you haven’t done the research with your audience? Maybe there’s a disconnect between the offers you have. Perhaps you're trying to launch a product to a segment of your audience that isn’t aligned with the solution.
Or maybe it’s the right product and the right audience, but your marketing strategy is off. And copy wont fix that. The conversions may be down because you need a different marketing or traffic strategy. Many of the issues with conversion, are actually product development problems that have nothing to do with the quality of the copy.
What should you focus on instead?
Instead ask for before and after snippets of copy to see how they were able to rework something or capture the brand’s voice or make an even more powerful statement from generic copy.
Your brand voice and reputation go with you in your online journey from platform to platform and offer to offer. Rather than focusing on conversions, it’s better to focus on how a copywriter can capture your voice, and speak to your audience in a way that is consistent with your brand values. Your core values truly create the foundation of your business, especially in a post-2020 online world.
Their Copy Philosophy
My belief is that our businesses should be focused on people over profits. That there is never any excuse for triggering, blaming, or shaming someone into taking action to work with you. And while these copy and marketing tactics do “convert”, they’re damaging to your client, your brand, and the long-term value of that customer.
We need to build sustainable businesses, that support our audience and keep them confident that we have their best interests as we develop offers to assist them. From a financial standpoint, it is cheaper and easier to keep a client/customer than to attract a new one, but more importantly from a human standpoint we need to be focused on the financial part of our businesses, but the relationship piece as well.
There is a need for a shift to happen where we focus more on conscious/ethical copy vs the numbers. And conscious copy does convert! More and more it’s what our audience is looking for.
There are many things to consider when looking for a copywriter. It’s not all about the conversions.
Ready to outsource your copy, but have no idea how to find the right copywriter for what you need? Let’s find you a copywriter that matches your business needs without spending hours on freelancing platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. Learn how in my free training: How to Find and Hire the Perfect Copywriter for Your Business.