Headline Mistakes by Small Business Owners, Marketers and Copywriters 

 June 21, 2011

By  Gavriel Shaw

I‘m part of a secret split-test club where the members critique eachothers latest marketing test webpages and offers.

One of the big mistakes that I’m seeing at present is when a single offer, landing page or homepage…

does not clearly speak to any one particular clear target audience:

Market: Real Estate Investor Newbies or Experienced?

The headline does not seem to apply to a newbie real estate investor, yet the first couple paragraphs feel like copy that would be done more to a newbie investor. Isn’t it true that existing real estate investors already know there are such things as ‘private lenders’? So maybe test something like: You probably already know about Private Lenders, and how they can [benefits], but do you know [big promise: how to find them for yourself under the best terms possible?]

Niche Market: Shed Plans

I feel this is a bit over graphiced given the niche market. It looks
like a page designed for online marketers or money seekers, rather than a friendly casual guy sharing hobby interest discoveries. I would tone it down, split test a page without the header or the huge red headline. Make the headline 80% black (dark grey) and make it a personal message from one shed plan guy to another.

Market: Business Owners with Websites or Online Marketers?

I can’t tell if this is aimed at people completely new to optimization
or not. And that should be crystal clear the moment I hit the page.
‘Discover how we can grow your business’ is way too generic. Headlines should not be useable by a competitor or other business. If you are aiming at newbies then you don’t show “clients we’ve worked with” to include Google and Sony, instead you show small mom and pop businesses that you’ve helped. And if you are aiming at people who know about optimizing already, why does the copy say ‘get more customers using ‘conversion rate optimization’. That’s very general and makes no differentiated promise or offers no worthy benefit for someone who already is familiar with the subject.

You see, kind of brutal, but this is a club for people looking to split-test new ideas and see a significant jump in their conversions.

The key message here is to absolutely make sure that you are speaking directly to one particular target audience and that you are practically ‘calling out their name’ and using their kind of language to engage them.

Check out my marketing and copywriting services if you have an existing business and would be happy to do some split testing for up to 510% uplift in sales.

Gavriel Shaw

Gavriel has product and marketing expertise from a variety of roles, including CMO, Head of Growth, Head of Marketing, eCommerce Director, Web Marketing Director, Product Marketing Manager, and Senior Copywriter in various sectors, both B2C and B2B.

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