Here’s the ugly truth. When you focus on the technology that underpins your product or service, it’s a turn-off for your reader, which can hit your sales hard. To help explain why, I found inspiration in the most unlikely of places.
Down the plughole.
Of course, there!
Where there’s plughole hair…
Yup — I wrinkled my nose too. But there it is. Clogging up your drain; creating a bad smell. A bit like the technical jargon that festers in your web copy, blocking up your sales funnel.
How to avoid clogging up your website with unappetising tech talk that nobody wants to read
If you can stand the sodden, gag-inducing images on the website for the Plughole Hero, it’s a great demonstration of how to fix your web copy if it’s stuffed full of jargon.
First, you find out instantly what this product does: It unblocks your plughole. Any plughole. Bath, shower, or sink.
Next, you find out how fast it works: In seconds. Sweet…
But is it going to be a ballache? No, because you don’t need any chemicals or tools. It’s all there, up front in the headline.
It’s certainly enough to get you to scroll down to find out what this hair-catcher looks like. And do you see the little chat box in the bottom right-hand corner? If you want to cut straight to the cost, the delivery details, or anything else besides, you can. Right there on your first peek of the website. No fannying about.
The fact that everyone in the world has had a drainage problem at some point is irrelevant. Even if your technology is brand new and nobody’s heard of it yet, you can still apply the exact same tactics revealed below to show people how your product or service works.
You can still use your message to move your reader past that block of knowing nothing about what you do and how you do it. (The one thing you know for sure is how good they’ll feel about it once they do.)
It’s easier than you think to remove blocks in your web copy that stop people from understanding what you do
The images you see above form part of a video. You see the Plughole Hero go into the plughole, it’s twisted around a few times, it grips the hair, and this revolting hairy mess comes out a few seconds later. Then you see the same thing happen in a sink and in a shower.
You don’t need a video crew or actors to achieve this instantaneous recognition for a job well done. However your technology works, you can simulate a demo of that on a computer.
You can use an illustration.
You can plot a diagram.
The point is, there’s always a way to make any process visual so your reader can *see* how your product or service works. Rather than rely on a description that uses words people don’t understand — not because your reader is stupid, but because technology is not a Plughole Hero. It’s not so simple. Sure, you’re using technology to create the same effortless result for your customer, but just as you can’t see down the U-bend in a blocked pipe, people will struggle to see technology like blockchain and AI in action. You’ve got to show them what happens.
If your web copy is clogged up with ideas that nobody can really process, think about all of the ways you might bring your idea to life by using a video or imagery.
I’ll forgive the over-enthusiastic use of question marks here because these plughole heroes will save me a messy job. But no, I didn’t know that 67% of blockages are caused by hair. Still, if I calculate the amount of hair I have (a lot) and then consider the number of times I’ve had to yank it out of a blocked plughole (many times), I would probably have arrived at something near to that figure. Even so, I’m not made to guess. Of course not…
This is a powerful statistic.
There’s a hugely significant chance that the water in my shower is going down at an excruciatingly slow rate, much to my annoyance, because of a hair clog. And this orange rod can get it out — in seconds.
Think about that the next time you’re tempted to drown out all of the benefits of using your product with too much tech talk. When meaningless jargon blocks your message from being understood, it stops people from knowing exactly what it is that you do. So yank that fluff out of your marketing pipeline and everyone will feel better for it.
What kind of jargon do I mean?
Words like “strategy” and “innovation” sit as stagnant on a web page as the water in your blocked basin. They have no tangible meaning outside of a boardroom meeting. I don’t buy a drain cleaner because I have a hair removal strategy for my bath, I buy it because I’ve got a blocked pipe and I want the problem to go away.
And when you mention technical details that non-technical people (your buyers) know nothing about, it looks like this to your human reader:
Nobody wants to read it, let alone engage with it. It’s just there, making people feel queasy.
When you make a commitment to talk to people using the real words that they hear every day, everything you write flows better.
These plughole heroes don’t go into detail about the micro-hooks that grip the hair. They tell you it’s designed the way it is so that it “tackles your biggest clogs”.
They don’t tell you how long the pole is, they just describe it as “Extra-Long” because who knows the exact measurement of a waste pipe (unless you’re a plumber)? All you know is this Hero will have to be pretty long to reach the hair that’s stuck inside your waste pipe causing you to stand in your own dirty shower water.
Try this! Pick one page on your website and see if a ten-year-old could understand it. If they can, anybody can. And you’ll be more likely to make that next sale.
Show don’t tell
In case you have any questions left about how this orange and yellow stick can de-clog your pipes, there are step-by-step instructions on the website. With pictures.
Only a turkey could now not know how this thing works.
You can do this for any tech solution — in fact, demonstrations are one of the best ways to simplify your idea if it’s technologically complex. And if you can’t figure out how, I’ll help you find a way. Because this is what people need to see. They have to be able to put themselves in the same situation as the person who uses your product and know exactly what they’ll have to do for themselves.
Get rid of the clog and more people can read your website, understand what you do, and the right people will be able to buy from you, right there off your virtual shelf.
Deal with objections
Do you iron out all of the things your potential customer could object to? If you don’t know what the objections are, I’ll help you find out, but addressing them is key. You’re not pointing out the negatives, you’re simply identifying them to shove them abruptly out of the way.
Take Amazon. You can wait for WEEKS for something to arrive these days. Will I have that problem with the drain cleaner? No. They tell me it’ll arrive within 5 days.
What if it arrives and it’s no good?
Looks like I can send it back…
But will I have to queue in the Post Office for five hours whilst somebody in front of me sends back 5000 items to ASOS?
Their returns are hassle-free.
These might seem like small worries, but you know from experience that it doesn’t take a lot to put you off buying something. So remove these buying blockages before they create even a hint of a problem.
And look at Jim here. He’s so proud of the Big One he’s hooked out of his bath.
Show. Your. Results.
I’ve got testimonials all over my website as well as case studies like this one. Would you even think of hiring me to write your web copy without knowing what I can do? Of course not. It takes more than an article about plughole hair to invest in my copywriting services.
And as much as I hope that you’re not reading this over breakfast, you know what? These photos of sink hair are grim but they’re relevant. This is the result you get when you use this product. People want to see that for themselves.
Tip! If you don’t have any results yet because your tech offering is new, think of some other way to show what you do. What it’s like to live without your product? What’s the problem you—and only you—solve for people? Show us that soggy mass of wet hair!
Better still, give me a buzz and we’ll figure out how to de-clog your web copy together.
Because nobody wants to be Alison from Hartlepool 🤢
(Sorry, Alison, but that’s monstrous.)
You do NOT want the equivalent of that ^^ sitting in your sales copy. Globs of technical jargon clog up the very thing you hope to communicate. Fish it out and see how much better your words read. Whilst you’re at it, see if there are any blockages in your navigation. And does your web design allow your visitors to move easily around your site?
When the obstructions are gone, it aids sales.
Tech can be difficult to describe sometimes. It’s frustrating for a reader when they don’t get how it works. When the meaning goes over their head. Or when they kind of understand it but not quite…
The only way to remove the obstruction is to tug at any ugly clumps of copy in your marketing message and yank them out. Much to everybody’s relief.
This is how I do it — no more wet hair pictures, I promise!
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Main image credit: aitoff on Pixabay
Natalie is a copywriter working in AI. She’s creating an immersive exhibition experience for anyone who needs to know: better days will always come 🕯️
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