One of Harry Dry’s 17 tips for great copywriting is “Avoid landing page words.”
You’ve seen them: unlock, supercharge, hypercharge, unleash, enhance, etc.
They’re vaguely aspirational, like the words of a carnival game operator, an MLM scheme, or male enhancement commercials. They don’t really mean anything.
Harry says we shouldn’t use them because real people never say those words. No one has ever said to themselves, “If only I could supercharge my X…”
Harry is completely right, but I think he doesn’t go deep enough into why you shouldn’t use those words. The fact is that these “landing page words” are a crutch for copywriters.
The best copy comes when you’ve talked to real customers and prospects about their pain points, needs, and goals. It comes from understanding how people are actually using your products (or similar ones) and what they expect to get out of them.
No matter what you’re writing copy for – ads, landing pages, emails, Twitter posts, etc – if you find yourself reaching into your grab bag of landing page words, stop. That’s a crutch that you reach for when you don’t fully understand what your ideal customers are looking for when they come across your copy.
Ask yourself what you’re really trying to communicate. Is your target audience actually trying to unleash or hypercharge something? Probably not.
Your copy should be built on what comes from your customers’ mouths. If you don’t know what they’re saying, that’s a bad sign. As Eugene Schwartz said, “Copy is assembled. You do not write copy, you assemble it.” You can’t assemble great copy without the building blocks – the things your customers desire and the words they use to express those needs and wants.
Instead of mashing a bunch of landing page words together, go interview your existing customers. Ask them what they really wanted to accomplish when they started looking for a solution like yours. Ask them about the problems they need you to solve for them. Ask them about their anxieties that come with leaving the problem unsolved. Ask them what they would do in the absence of your solution.
After a few interviews, you’ll notice some patterns in the answers you get. You’ll look at your transcripts and find little phrases that give away what your ideal customers need to hear from you before they make a decision. That’s when you can start really writing copy sans landing page words. You won’t need them. You’ll have real ones.
Real people don’t use landing page words. They use normal human ones to express what they’re looking for. Go find them and use them.