One statistic shows that over 80% of all buying decisions are emotional. That means your copywriting should be, too. This is something I firmly believe in and have preached for most of my copywriting career. However, all too often, I find people skipping the vital step of making an emotional connection with their customers. That can be a tragic, and costly, mistake.
Thats why I was excited when I had the opportunity to rewrite the homepage copy for a vacation cruise service. While the copy they used previously gave all the details and got them a good number of bookings, it just didnt have what it takes to make me start daydreaming about my next cruise. It didnt but it was about to!
The previous copy on the Cruise Vacation Center home page faced a couple of challenges. (You can view the original copy at this link: http://www.copywritingcourse.com/CruiseVacationCenter-Original.pdf.) The copy was very company-oriented instead of customer-oriented. It talked about who Cruise Vacation Center (CVC) is, why the visitor should buy from them, and some wonderful benefits CVC offers its clients including excellent bargain rates and extra discounts. However, all the verbiage was geared toward the company. The customer was left out.
The home page copy also lacked emotion. It was very matter-of-fact. In addition to making visitors aware of the wonderful prices and deals CVC offered, I wanted to create a vision for the site visitors. I wanted to give them what they needed in order to float off into a daydream about fabulous ports-of-call; warm, gentle breezes; and thrilling adventures.
While I was painting a picture of the vacation of a lifetime, I also had to be sure to include a vital fact. CVCs business plan was set up to be most affordable for the customer when s/he booked online. Without sounding rude, I had to do everything in my power to get the site visitor to book their cruise vacation while at the site. This was an extremely important issue and a point that needed to be woven throughout the copy.
Lastly, the page had to uphold Cruise Vacation Centers excellent search engine rankings. They were ranked at the top of several major engines, and the rewritten copy couldnt jeopardize their positioning.
The first step was, without question, to woo the site visitors with delightful fantasies about their next vacation. My goal was to conjure up all sorts of visions in the minds of Cruise Vacation Centers visitors. I wanted the visitors to be dreaming of exotic places with lots of fun things to do, interesting sights to see, and 24/7 access to gourmet meals that rival any five-star restaurant. I wanted their blood pressure to drop 10 points just from reading about the onboard staff of hundreds who would pamper them with VIP treatment. After reading this copy, I wanted them ready to leave on vacation today! However, I also had to persuade them to book online rather than calling CVCs office.
During the rewrite, I had to carefully plan the use of their primary keyphrase, cruise vacation, so as not to disrupt their most reliable source of business the search engines. After all, there is a delicate balance between pleasing the search engines and appealing to site visitors.
If I leaned too much toward the search engine side of the equation, the conversion ratio of the home page would suffer. In other words, Cruise Vacation Center would get lots of visitors, but few of them would book cruises.
If I leaned too much toward the customer side of the equation, CVCs rankings would plummet, and they would need to find a new way to drive qualified traffic to their site. As is normally the case with SEO copywriting, balance was going to be vital.
In the conclusion to this two-part series, youll see how I handled the rewrite and what the end results of all the work were. Curious to see the new copy? Youll find it on CVCs site: You can see the new copy on CVCs site at http://www.cruisevacationcenter.com.
by Karon Thackston © 2004