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Copywriting, conversion and your customer’s comfort zone

Barry Feldman, founder at Feldman Creative, online marketing expert with many years of experience speaks about how to use copywriting for better conversion.


People come to any website, either it’s dating, anti-virus software, or marketing services, for a reason. Literally, they do not need to be persuaded to buy what you’re offering – they already want it. You need to convince them that they are comfortable enough to do it right here and right now.


Conversion is making people feel comfortable to take action while they are on the website.

Feldman uses ‘comfort zone’ concept to explain how copywriting can help in converting: marketers use words in order to make customers feel comfortable at a website. Discomfort is the mother of all conversion killers.


What makes people leave your website? Seven common causes of discomfort

1. Confusion.

This is website’s first and worst nemesis. Key to overcoming confusion is clarity:


  • Write a clear headline.
  • Be clever and ambiguous, but never let them win over clarity.
  • Watch your language: avoid industry jargon and meaningless phrases (“State of the art”).
  • Clarity means connection between what viewer just saw, what inspired him/her to click and what he’s about to see when he goes to landing page. If an ad grabs attention, a person clicks and sees nothing related to the ad, this is a disconnect. The person is probably going to leave because he/she is not comfortable with transition that just took place.


Here, a Twitter ad leads to a completely different landing page (different image, atmosphere, slogan below uses no words from the ad above). Wrong! This combination converts very poorly.


Above, conversion is high. Same graphic style, same keywords (“Still using spreadsheet?”), same stressed-out guy are used on both images. Clear connection between what you saw before with what you see next is key here.


2. Distraction.

Do not blame the graphic designer. Key to overcoming distraction is focusing on the words you choose.

  • Every webpage has one job to do – subscribe, download, click, go forward, etc. Find this page’s job and focus on it. Keep it as simple as possible.
  • Write what needs to be written. Do not count characters but make every character count. Do not shorten just because someone told you to – people would read and consume if you capture their attention.


The page above makes you focused on subscribing, although the header menu could have been eliminated in order to make it even more focused.


This page is clear and focused on Getting started, but also has more information which is not distracting but makes you want to know more. This is a pyramid with the most important information first.


3. Apathy.

This is lack of interest, enthusiasm or concern. Copywriter should make everything on the page feel necessary, relevant and immediate.

Below is an A-B-C-D-E formula developed by Feldman of how to keep readers emotionally invested.


A = Application: how does your selling proposition apply to customer’s needs?
B = Benefits: what’s in it for the customer? Write a “How to __________” phrase. For instance, “How to remote control?” is wrong for selling a remote control. “How to change volume and channels without getting off the couch” is much better.
C = Context. Marketers are often trying to be everything to everybody – don’t. Be specific.
D = Differentiation. What can you deliver that no one else can? Be unique.
E = Emotions. Tap into pleasures and pains with power words.


The example above has context – applies to marketers, difference – focuses on budgeting, and emotions – love.


4. Boredom.
You cannot bore people into buying things. So make it fun, give it rhythm. Do not talk about yourself, but about the reader. Your copy stops working when it feels like work.



5. Friction.
Desire minus Friction equals Conversion Rate, meaning people come to a website with a desire, but friction reduces it. The antidote for Friction is ease – it makes you stand out in the noisy online world.


Reduce risks. People always have “what if” in mind. Introduce safety nets (e.g., a refund offer) and address fears with reasons to be fearless. Use words that imply lack of risk.

  • Speak to readers’ dreams: help them realize the satisfaction that comes from a positive outcome.
  • Empathize your reader: “I used to have the same problem…”
  • Overcome objections.


6. Lack of trust.
To gain trust, write conversationally: casual, caring, direct, simple writing with occasional breaking of grammar rules.

  • Talk less, listen to your customers.
  • Empathize as much as you can.
  • Use first and second voice: I, You, We. Try to avoid third person voice.
  • Use your customers’ testimonials for fresh copywriting ideas.
  • Offer social proof: statistics, testimonials by real people, numbers,customers’ logos.


7. Mystery.

  • Give your reader ultra-clear directions. Between cleverness and clarity choose the latter.
  • One choice wins. Pages that have clear call-to-action should have just one choice. More choices equal less conversion.
  • Use compelling verbs: start, try, reserve, buy, get.



To sum up, conversion might not necessarily transform readers, but it can make them feel good about taking action.

Irina Titova