Ever seen the show Sons of Anarchy?
It’s an action series on FX about motorcycle gangs in Northern California.
A bit cheesy at times, but it’s full of plot twists and surprisingly complex characters.
Not really my scene. I didn’t love the show at first, but now I’m hooked.
(Seriously. You should see my Netflix queue…)
Anyways, there’s something about the main character that rubs me the wrong way.
This guy, a long-haired, Viking-looking dude named “Jax,” makes plenty of reckless decisions.
He butts heads with the club’s president a lot, but his intentions are pure: he’s trying to make the club something better.
For all of his badassery and witty remarks, there’s something about the character that doesn’t ring true to me.
He’s supposed to be a small-town tough guy from California…
But there’s something strange about the way he delivers his lines.
It took me a few episodes to pick up on it. But now I can’t unhear it. Every now and then, a British accent slips into his white trash drawl.
It isn’t completely obvious, but it’s there.
It’s enough to pull my attention away from the drama and remember it’s just some dude reading lines – not a badass biker.
The dialog is well-written…
It’s the delivery that’s the problem. And that little mismatch is all it takes to break TV’s magic spell and throw people off.
This happens with web copy all the time.
A subtle gap between the message that resonates with the visitor and the message on the page.
It diverts attention and crushes momentum: two key components for every conversion.
You can avoid this by using the exact language your target customers want you to use. Matching the message and the delivery to make it as compelling as you can.
Great copy is like a clear mirror.
It reflects your prospects’ problems, frustrations, and deepest desires. And it does this by tapping into the conversation already going on inside their heads.
You might have the hook of your copy right. But it won’t be as effective as it could be if the delivery is a little off.
I’m talking a matter of degrees here. The smallest substitutions in language can make a huge difference in conversions and profits.
Market research will get you on the right track…
But the only way you can really nail it?
Talk to your customers. Pick up the phone or send them an email survey. Listen to how they frame their frustrations and how they’d like to eliminate them.
Death to all assumptions!
Those are what make you come off like a part redneck, part British guy pretending to be in a biker gang.