You may have developed the most enticing program in referral marketing history.
You could literally plan to fly customers to the moon and back for referring friends.
Yet no out-of-this-world incentive makes any difference if your customers don’t understand how your program works.
As an eCommerce retailer, you don’t have the luxury of sitting down with customers over a cup of tea ☕ and offering a verbal explanation.
Instead, the only meaningful way to communicate the important deets of your program is through…drum roll, please…
And producing effective copy is a three-fold endeavor. Your copy must clearly explain your program, effectively sell your program to customers and ultimately endear your customers to your brand.
Admittedly, that’s a lot to keep track of.
That’s why we’re here to help.
We want to share our top 3 copywriting quick tips.
1. Speak Their Language
There’s a time and place for high-brow content. But in most businesses, that place is not in the referral marketing campaign copy.
If you’re trying to connect with your customers (whether through the copy on your site or in your e-newsletters), stuffy, complicated language is not likely to be an effective tool.
Often, speaking too formally can leave customers feeling disconnected (at best) or alienated (at worst).
When introducing a referral program, customers must see you as a business that both values their patronage and wants to become partners. Appearing to be a lofty company that looks down upon their customers while swimming in a pool of money isn’t an approach that will get you too far.
The easiest way to avoid this perception is to speak simply, directly and colloquially in your copywriting.
Brand #Goals: Some companies — particularly those selling products that have traditionally been considered high-brow — argue that it’s difficult to maintain a professional appearance while writing copy that’s accessible.
New York Based grooming products company Harry’s boasts a traditionally formal clientele, but they have taken to speaking directly to their customer in simple, easy-to-understand speech. In fact, they are running within direction.
And we’re talking Usain-Bolt-level running.
Their recently published five-year wrap-up, for example, begins “Phew, five years just flew by. Here, a look at our ups, downs, and side to sides…”
Now if that’s not customer-friendly speak, we are not sure what is.
2. Develop a Distinctive Voice
Do you remember the nap-inducing, monotonous voice of the teacher from Peanuts?
Consider her an example of how not to speak to your customers.
Sending out copy that sounds like “wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah” is not a good way to win friends and influence people.
Brand #Goals: When it comes to adopting a voice, MailChimp is making it happen.
Like, seriously. We’ve got a bit of a #BrandCrush going on.
Every bit of copy MailChimp puts out there into the universe sounds definitively MailChimp-y.
MailChimp’s voice is distinctive enough that when given three pieces of text, a regular MailChimp reader could likely pick the piece that belongs to MailChimp
Which sounds like a really weird party game, but we’re down!
Producing work that sounds definitively you should always be your goal.
Quick Tip – Don’t know what your brand should sound like? Start by listening. Listen to what’s going on in your office and to your customers. Then decide how to use what you picked up to differentiate your brand from your competitors. Pick single words or even more complex phrases to adopt as branded lingo and use them in your copy. Now you sound like your brand!
3. Avoid Passivity
How do you want customers to see your business?
Do you want them to perceive you as weak, passive, ineffectual?
Or do you want them to see you as active, vibrant and thriving?
If you’re going for the latter, you want to avoid passive voice.
Quick refresher: If the person doing the action isn’t the subject of the sentence, the sentence is passive.
“The taco was eaten by the dog.” – Passive
“The dog ate the taco.” – Active
For the sake of your referral marketing copywriting success, it’s time to dust off those cobwebby lower school English skills and finally put them to work for you.
When content is written (did you catch that that was passive?) in passive voice, it sounds stilted and is generally more difficult to for people to read.
Your content should be engaging.
Your content should be accessible.
Your content should be active.
Brand #Goals: Airbnb is a brand that’s synonymous with the word active.
There’s not a passive bone in Airbnb’s body of copy.
The Airbnb blog is full of posts about people visiting new places, eating new foods and getting some serious breaks on accommodation rates.
By keeping it active, Airbnb not only makes their content more readable, they also encourage their readers to follow the leader and get out there and experience the world.
Take this sentence, for example:
“Get out on the water with an experienced captain and you’ll get a fresh vantage point on the sights—like Mt. Tibidabo and Montjuïc—and you might even spot a dolphin or a finback whale.”
Not only is this active “get a fresh vantage point” instead of “a fresh vantage point was gotten,”☹️ — it also even further amps up the active feel by making the subject of the sentence you.
And, IDK about you guys, but I want to go see a finback whale. Like, right now.
Copywriting + Referral Marketing: A Match Made in Heaven
Like peanut butter and jelly.
Tea and crumpets.
Beer and peanuts.
Copywriting and referral marketing are an inseparable duo.
- Speaking customers’ language ✅
- Developing a distinctive voice ✅
- Avoiding passivity ✅
You can improve the effectiveness of your referral marketing efforts and grow your brand—easy as 1, 2, 3.
Until the next time,
Keep being awesome