How Customer-Driven Copy Helped HubSpot Increase Conversions by Nearly 100%

How Customer-Driven Copy Helped HubSpot Increase Conversions by Nearly 100%

Author: Joel Klettke / Source: New copy isn't better just because it's new. You can't just give your copy a "refresh" or aiml

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New copy isn’t better just because it’s new.

You can’t just give your copy a “refresh” or aimlessly fiddle with headlines to get a huge boost in conversions. These kinds of false hopes (and complete lack of a process) are why so many conversion copywriting projects fail, and so many new sites perform worse than the old ones.

If you want to make sure your new copy hits a conversion home run, keep reading.

Last October, I had the opportunity to collaborate with the team at HubSpot to rewrite their copy as part of their site’s redesign. It was a conversion copywriter’s dream come true!

In this post, I’ll share the exact process we used to fine-tune the messaging and nearly double the site’s conversion rate.

Diagnosing Issues and Setting Goals

The first step to improving your copy and conversion funnel is to learn what’s not working. To do this, Josh Garofalo (who also wrote copy for this project) and I turned to a few sources:

Internal Interviews

We grilled HubSpot’s product development, sales, and support staff to get their inside perspective.

  • The product team gave us a better perspective on the evolution of the HubSpot software into the Growth Stack, so we could write about the product as it is now instead of how it was in the past. The HubSpot Growth Stack consists of HubSpot’s marketing, sales, and CRM software.
  • The sales team illuminated the questions, objections and pain points most frequently mentioned by leads on calls. They also shared their most successful ways of overcoming objections and answering questions — things we could mimic with the site’s copy.
  • The support team shared the recurring questions and frustrations expressed by leads. We pored over support chat logs, highlighting recurring questions that we could solve proactively on the new site

We learned that HubSpot customers didn’t understand HubSpot had evolved into the Growth Stack: multiple tools that accomplish different goals individually, but are even more powerful used together.

Making this clear became a huge priority for the new copy.

Analytics & User Journey Mapping

HubSpot’s internal team consulted their analytics data and user journey maps and confirmed that clarity was an issue. Conversion flows were tangled as leads struggled to understand what they were signing up for.

We needed to simplify the path from interest to action.

Copy Audit

As HubSpot grew rapidly, the copy on their website was written by multiple people with multiple perspectives. This caused style guide inconsistencies, a lack of unified positioning and an inconsistent voice across the site.

This was our chance to bring consistency to HubSpot’s messaging and showcase their solutions in words that clicked with their customers.

Now, we just needed to find out what those words were.

Conducting Customer Research

To tell a persuasive story that your leads can see themselves in, you need to understand four things about them:

  • Pain points: The challenges and frustrations they face
  • Anxieties: The obstacles and fears that keep them from buying
  • Desired outcomes: What success looks like for them
  • Priorities: Which pain points, features, and benefits are most important to them

Instead of guessing at these things, why not just steal the words right out of their mouths?

Customer research is all about capturing your customer’s challenges, fears and desires in their own words so that you can use those same words in your headlines, body copy, and calls-to-action.

And when you know your customers’ priorities, you know exactly what features and benefits to emphasize, too.

Sneaky, right?

Let’s dig into how you can start stealing like the pros.

Segment Your Audience

Depending on what you want to learn, some segments of your audience will be more informative than others.

We identified three important segments to talk to in order to fully understand our audience:

Customer Type Why?
Active (3 – 6 months or longer) This group purchased recently enough to describe their pain points and priorities, as well as some benefits they’d realized.
(Make sure that you’re surveying customers who have had enough time to evaluate your product and find success with it.)
Leads Leads are deeply in tune with their pain points and anxieties — perfect for learning frustrations with the existing website and the obstacles they’re facing.
Dead Accounts This customer group can help us understand what went wrong and how we could mitigate those problems.

We also segmented these groups across HubSpot’s different products to make sure we were talking to people who actually used each tool.

Create Your Research Docs

Whatever you do, don’t skip this step!

There’s a temptation to jump right into talking to your customers — but first, you need a plan for pulling all the feedback together and keeping it organized. Josh and I developed a spreadsheet that saved us hours of headaches and dramatically sped up analysis. You can download a copy for yourself here.

Memorable Quote Type Theme Feature Notes Where & Who?
I have time for double the work now. I can create my blogs in a few hours, manage my calendar, analyze my data, and still have time to break for lunch.” Benefit Efficiency Content Planner Sticky. Well-said; possibly revamp into headline:

+ “Grow like a team twice your size”

G2 Crowd, Joe Shmoe

To use this spreadsheet:

  • Copy and paste standout customer quotes into the first column.

  • Categorize the quote by pain point, benefit, anxiety or priority. If the quote applies to more than one, choose the most appropriate and list the others in the “Notes” section.

  • As themes emerge, add them in the third column. Don’t worry about filling this column on a first pass — themes usually surface during review.

  • If the quote pertains to a specific feature, add it to the “Feature” column. This will make it easier to sort later on, giving you a cheat sheet for every feature.

  • Use “Notes” for your own reference. Remind yourself why you like the quote or how you might use it. If it’s a quote you might think about stealing copy from, tag it as “Sticky”.

  • List who said it and where. This will make sure you can go back to the source.

Collecting Customer Feedback

To get fast feedback at scale, so we turned to two channels: email surveys and review/testimonial mining.

Email Survey

Email surveys can reach a huge number of customers in a short time period — but to get actionable feedback, you need to ask the right questions.

Your respondents have limited time and energy, so you need to keep your survey focused. That means defining what you need to learn and crafting your questions around that goal.

We structured our survey as follows:

  • Qualifying questionsWe asked respondents to describe their role (helping us segment) and how they used HubSpot. Any respondent who said they didn’t use HubSpot anymore was pushed to a different set of questions to help us learn why they quit.We accomplished this “on-the-fly segmenting” by using Typeform’s Logic Jumps.
  • PreferencesWe asked how they liked to learn about software — whether by watching videos, reading landing pages, calling support, chatting online or reading reviews. This helped us decide if things like video or live chat should be included to support the copy.
  • Early experiencesWe asked respondents, “What was going on in your business when you sought out a solution like HubSpot?” This gave us a goldmine of insight into their pain points, purchase triggers and desired outcomes.
  • PrioritiesWe had respondents rank the criteria that were most important to them when making a purchase decision (price, ease of use, access to support, etc.).We also had them rank the features…