Copywriting: How Embracing Your Flaws Can Increase Conversions
One trend that has always blown my mind is ugly sweaters.
Striped. Polka-dotted. Itchy. Furry. NEON.
They’re unappealing by their very name, yet come December, hordes of people are hunting them down (including the IMPACT team.)
Fashion disasters (that would typically be forgotten) go to the highest bidder, designers line their racks with intentionally hideous pieces to capitalize on the trend, and anxious consumers pay top-dollar in hopes of outdoing their friends.
In the world of these sweaters, the uglier the better -- and people can’t get enough of them.
So, why should it be any different for your product?
How can your brand take a usually “ugly” trait or shortcoming and turn it into a beautiful profit?
With the copywriting hack described in this article, I’ll show you how to do just that (and increase conversion rates in the process.)
How to Be Imperfectly Perfect
When it comes to the copy on your website, consider embracing your organization or product’s oddities. Show and describe how your brand is imperfectly perfect.
Now, before we go any further, let’s make one thing clear: being perfectly imperfect in your messaging is not about marketing a bad product that doesn’t deliver on its promise.
Rather, it’s about embracing your flaws or quirks, not hiding them from your audience.
Instead of steering clear, as more cautious Marketers would, you need to make those unusual characteristics a part of your unique value -- and believe it or not, more and more brands are doing the same.
At his session at INBOUND 2015 and in his book, Non-Obvious, Marketer and best-selling author, Rohit Bhargava, dissects this trend which he calls “unperfection.”
Using a revelation from Christian Rudder, the founder of the online dating site, OkCupid, he helps explain the reasoning behind it:
“‘Polarizing looks—people with unique features or lots of tattoos—get 10% more messages and dates than conventionally attractive people. A lot of people are put off by them, but the people who like them
In other words, we are attracted to people who are more unique and stand out, even if they happen to be less perfect by traditional measures.”
The traditionally “ugly” appearance of these footwear lines is part of their commercial appeal. They’re not just another average pair of shoes that people can quickly overlook; they’re bold conversation starters.>
What many would see as strange or unconventional is part of what people are paying for. These unusual looks are a quirk; a proud subculture that only a few can belong to.
But Why Does This Work?
As a B2B Marketer, you’re probably thinking I’m crazy. Why would you ever intentionally draw attention to what’s strange with your product or service, right?
Well, while on the surface this may seem like a bad move, the effects it has on your brand’s “likeability” and deeper perceived value is immeasurable.
Embracing your faults not only helps increase conversions by building trust and making your brand more human, it also helps by differentiating you from your competition.
Let’s take a deeper dive into both of these points.
1. Building Trust & Humanizing Your Brand
Nobody’s perfect. Having flaws is human.
When your brand embraces its eccentricities, it helps humanize you to your audience and make you more genuine and relatable.
When people see you acknowledging criticism or flaws, it becomes clear that you’re not out to deceive them or just make the sale.
You’re not a cold, heartless corporation, but a team of individuals actively working to put the best product forward.
With this honest approach, you show that you’re not trying to mislead anyone or pretending to be something that you’re not.
Instead, you’re setting realistic expectations of what people will see from your product and from working with your team.
Overall, this type of upfront messaging helps build your audience’s trust in your brand and its promises, and as we all know, trust is a crucial factor in making people feel comfortable enough to convert on your site.
If someone doesn’t feel like your company is trustworthy or reliable, it is unlikely that they’ll want to give you their personal contact information by converting, let alone their money when it comes time for the final sale.
With this in mind, don’t just make your value propositions and Marketing messages realistic and honest, support your claims using collateral like testimonials, industry awards, and certifications as social proof. Seeing these will help provide your prospect with reassurance, and in turn, make them more likely to convert.
Embracing your imperfections in your copywriting can also help differentiate you from your competition and create an exclusive experience.
Everyone these days can claim they’re “unique” or “the best of the best.”
While they’re putting forth hyperbole and cliche promises, your organization can stand out by sharing the little quirks that make your product, service, or even team, extraordinary.
These personal details will help pique your audience’s curiosity and make them more intrigued to convert, while also making you more memorable when it comes time to make a buying decision.
To illustrate, let’s take Crocs for example once again.
The shoe company knows that they’ve been criticized and even mocked for their chunky look and outrageous colors, but it’s clear from the messaging on their website (and social profiles) that they’re not trying to hide that fact.
“Crocs celebrates the fun of being a little different and encourages fans to #FindYourFun in every colorful pair of shoes.
In this one short sentence, Crocs makes their negative a positive, and silences their critics.
Their shoes aren’t ugly; they’re just “a little different.” Wearing them won’t get you on the cover of a fashion magazine, but they will make your day a little bit more fun -- and that’s definitely worth converting on (or in this case, adding them to your wardrobe.)
Crocs also embraces its unconventional reputation by creating a sense of community between owners of their products.
As seen below, instead of shying away from what many would consider a fashion faux pas, Crocs encourages fans to celebrate their fun footwear by sharing photos of themselves enjoying life while wearing theirs.
Sure the Crocs Community is a little colorful and off-beat, but with their clever messaging and playful lifestyle, off-beat doesn’t look half bad!
(I know I want a pair now.)
When it comes to your Marketing message or website content, stay true to your brand story.
Your organization’s brand is more than just a logo or signature colors; it’s your history, your team, the unique experience you offer, and the feelings that arise in your audience when they hear your name. Your flaws or company quirks are part of this story.
What seems like a weakness on the surface, (i.e. a young team, an unconventional process, etc.) just may be your strongest selling point with the right framing.
About Ramona Sukhraj
As Content Marketing Manager, Ramona approaches marketing not only as a profession, but as a creative outlet. She has a passion for all things artistic and strives to create content that is educational, yet quirky and entertaining as well. With a B.S. in Marketing from the UCONN School of Business, Ramona is a frequent contributor to the HubSpot blog and a nonprofit consultant. Outside of IMPACT, she is a design, movie, and pop culture buff, and a fierce advocate of free hugs.