There has been a recent frenzy to create crystal-clear messaging in online communications. Companies such as Storybrand have led the charge resulting in bland formulaic headlines illustrated with predictable images of generic happy customers.
But the ironic problem with this kind of templated approach is that everything fades into a sea of generic sameness. When you reduce your copy to only the most essential elements of what you do, you bleed it of engagement and life. Your clarity won’t matter because it simply won’t register.”I’m a plumber, I fix leaks”. If you’re not memorable then you’re forgettable.
The heart of this problem is the assumption that people who land on your webpage have no idea who you are or what you do. You have to pass a “grunt-test” so these Neanderthals don’t wander off in search of something simpler to understand.
But the chances of someone stumbling across your site and being confused are next to zero. According to Netcraft’s January 2019 Web Server Survey, there are 1,518,207,412 websites on the world wide web today. People won’t accidentally find you, read your boring headline and buy from you.
In reality, the vast majority of visitors will arrive via another source, whether search, blog, social media post, PPC ad or some other property. Your website is part of a larger ecosystem, not some standalone outpost waiting in a vacuum of hope for a customer to stumble upon. They are coming because they are already interested in what you have to offer. This is a good thing. You have the opportunity to set the stage to engage them, tell them why you are different, and convince them to buy from you.
What you really need to do is manage your online system as a series of steps leading to your unique selling proposition. This creates a true hero’s journey of staged messaging toward results that delight your customers while allowing your brand to be truly distinctive, persuasive and yes, clear.