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Overcoming the Challenges in SaaS Copywriting
If you’re marketing a software product, then you know that trying to sell software is way different than e-commerce or info. products.
Sure, SaaS has great scalability, but it takes work to bring in new leads. And you have to hustle every step of the way to sustain your MRR and avoid churn.
Even after you get a new customer, you have to continue selling throughout your onboarding sequence to make them stay. Because if they don’t engage with your product, they won’t keep paying for the subscription.
That’s why 40% of prospects opt out after the trial period — and why you need a SaaS copywriter to convert those prospects and keep your funnels full.
But what makes copywriting for SaaS unique? And how can you work with a SaaS copywriter without breaking the bank?
This quick article reveals the challenges most SaaS companies encounter with their copy and how you can fix them — whether or not you hire a copywriter for SaaS.
All businesses suffer from the “curse of knowledge” — none more so than SaaS startups.
It’s hard for humans to step outside of their own heads. We struggle to see ourselves from the customer’s perspective. Yet doing so is critical to becoming profitable.
This curse of knowledge — otherwise known as “drinking your own Kool-Aid” — impacts SaaS companies worse than any other business because SaaS products are novel. SaaS companies solve new problems in unexpected ways.
And because software products offer novel solutions, prospects can get confused about both the features of the solution and the problem being solved. That’s why your messaging must be skillful and precise.
Your copy needs to explain your product’s features in detail so the prospect is painfully clear on what they’re getting. Only then can you emphasize features.
As you look at your copy drafts, ask yourself…
Will prospects understand what your product does and precisely how it does it? Can new customers understand the value proposition? Better still, will they feel an urgent desire for your product when they see your copy?
Communicating quickly is hard but important. Studies show prospects will abandon your site after about 15 seconds — unless you hook them with a clear value proposition.
It’s not an easy task for people with the curse of knowledge. Hooking a customer takes clarity. If prospects aren’t clear on the product and the benefits, they’ll bounce.
A good copywriter for SaaS can help. Your SaaS-copy expert should be skilled at two important tasks:
Your copywriter will research your market and talk to your customers to find out what they know — and don’t know — about the product and product category. This is critical. Understanding the customers and competitors will help you find your hook and express it well.
Then your SaaS copywriter will interview you and your team to understand your USP and features. They’ll uncover the benefits that matter most and communicate them persuasively so you get the click.
After doing the prep work, your copywriter will pair your product with your customer’s pain points in a way that’s easy to communicate. Then they’ll write great, high-converting copy for your website, landing pages, and emails.
A good copywriter may even improve your SaaS product in the process. (More on that in a bit.)
So, if clear product positioning and good market research are critical for SaaS marketing, what steps should you take to lay the foundation for your copy?
Start your copywriting process by pinpointing your ideal prospect’s awareness level. It’s what legendary copywriter Eugene Schwartz called the “stages of awareness.”
The answers to these questions will determine what you say, and when. The more solution aware your prospect is, the more you can discuss benefits.
If they’re unaware or in the early stages of awareness, you may need to describe the problem before you present your product.
Note: Copywriters will always tell you to emphasize a product’s benefits over its features. But for SaaS, features are very important. You’ll want to clarify your features while expressing their value. And if you’re a start-up, avoid evocative copy and keep your messaging descriptive. (Think of how terrible the slogan “Just Do It” would be if you didn’t know the company or what it offered.)
Once you’ve assembled a draft of your home page (or a key message copy platform), give it a quick litmus test: show it to an uninformed stranger or friend.
Do they understand what your product is and why someone would want to buy it — based only on the above-the-fold copy of your homepage?
If your test subject gets confused, don’t correct them; instead, correct your copy, and try again with another test subject.
How you interact with your customers will change as your company grows. As more people become aware of your product or product category, you’ll tailor your message to the audience’s new awareness level.
Let’s take Canva as an example.
In the last decade, Canva has become a well-known graphic design app. But it didn’t start out that way, and Canva’s messaging has changed a lot over the years.
In the beginning, Canva spent a lot of time describing their solution (a graphic design app with easy templates) and the prospect’s problem (wasting money on graphic design services).
If you check out web.archive.org you’ll see Canva’s headings from 2013:
H1: Amazingly simple graphic design
H2: A new way to design
H2: Search and drag simplicity
H2: It’s online and free to use
Now, everyone understands SaaS apps, and most people know about Canva. Their copy has changed dramatically as a result.
In 2021, Canva had this copy on their homepage:
H1: What will you design? [with a search box to look for task-specific templates]
H2: Start inspired
H2: Collaborate with ease
H2: Share with pride
Would that copy have worked in 2013 when no one knew what the product was? Probably not. It would have been confusing.
The benefits of “inspiration, ease, and pride” can only be at the forefront because the audience has a basic understanding of the product.
How a SaaS Copywriter Improves Your Product
There’s a fuzzy line between SaaS products and the marketing for SaaS products. The two overlap in the middle. Your copywriting ends up being part of the product.
When a prospect signs up for a free trial and starts using your product, the marketing continues. You may have their payment information, but there’s no sale yet. The copy still needs to work some magic.
You don’t want free trials; you want paying customers.
That’s why you need an awesome onboarding sequence and easy product tutorials. If your SaaS copywriter doesn’t continue to sell the benefits and features in the onboarding email series, your customers won’t buy.
But when your product feels easy to use — when its benefits look obvious and essential — you’ll win lifelong customers who refer their friends.
SaaS Branding Starts with Good Copy Strategy
Product usage begins with the free trial. But the brand experience starts with copywriting.
Your messaging represents your brand with every click. From a Facebook ‘like’ to the final purchase, you’re making promises and fulfilling them. And you’re establishing what the software will feel like to use.
Is the funnel sequence straightforward? Is the experience of the copywriting — and hence the product — uplifting, easy, and helpful?
If the copy stumbles, your funnel will leak customers. When it’s disjointed or changes tone from one step to the next, you lose leads. A SaaS copywriter can help.
Hire a SaaS Copywriter
A professional copywriter does more than wordsmithing.
They’ll do the research that helps you access your audience. And they’ll be able to describe your product in ways you probably can’t, helping you overcome the curse of knowledge.
Your copywriter will also serve as a strategist who can plan your funnels and onboard so new customers get a smooth experience.
Ready to get started? Contact us today for a no-obligation quote.