Low Conversion Rate? You May Be Making These Writing Mistakes

On January 02, 2020
4min read
Susan Guillory Writer @ReferralCandy

You know your product rocks. It’s priced competitively, and reviews are awesome. 

You’re sending emails to your subscriber list and promoting your website.

…yet your conversion rates are falling south of where you’d like it to be.

What gives? 

The problem might lie in the copy you’re writing to attract potential customers, whether that’s in the emails you send, your website, or your blog. 

Read on to learn about common writing mistakes that might be keeping you from boosting your conversion rates.

1. People are Greeted by a Wall of Text

What do people visiting your homepage or opening your email see? If it’s one giant paragraph of text, there’s a reason your bounce rate is probably high.

When writing content for your website, email, or anywhere else, the thing to keep in mind is that it needs to be visually appealing. No, that doesn’t mean you need to write in pink curlicue font. It means someone should glance at the content and not be overwhelmed at the prospect of reading what’s referred to as a “wall of text.”

Too much text in one chunk is monotonous and hard to read, and will likely result in your visitor leaving your site or deleting your email.

The solution: Break your content down into bite-sized chunks. Keep paragraphs to three to five sentences long. Vary lengths of sentences, use subheaders to break up lots of text. It is also important to use visuals to demonstrate your message instead of just paragraphs (you can see more about this in the screenshot below).

On Vibes’ home page, you’re given a little information and overview of what they do, and then options to click for more of a deep dive into each tool or topic.

2. You Talk Features, Not Benefits

Another writing no-no for your brand happens when you focus on the specs or features of a product rather than the benefits. Keep in mind: your audience cares about what’s in it for them, so if you can focus on why they should care about what you’re saying, your copy will take you further.

The solution: Step away from your product and see it from your customer’s perspective. What’s amazing about it? Maybe you sell natural plant straws like Hay does, which are a byproduct of wheat production. That’s an interesting fact, but why does your customer care about that? Instead, Hay considers what its customers care about:

They want to save the environment…but they also don’t want soggy straws.

A clear explanation of why customers should pay attention to your copy and product serves a good first impression about your brand as well. An eye-catching and concise message is a good way to make a memorable experience for a client. It’s critical for recommendation emails offering referral programs to the users.

3. Your Product Descriptions are Poor

When people click from your email to a product landing page, how much information are you giving them about the product? Keep in mind that you often have to work harder with eCommerce to convince people to buy a product because they can’t touch, smell, and feel it in person. The more detailed your product description, the better. 

The solution: In addition to writing about the details of the product (size, weight, materials), use some marketing speak to really sell it:

Here’s a great product description from Sterling Forever. It’s both functional and appealing. For those who want to know how long the necklace is, they find their answers. For those who need to be persuaded to buy it, there’s good marketing speak that takes care of that.

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4. You’re Using Spam-Triggering Words in Email Subjects

There are many causes for emails getting sent to spam, but words in your subject line are a common issue that keeps your emails from ever reaching your intended recipients. The more specific you are with describing the content of your email, the more likely yours get opened and read, and avoiding certain words will keep spam triggers from sending you to that black hole.

The solution: When crafting email subjects, avoid words like:

  • Free
  • Buy
  • Sell
  • Discount

And don’t capitalize all words or overuse exclamation points. This example from UPPERCASE Magazine is short, sweet, and to the point. After subscribing to a coupon, you receive this email. The brand uses the preview text to further explain what the email is, so spam filters ignore it and recipients open it.

5. Your Subject Lines/Titles are Vague

If you’re seeing a low open rate for emails or clicks to your blog content, it may be the packaging. Your subject lines and blog titles are meant to entice people to click to learn more. If they’re not doing the job, you can’t hope to increase your conversion rate.

The solution: The next time you miss the mark with your marketing campaign, ask yourself: did the subject/title accurately explain the content of the email or blog post? Was it enticing? Would you have clicked on it?

Here are some ways you can create intrigue in your subject lines and blog titles:

  • Use a statistic: “46% of holiday shoppers know this secret to saving. Uncover it.
  • Pull a quote from the article: “Jerry Smith on ‘The Biggest Mistake in Running My Business’”
  • Ask a question: “Are you getting the maximum rewards with your credit card?”

Here’s a great example: HubSpot does an amazing job at writing to-the-point blog titles. This one not only tells you exactly what it’s about but it also entices you with a little free bonus.

Is It Possible to Boost Conversion Rates Without Being a Pro Writer?


You don’t have to be a professional writer to use these tips and see an uptick in your conversion rate and sales. 

Pay attention to email open rates, clicks to your site, and reads and shares of your blog content so you can track what’s working and what isn’t. The key is keeping your audience in mind, both your new customers and the ones you’re trying to bring back to your store. 

You want to write content and copy—no matter which avenue it’s on—that speaks to them like an old friend and that draws them in, compelling them to learn more, click, or buy from your brand.

Article by Susan Guillory Writer @ReferralCandy

Susan Guillory is a writer for ReferralCandy and CandyBar, two software tools helping small businesses get more sales through word of mouth. Susan is also a small business expert and the president of Egg Marketing