The Conversational Blog

In these posts we explore conversational writing as
a powerful way to communicate and sell online.

Automation is the enemy of conversation.

Automation is the enemy of conversation

If you’re involved in marketing online, you’re doubtless aware of the power and benefits of automation.

Modern online tools allow you to target your future customers, entice them with the best offers, pull them into a powerful sales funnel, send out a series automated emails and then land them as customers.

The better your landing pages, sales funnels and email sequences… the higher your conversion rates.

The process truly is a marvel of modern technology. It really is.

And yet…

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Conversation is the cure for corporate gobbledygook.

A cure for corporate gobbeldygook

Any kind of language that creates distance between a business and its prospects and customers is a problem.

Put simply, you can’t turn a stranger into a customer by creating distance, by pushing people away.

Much of the time that distance is created by the language a company uses in its business and marketing communications.

First, overly promotional language creates distance simply by stimulating the reader’s defenses. Try to sell at me too hard and I’ll defend myself by stepping back, walking away or ignoring you altogether.

Secondly, overly formal, corporate language, filled with impenetrable jargon creates distance.

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4 Ways to disarm your prospects through conversation.

Disarming through conversation

When someone tries to sell us something, we prepare ourselves for the onslaught.

We raise our defenses. We hide behind filters. We prepare our rebuttals and get ready to say NO.

Why such an extreme response? Because we are used to the sale process being adversarial.

And we know that an experienced salesperson has a hundred tricks and schemes in his playbook. He’s been doing this for years. He has been trained to win, to demolish objections, and to close the sale.

It’s little wonder we go on the defensive.

Of course we do. We’re under attack.

At least, this is the way things used to be.

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Copywriters like us don’t lie.

Marketers lie

About 5 years into my career as a copywriter I was working on a campaign for a client in the pharmaceutical industry.

The product I was being asked to write about was a hospital analgesic – a painkiller for dealing with severe pain in a hospital setting.

The trouble was, when I looked through all the clinical studies for that product, I couldn’t find any evidence that it was effective as a painkiller.

In fact – and I remember this after almost 30 years – the best I could find was a statement that described the product as “slightly more effective than placebo, but not significantly so”.

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Use a single, conversational voice across all digital media.

Isn’t it a little odd that we try to communicate with our audiences in so many different voices?

Many companies – and the writers who work with them – seem to struggle when it comes to finding a single, consistent voice for their websites.

For example, a company’s homepage might be written in a fairly cautious, descriptive tone.

Their About page may feel even more formal and corporate.

Meanwhile their sales pages are much louder and pushier, written in a voice that would be better suited to old-school, broadcast media like TV and radio.

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