5 Copywriting Mistakes That Are Crashing Your Tech and Software Sales
Whether you’re selling B2B or B2C, technology and software sales can be incredibly difficult. The speed of evolution in the industry, coupled with the price of products and services – especially at the Enterprise level – leaves many potential buyers feeling wary and cold.
So you need to make sure that your marketing and sales collateral is right on point – focused and ready to take down objections, promote benefits and convince the prospect that yes, your offer is exactly what they need right now.
Yet while this difficulty plays out every day, the tech industry is almost comically regarded for the abundance of dry, jargon filled follow-the-leader copy it deploys on the front end.
Promotions that should be exciting, absorbing or just plain interesting end up feeling like you’re trapped in an ITIL presentation… and it’s Friday. And lunch should have started 8 minutes ago.
To help you avoid looking like just another clown in the tech circus, here are 5 of the most common critical copywriting mistakes that’ll see your technology and software sales material heading straight for the physical or digital recycling bin.
1. Too much focus on features over benefits
Yes… in tech, features are important. Extremely important, in fact. A product’s features can be enough in this arena to firmly engage the interest of technically-minded prospects…
But that doesn’t mean you should forget about the benefits. When we’re selling, we’re selling to people – and people have needs, wants, burning desires and daily frustrations. You can’t play on those with a simple feature list.
Sure, it might be amazing that your new product can transfer data at x times the speed of the nearest competitor, or offer integration with so many more external platforms than the current market leader… but what does that mean for your prospect beyond its face value? They may understand perfectly how great the improvement is in a technical sense… but what can you do to make them also see potential improvement through a personal lens?
Technology exists primarily for the betterment of mankind through solving specific problems – both on a professional (workflow) and personal (aggravation) level. Hit both of these by really digging deeper into the benefits for your prospect. The “So What?” method I wrote about here should work wonders for that.
2. Jargon overload
It’s true you should always speak in the language of your market (even better, your individual prospect) – but if you sound like a robot, reeling off a stream of internal acronyms to the point that your material becomes hard to read… well, you’re in trouble.
Even those who understand exactly what certain acronyms, brand names or titles mean will have a hard time getting through your copy if it’s made clunky and awkward – lacking an easy flow and linguistic slide – by your insistence on throwing out as much jargon as possible. Sure, technical folk are impressively resistant in this regard… but remember we’re all human and will only offer so much unnecessary effort before we walk away.
Another important point to consider here is that there’s always a point where you’re talking over someone’s head. When settling into jargon, you’re assuming that your reader understands all of it. That’s a big risk – think, for example, if you’re reeling off a list of compatible/linked systems. You assume your prospect already understands each of these systems and knows the value of their integration.
But as soon as someone starts hitting a series of supposed selling points that they know nothing about and have no interest in, you’ve lost them. Be careful with the jargon and think carefully about where to draw the line.
An executive has very different needs to a developer or an engineer – and thus they need to hear a very different message. Which brings us to…
3. Not striking more than one target with the same move
Approaching different people in different ways is crucial within an organisation. An engineer, developer or admin may be a vital linchpin in getting a business on board with your offer… but they often aren’t the actual decision maker. This falls to executives, who are generally less technical.
If you hit both the executive and the high-level tech at the same time with different styles of message – different language that they can each relate to on their own terms – you land a one-two double whammy.
Imagine Derek, the software developer, walking into the office of his boss, Frank, to show the materials he’s just received about your fantastic new cloud-based development platform. We’ll call it Cloudmium, because why not…
“Hey, Frank,” Derek says. “I wanted to talk to you about this letter I got – something called Cloudmium – looks like it could be good. Want to take a look?”
“Oh, Cloudmium?” Frank replies. “I’ve actually just been sitting here reading about it and wanted to ask you! Think it sounds like a winner?”
This doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Simply take the base letter originally written for Derek or Frank and — just like swapping components in a server – replace existing chunks with language and benefit/pain points suited for the other person. Plug ‘n’ Play, partner!
4. You don’t make an offer
Sell sheets, white papers, advertorials, information packs and the like are all well and good… but they’re little use to you in a selling capacity if you don’t actually make an offer or include a call to action!
Without these, the most common response a prospect will have is “thanks for the info” – the “cool story bro” of sales.
Tell them what to do. It isn’t sleazy. It isn’t pushy. It’s just simple instruction. Telling them here’s what you have and, crucially, here’s what to do now to get it.
5. Not using case studies
Case studies are the B2B Silver Bullet. Testimonials are good – case studies are GREAT.
A case study should tell the story of one of your previous buyers/clients/subscribers – taking the reader through the initial pain, the problem faced in the beginning and the impact it was having, before demonstrating how your product or service stepped in and turned it all around.
An outstanding technical case study will be filled not only with relevant data – the hard figures showing the improvement on an analytical level – but also elements of operational success. Show how the working environment changed, how individual frustrations were solved depending on job roles. How the world, quite simply, became a better place for the people buying your stuff.
The only natural reaction should be for your reader to say “I want that for me and my business.”
Because (and here’s a common thread) people aren’t machines. It isn’t the tech they want…
It’s the outcome.
And that’s that – how to get your head out of the clouds (ho ho ho) and avoid the big 5 copywriting mistakes that are crashing your tech and software sales.
Of course, the world of technology is deep and nuanced – there’s a much more intricate balancing act to be performed here with regards to benefits, features and language than you’d find in the general consumer market… but that doesn’t mean it has to be stuffy.
If you want to excel, the truth is quite the opposite.
And if you’d like to have a quick, no-hassle chat about getting your own sales copy whipped into shape by a tech-centric copywriter, hop on over and get in touch with me.