Every time our team has a breakthrough in messaging or product, it’s a palpable feeling. My belief is that it always happens when we have found the simplest way to say or build something for The Juice. It’s the same feeling you get when you find the right puzzle piece for a specific spot of a puzzle. You know it’s going to fit before you even put it into the puzzle. And it’s so satisfying to place it.
Last month, we ran our first big campaign. We called it #MoneyWellSpent because the idea was that we’d get people on our waitlist organically, instead of paying for ads, so that we could donate that saved advertising budget to a good cause instead of giving Facebook more money.
We learned a lot from it, but I’d say the biggest insight was how complicated marketing gets when you have too many messages.
We are a brand new company. In fact, we haven’t even technically “launched” yet.”
When we kicked off this campaign in February, virtually no one knew what our company was about.
When we launched the campaign, we felt the need to explain the following:
- Who we are
- Why someone should join our waitlist i.e what pain points we’re aiming to solve for
- Then we could connect the dots between joining our waitlist and donating to a worthy cause for every person that joins the waitlist.
We felt like we had to explain these three things. And that was a lot. Check out our first post of the campaign:
It’s not super realistic to hope even our friends and former colleagues on LinkedIn will both watch the video and read the accompanying copy.
But in the beginning, I didn’t see any other way.
As the campaign went on, we learned more and more that we didn’t need to explain so much. It was better to have one clear message, even if we knew people weren’t clear on who we are as a company.
Hindsight is 20/20. It definitely makes sense in retrospect. When it comes to the human attention span, simplicity is key.
Think about conversion rate optimization. One of the first things a CRO consultant will tell you about your landing page is to simplify the calls-to-action, if you have more than 1. For example, our first home page had 2 CTA’s: “join the waitlist” and “join the beta”. It’s unclear to new visitors if these are the same thing. The confusion causes your potential customers to give up on your site.
CRO experts will also tell you to consolidate large sections of text. While it might be good to have that text for SEO rankings, hardly anyone is actually going to read it. They’ll leave that landing page without taking action because they’ll get distracted from reading or simply overwhelmed. CRO experts have the data to back up these recommendations.
Looking back, it makes sense that we needed to condense our marketing messages.
Any of our fellow humans that are staring at screens all day are overwhelmed with content, so you need to tell your story in a really compelling and simple way. (The “compelling” piece requires a whole separate blog post.)
Over the course of the campaign, we simplified the message more and more. Here was our final post:
It has one value proposition: No more bad B2B marketing tactics - only content curated for you.
It has one CTA: Sign up for the newsletter.
And the donation to a good cause is a simple bonus.
I can’t compare the results of the “before” and “after” posts due to other variables in the campaign, BUT I can tell you that we’ve now started using the phrases “No More Marketing Forms” and “No More Cluttered Inboxes” from the “after” post and it’s resonating with our audience.
It might sound like what I’m explaining is just product-market fit. And it is, but it’s also more than that.
You can see the move towards simple design outside of the startup world, and even outside of general websites.
Look at both residential and commercial interior design.
Photo by Collov Home Design on Unsplash
Photo by Jean-Philippe Delberghe on Unsplash
I’m no interior designer, but it’s clear that there’s a large segment of interior design that’s moving towards simplicity. Notice the lack of clutter. There are one or two pieces that catch your eye.
Maybe that’s just a trend, but I’d be shocked if there wasn’t some sort of larger purpose like “people are overloaded, so let’s create a space where they can focus and not feel overwhelmed.”
Point is, your message should be simple.
Your website and product should be easy to use.
People need space to focus now more than ever.
If you’re working on messaging and it feels like you’re trying to jam the wrong puzzle piece into a puzzle, you probably haven’t honed in your message enough.
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