From Website copy

Marketese or Sex on a Page?

According to SiteTurners (a website with a conversion-based glossary I randomly came across the other day), Marketese is this:

“A copywriting style that embellishes the effects or benefits of a product or service in an attempt to make it more attractive to the target audience. Frequently uses superlatives and adjectives.”

I don’t know if I could recommend SiteTurners, but I know I love that definition.

Love and hate it.

Hate it because thinking about it makes me cringe because that’s the kind of shit that is ALL OVER the internet.

For example, a story:

The other day, I saw that one of my friends, along with a few others, launched a new web design company.

I was super excited for them, because I’m all about entrepreneurship and breaking out from the cubicle to do your own thing, so I went to check out their new website almost immediately.

Cool website design, that’s for sure. (Good thing since they’re designers, eh?)

And because I’m in the market for a designer, I checked out the price offerings.

Their prices seemed reasonable, but to be honest, they turned me off the moment I saw copywriting slapped up on their offerings page as something done by one of the designers. Copy, to them, was nothing more than an after-thought.

I have no idea who the dude is who’s doing the copywriting, but I can tell he’s nothing spectacular.

I liked their page design they showed me on their site, but their copy did nothing to get me excited about what they could do for me.

Maybe I would hire them to do my page design, but never a word of my on-site copy. Not even the tiny text in the footer.


Because their pages were nothing but a huge mess of jumbled-up marketese about what great designers they are. Not that they necessarily cared about helping me accomplish my goals, but the most important thing for them was for me to know how well-educated and spectacular they are.

It’s an okay approach to a website, sure, but it screams ‘WARNING: Has no clue what he’s doing!’ to anyone with a trained eye and does nothing to turn on anyone with an untrained eye.

Right now, I know their price number, and even though it’s a friend’s business, that’s all they mean to me. A price.

If I find a web design firm that’s ready to “get” me, I’ll be theirs.

But then, this disappointment led to another conversation with a colleague on why marketese really gets under my skin.

I’ve said before that I hate being referred to as a copywriter, even though that’s what I do day in and day out. And even though I adore the work.

I expressed to my colleague how irritated I was with their boasting about copywriting, and my colleague decided to expand that into my hate of the term ‘copywriter’ and ask what’s wrong with them selling “copywriting” if they are indeed merely selling typical “copywriting.”

I told her I guessed she was right, but that by doing so, they were only defaming the name and concept of what copywriting really has the potential to be. That it should be a concept that gets people excited rather than putting them to sleep.

“Excited like how?” she asked.

“Mmmm…. more like experiencing sex on a page.” (That actually came out of my mouth. I don’t know how to feel about it, but I’m going with it.)

Yes people. Sex. Sex on a page.

THAT kind of experience.

No, I’m not some kind of perved-out idiot that weaves cheap innuendos into what I write. Or any innuendos at all, for that matter.

But think about it for a second.

That tasty, fun, exciting experience that makes you want more of it the instant it’s over.

The kind of experience that’s so good you actually think about later. The next day. The next week.

The kind of page that brings you back to it’s site for more.

The kind of site that’s so good that you look for ways to bring it up in conversation, like someone who just started dating a new person they find super attractive and super interesting. Because they are.

That’s what copywriting’s supposed to do.

It’s not supposed not be marketese. It’s not supposed to bore people to their wit’s end.

So let’s make it sexy.

Don’t hire a designer to do your copywriting for you. Unless, of course, they’re some kind of god-like combination of brilliant designer and seducing wordsmith rolled into one.

Hire someone who can create that hormone-inducing, addictive, seductive experience that makes visitors want more and keeps them coming back regularly.

Because with all the marketese out there, I can almost guarantee your your competition isn’t doing it.

And when you start using copywriting that’s as good as sex on a page?

You’ll become that guy that every other guy wants to be and every girl wants to be with.*

*Metaphorically and in business of course. But a sexy website will probably also put a boost in your self-confidence. And confidence is sexy. So there’s that too.

Slaying the Annoying Dragon that is High Bounce Rates [& a free ebook]

Let me tell you a story about a client I once had.

They’re an e-commerce-based SaaS company that hired me for consulting last December.

I worked mostly with the Senior Marketing Manager, and the main focus of our work was to improve the copy and layout of their landing pages so they could reduce their bounce rates and get more trial signups.

We also worked on their funnel, producing a handful of case studies featuring pre-existing clients.

They had an incredible product, and anyone selling and shipping things from an online store could save at least 8-10 hours of solid work per week, which is quite significant.

The only problem was, they said they wanted to make changes to their landing pages, but when it actually came down to testing some different versions, they were never willing to stray too far from their pre-existing layout and copy that clearly wasn’t working.

“You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” -Wayne Gretzky

The thing was, they were afraid of the large-scale experimentation it was going to take them to get those large-scale results they were after.

They didn’t want to experiment with buyer emotion, for example. It made them uncomfortable.

Instead, they talked about features, features, features until they were blue in the face.

(Hint: you should always experiment with emotion. People use data only to justify their decision to buy, which is based on emotions. So while you need data, it shouldn’t be your copy’s main driver.)

And even though it’s been statistically proven over and over again that visitors convert better if they’re only given one call to action (one type of action, not just one button), they insisted on multiple offerings on every single page.

(Another hint: If your main goal is one type of conversion and one type of conversion only, don’t lose potential customers to other types of conversions that are less valuable to your business.)

It was impossible to get past these things with them, and I eventually had to end our working relationship. Unfortunately, before they were able to reverse their bounce rates at the scale they wanted.

They were missing their chances of reducing those bounce rates only because they weren’t willing to take some seemingly risky shots and put themselves out there.

Because while a shift on your landing page might seem risky?

Clearly the bigger risk is to stay glued to something that doesn’t work.

So, let’s be real for a second. Bounce rates.

They happen despite our hardest work and our best intentions.

It’s just the nature of the beast that is the internet.

A really, really, f*ing annoying beast.

A lot of times, we don’t even like to think about them because we know that a bounce is exactly equal to the loss of the lifetime value of a customer. And that’s a lot of money.

As newbies, we see them and think “Oh, no problem. I’ll just do X, Y, and Z to reduce them.”

Then we try X, Y, and Z and realize that lowering bounce rates is freaking hard. (Like, even harder than remembering those stupid math formulas in high school.)

So when our bounce rates continue to be unreasonably stubborn and NOT reduce even the slightest bit, we get frustrated.

So frustrated that we almost have to forget the bounce rates and focus on other things just to keep our sanity.

I think we’ve all got higher bounce rates than we’d like.

It’s something we hate to admit because it makes us feel like we’re failing in some way, but I think the better solution is just to join hands to fight this monster for all he’s worth. Strength in numbers, you know?

Because when we reduce our bounce rates, it does a lot more than give us nice-looking numbers to show off. You know what else it does?

It get us more customers. Which makes us more money. (Significantly more money.)

And more money is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

So I’ve put together a weapon for you. A weapon in the form of a 32-page ebook that’ll help you slay your own high-bounce-rate dragon.

high bounce rates to high profits free ebook

I think the front page is pretty self-explanatory.

It’s 32 pages of the best (and easiest) ways I’ve found to keep people scrolling down your page and actually clicking on your call to action button. And it’s full of examples from all over the web to give you bits of inspiration and instruction for your own home and landing pages.

The best part is, none of them require any major or fundamental design changes, so they’re things you can implement and test rather quickly.

Just tell me which email address to send it to:

Hey Chelsea, send that ebook to this email address:

* indicates required

How Telling Bitch Jokes Taught Me a Hard Branding Lesson Most Companies Don’t Get

Two days ago, while eating dinner in my living/dining room and watching our television with all of 7 channels, Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money” came on.

My roommate’s face lit up. “This song! It reminds me so much of you!”

I had no idea whether or not I should be flattered. Have you seen this video??

A little concerned, I asked her why it reminded her of me so much.

I mean, we never talk about money, except for how much I owe her for the bills at the end of the month and how freaking expensive plane tickets can be. And though she’s stylish, I don’t model how I dress after Rihanna (or anyone remotely well-dressed, for that matter).

And somehow, it didn’t feel as flattering as that time a little Chinese girl told me I looked like Taylor Swift.

Because, um, cold-blooded murderer?

She said she didn’t know exactly why. Obviously because I like to joke around with the word bitch, but also just because it was catchy and fun to sing if you didn’t think about the video. (Phew.)

I mean, the girl speaks so little English the only words she understands without looking up the lyrics are “bitch” and “money.”

I’m going to to go with the fact that Rihanna repeats the word “bitch” about a million times throughout the song… because one of our favorite get-tipsy activities is to create funny English-Portuguese mash-ups of the word bitch, then using our favorites to refer to a mutual acquaintance that’s impossible to deal with. It’s fun.

It’s sometimes funny the things people tell you that reminded them of you, isn’t it?

On a personal level, it can be hilarious… especially since we’re allowed to have fully fleshed-out, multi-faceted personalities.

But on a business level? You better be careful.

(I’d be mortified if one of my clients have told me this song reminds them of me.)

For example, I recently had a client reach out to me with a website that was completely sub-par.

But it wasn’t sub-par for the reasons you’d think.

The template and design of the website were absolutely beautiful. Like, I was envious of it.

But when I read through the website, it was impossible to decode. I had no clue what the heck they were selling.

It turns out they sell subscriptions to online courses. I sincerely thought they sold some kind of software.

The problem was, they’d gone out, looked at a bunch of different “cool” subscription and solution-based websites and taken what they thought were the “best” pieces and words of copy, and used them to inspire their own pages.

As celebrity style icons, if you will.

The problem is, their idea of the “best” words to adapt is the rest of the world’s idea of “jargon.”

They were trying to come across as professional, but didn’t know how to go about it, so they took inspiration from elsewhere.

It’s totally normal to take inspiration from others that you see are successful…. but you’ve got to put your own spin on it. And for goodness sake, you can not put yourself aside for the sake of a cool design or good-sounding words.

Because then? You end up reminding everyone of someone else, or resembling a bunch of faceless people in a crowd… or an axe murderer.

You blend into the crowd of sameness rather than sticking in someone’s memory or reminding visitors of that kick-ass music video they say on YouTube last night.

You get unintentionally stuck with the branding of businesses and individuals who are not you or your brand. And because of that, your brand, your customer loyalty, and subsequently your sales, suffer.

Not quite sure how to let your business have it’s own personality on your website?

I’m putting out an ebook on my top five secrets to a website re-write, which both help you have the personality you want and convert more visitors. It’s main focus is to help you turn high bounce rates into low bounce rates and higher profits.

Put your name and your email into the form below, and you’ll be one of the first ones to receive it. (Even before I put it live on my website!)

*Edit: the ebook is now live! Get it here:

You’re Not Just Another Boring Software Company, Are You?

I’m about to give you a secret most software companies (and most companies, in general) either don’t know or don’t use on their websites. It’s seemingly obvious, but such a small adjustment will significantly reduce your bounce rates. I promise.

The thing no one realizes about software is that it isn’t boring… like, at all.

There’s nothing boring about saving hours upon hours every single day because you don’t have to do manual data entry.

There’s nothing boring about saving thousands of dollars on labor costs or increasing sales (and therefore incomes) by 20% or more.

But as soon as we hear the phrase “software company,” our brains automatically go into ……..zzzzzzz……zzzzzzz……..zzzzzzzz mode.


Because we don’t give a rat’s ass about optimization, navigation, platforms, development, scalability, or being ‘data-driven.’

We think we do, but in reality these words are so intangible in our day-to-day, that our brain shuts them off without us realizing it.

For example: Sustainable solutions.


Honestly, what would you think about another landing page promising sales optimization? You might give it a read, but it probably wouldn’t stick out in your head that much. And by tomorrow, you probably won’t even remember it at all.

What we really care about are the tangible effects that optimization, navigation, cloud development, and scalability have on our day-to-day.

Like doubling invoices.

Or not having to cut back on your project management staff because you don’t have the business coming in to sustain it.

Or getting three times the amount of leads in your inbox when you walk into the office on a Wednesday morning.

These are the things that make software not boring.

And this, my friends, is where better copywriting comes in.

Believe me, I’ve seen it all. I’ve been working in this space for a good, long while.

With the scope of the internet (There’s 571 new sites created every. single. minute. That’s 822,240 new sites per day.), it’s damn near impossible to see it all, but there’s definitely very clear patterns online.

And you know what those patterns mean?

More of the same. Every. Damn. Time.

More optimization. More scalability. More data-driven solutions.

And not so much of this:

  • Saving your sales reps 3 hours per day, on average, that they can spend making more calls.
  • Watching your revenue double month over month.
  • Knowing exactly when a visitor performs a trigger action on your website, and emailing them something relevant immediately after… Increasing your chances of making a sale by 50%.

Yea, I get it. I just described exactly the same things:

  • Optimization = Saving your sales reps 3 hours per day, on average, that they can spend making more calls.
  • Scalability = Helping you find the most ripe & ready contacts to reach out to & when within your CRM. And watching your revenue double month over month because of it.
  • Data-driven solutions = Making your customers fall in love with you because you pay attention to what it is they actually want. Which drastically increases your deal closing rates.

But think about it with me for a second.

How likely are you to buy a piece of software that provides business scalability?

And how likely are you to buy a piece of software that can double your revenues month over month?

You can’t wait to get your hands on the second one, right?

So, for the love of God and software, start using these tangible descriptions on your website’s pages.

That secret I promised to a higher-converting page?

That was it. Be. Tangible.

USE those tangible descriptions over those jargon-y words, and you’re golden.

Because even if you don’t have as many cool features as they other guy?

Let me tell you something: You won’t need ‘em.

Taking the time to revamp the pages you’re using to convert is what’ll set you apart far more than any fancy piece of code. And your customers and bank account will thank you for it.

If you’d like me to re-vamp your landing page copy for you, I’d be more than thrilled. There’s nothing I love more than turning meh copy into wow-za copy. You can get in touch with me here for a consultation. No pressure, though. I hate pressure.