What Tech Giants Can Teach Attorneys About Copywriting

My colleagues and I have explained it time and again – your clients simply don’t care that much about your credentials. They care about what you can do for them.

We keep bringing it up because it bears repeating. As someone who writes a lot, I can personally attest to the fact that focusing on credentials or features is an easy habit to develop. In most cases, it’s far easier to list concrete facts than it is to thoughtfully identify the benefits of a service and then find a way to illustrate them to the reader.

But the easy path isn’t always the right choice. If you want your website to be more effective at converting visitors into clients, you need to put in the work when writing your web copy. You need to be deliberate and smart about how you translate what you actually do into a context that your clients actually care about.

Benefits language can help. To see how, let’s look at the way marketers in another industry — consumer electronics — use this language to translate complicated technology into normal life.

Benefits Language Simplifies Complicated Ideas

070516_SamsungTVCopyThis slice of text from Samsung (http://www.samsung.com/us/experience/9series-tv/) is a great example of how to take a complex idea and present the tangible benefits for the reader.

I have no idea what 1,000-nit High Dynamic Range is, and honestly I don’t want to know. I assume this is how some of the people who visit legal sites also feel when the content starts delving into jargon and citations of specific legal code.

This copy demonstrates how the marketer understands that what I really care about is a great picture on my screen. The mention of HDR 1000 helps reinforce that Samsung is using cool technology, but it doesn’t linger on the point or the technical details.

Similarly, the threshold for convincing a potential client that you understand complicated legal terminology is a small one, and the real play is to relate your knowledge into some benefit for them. Here all I need to know is that Samsung TVs come with some kind of cool, possibly alien, HDR technology, and it means if I buy their TV I’ll get great picture quality.

 

Benefits Language Relates a Service to Normal Life

Back to Samsung again (http://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/phones/galaxy-s/samsung-galaxy-s7-edge-32gb-us-cellular-gold-platinum-sm-g935rzdausc/) for this one: I’ve no doubt that a Quad HD Super AMOLED screen is amazing, but what I really need to know is whether the phone is going to fit in my pocket, or if I’ll need to carry it around in a wheelbarrow.

070516_SamsungGalaxyCopy

A curved screen sounds cool and all, but knowing that it allows me to get to texts quicker is what actually makes the difference.

Similarly, when you’re writing web copy for someone who’s already gotten five calls today from bill collectors, a detailed analysis of the Means Test for Chapter 7 isn’t going to drive a contact. Telling them that their phone will stop ringing tomorrow while we figure this out will.

Benefits – Everything Old Is New Again

I love this example so much — except maybe that the text is hard to read against the background at this size. Don’t do that!

070516_Apple_iPhone_Skateboarder

I can just imagine the marketer sitting there saying, “How am I going to say our camera is even better for the millionth time?!” I assume that saying your phone has a great camera is the tech equivalent of attorneys using “we answer our phone” as a marketing pitch.

There’s something compelling though, about the idea of suddenly wanting to quickly take a picture of some weird thing you’ve come across that translates all these tried and true ideas (good image, auto-focus, stabilization, quick access) into a meaningful moment that the user can relate to. Just as evoking that feeling of waiting on hold, or getting your attorney’s voicemail for the tenth time when you have an important question about your case moves the needle far further than just saying, “we answer our phones.”

Using benefits language unlocks the opportunity for you to look at the marketing clichés we’ve long since exhausted through a new lens. Take advantage of that.

 

Lessons From Another Industry

I know I’ve felt at times like writing for legal consumers has left me out on an island, dealing with problems it seems so many other marketers don’t worry about. But, the consumer electronics industry actually struggles with some of the same problems you and I face. Most notably that communicating the subtle, small differences between one product and the next can lead to a spaghetti-tangled knot of jargon.

The key is getting people to feel a sense of how products integrate into their real life, how they help them solve a problem. The same is generally true for law firms. Attorneys like you need to relate complicated ideas into a real life scenario that your targeted audience is likely to care about.

That, at its core is what benefits language is all about, and it’s why we think it’s so important to focus on.

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