6th principle of badass B2B web copy: Integrity

Often in copywriting, it’s good to surprise people. But when you’re writing a web page it’s the last thing you want to do…

“No alarms, and no surprises, please.”

Do not be distracted by the uncanny transformation into Frank Gallagher from Shameless; Radiohead front man Thom Yorke is a smart man, who knows a thing or two about writing great B2B web copy.

Specifically, it’s one (in fact, perhaps the only) area of B2B copywriting where you absolutely have to avoid surprises. Instead, show some integrity – and give your web visitor exactly what they were expecting when they chose to visit your page.

Anything else, and you’ll spook them.

The web visitor, remember, is a cautious and flighty beast. They bear scars from years of mistreatment by bait-and-switch peddlers and clickbait aficionados. They’re treading lightly as they tiptoe over the threshold of your page, twitchy and ready to fly to the safety of the back button at the merest hint that anything is amiss.

As a copywriter, you are the web visitor whisperer. You need to speak soothingly to your reader, calm them down, and reassure them that, yes, this is the very page they had in mind. And you have about three seconds to do it.

In short: don’t try anything funny*. Especially not in the headline and first sentence** or two.

So what do you put in the heading and first two sentences?

In short? Exactly what you’ve already written to bring them to the page – or something very like it. If they’ve already clicked on a search engine listing, or an email link, or a banner, or a web call-to-action, then consider that a promise. You’d better give them something pretty similar to that, and be quick about it too.

(You’d need a very good reason not to, anyway. And none immediately spring to mind.)

Nobody likes surprises. Not really. And there’s never ever a good reason to trick someone into coming to your web page. Show some integrity, and keep whatever promise you made to bring your reader to that page.

Hey you! Want to write butt-clenchingly terrible B2B web copy?

No? Then you’d better read our free web copywriting ebook, hadn’t you?


* Unless your visitor was expecting something funny. Then it’s OK.

** Do as I say, not as I do, obviously.


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