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Michal Eisikowitz Expert FAQ

How can I optimize my product's unique selling point?

December 19, 2022

This interview is part of Kameleoon's Expert FAQs series, where we interview leaders in data-driven CX optimization and experimentation. Michal Eisikowitz founded MichalEisikowitz.com, a copywriting collective specializing in website messaging for B2B tech companies. She is also the founder of CopyTribe, an online copywriting & business university that has trained 400 freelancers.

How can I identify a truly unique USP and optimize my product's selling point? 

Identifying your USP comes at the product development stage. If you’ve already created the product, it’s a bit late to start thinking about a USP. Ideally, your offer should be crafted with inherent differentiation.

Your USP doesn’t have to be 100% unique. It'd be cool if it was, but in any robust (or growing) market, it’s unlikely to stay that way for long. Your offer just has to be compelling or different enough for a good chunk of your best customers to consider you over your competitors.
Michal Eisikowitz
Founder at Michal Eisikowitz Copywriting

How do you make this happen? Customer research. 

Pinpoint your ideal customer—then find out what matters to them. Say you’re selling project management software, for example.

Do your customers care a lot about visual elements? Is the aesthetic element important to them? Or do they prioritize functionality, with the ability to easily create layers of automation?

What drives them crazy about other software on the market—and how can you make that go away?

By learning more about your customer’s priorities, desires, hesitations, and motivations, you will gain insight into (a) what your USP should be and (b) what to emphasize in your brand messaging.

How can I use storytelling when the brand story is bland?

Hmmm…are you sure the brand story is bland?

When your product fills a real void, there’s almost always a story to tell. 

Picture your best customer. Which industry norm makes their life unnecessarily difficult? What stands in their way, blocking their road to success? What in this industry is unfair, unjust, or too darn complicated—and how does your product say, ‘NO MORE, there is another way.’

Most brands are bucking some standard—even if they’re not Uber or Tesla. You don’t have to revolutionize an entire industry to be disruptive or change-making in an impactful way. If you are creating change and paving a smoother path for your best people, that story is worth telling.
Michal Eisikowitz
Founder at Michal Eisikowitz Copywriting

You can use social proof—testimonials, screenshots, case studies—to tell this story in a rich, three-dimensional way. Borrow your customer’s words to paint a compelling picture of before-and-after—to show the difference your product is making in the lives of real people.


How do I determine the hierarchy of messages on a webpage?

The messaging on any given webpage needs to meet the customer where they’re at.

Identify your prospect’s level of awareness—what they know about their problem or your offer—and start the conversation there. 

For example, if you were writing a homepage for Dr. Ralph Sawyer, a pediatric dentist, you wouldn’t need a dedicated section explaining “what is dental treatment” or “why should a parent take their kid to the dentist.” Your customer already knows that. They are product-aware

At this point, they’re looking for a reason to consider Dr. Sawyer over his competitor on Main Street. What makes Dr. Sawyer different or better? What are his specialties? Why should I trust him more than other dentists in the area?

Therefore, you would lead with differentiation—answering exactly those questions.

In contrast, if you were rolling out The Home Drone™, a brand-new drone vacuum that flies around your house and swoops down to suction up crumbs, you’d want to lead with the problem.

What is the Home Drone, and how does it effectively solve the “dirty house” problem? How does this thing even work?

In this case, the customer is only problem or solution aware: they know the state of their house would horrify their mother-in-law, but they’re not sure of the best way to fix it.

When creating a landing page for a campaign, ask yourself:

  • How are we driving traffic to this page?
  • If we are paying for Google ads or using an SEO strategy, which search phrases are we targeting?
  • Given those search phrases, what is the customer’s level of awareness? What do they already know—and what do they need to learn right away?

 

For example, if a prospect Googled “Asana vs. Trello,” they are clearly at the comparison shopping stage. They do not need any messaging highlighting the value of a project management tool. They are already sold on that; at this point, they need to choose a product.

The messaging on Asana’s landing page for this phrase, therefore, should: 

  • Lead with the #1 differentiator of Asana vs. Trello
  • Highlight additional key features exclusive to Asana
  • Explain who is a better fit for Asana—and who isn’t 
  • Showcase social proof from customers who prefer Asana due to specific benefits Trello doesn’t offer
  • Feature testimonials from customers who switched from Trello to Asana
  • Compare the overall value and pricing of Asana vs. Trello.

 

In contrast to landing pages, homepages are trickier because they are a catch-all: they need to speak to prospects who sit at varying stages of awareness.

So for homepages, identify your core audience and speak to them while including just enough explanation so that you don’t alienate or confuse those who are less aware.

Below is a good homepage hierarchy template that can be adjusted based on the nature of the product and the customer’s level of awareness:

  • Hero section (above the fold):
    • What do you offer?
    • Who does it help?
    • Why should I care?
  • The problem: (only include this section if the customer is less aware)
  • The solution: How does your offer solve my problem? (Overview)
  • The benefits & features: Help me believe, with specifics, that this product can really solve my problem and/or get me the outcomes I need. 
  • Social proof: Give me 3rd-party proof that this product does what it says it can do. 
  • Differentiators: How is this offer different from similar products on the market?
  • How it works: On a technical level, how do I use this product? (only include this section if the product is new or complex. For example, a couch company does not need a “How it works” section)
  • More social proof: Do other people like me use and recommend this product?
  • Final push to action: What is the cost of not engaging? What do I stand to lose by keeping the status quo and not exploring this product? (depending on the nature of the product, this may have to be done sensitively and elegantly. For example, on a landing page for a rehab facility, it would be unwise to write something like “You can keep doing drugs and die, or you can come to us and get help.”)

 

How can I improve the readability of my web copy?

Here are a few ways to improve the overall readability of your webcopy.

  • Keep your paragraphs short. Think 2-3 sentences max.
  • Use bullet lists. Bullet lists are easy to consume; they make the brain happy.
  • Create white space. Your reader’s eyes need breathing room. Give it to them generously.
  • Use visual interrupts. Monotony is the enemy. When your text looks the same, my eyes (and brain) start to glaze over. Keep your reader engaged and focused with visual elements that switch it up:
    • Formatting. Think bold, italics, and strikethroughs. Use them like salt; if you overdo it, the brain checks out.
    • Emojis 😎. Obvs, use them only if on-brand (i.e., not on a website for a funeral home).
    • Special characters. This can keep your reader’s attention.
    • Lots of headers & subheaders. Your “skimmer” readers will *only* read these. Or they’ll skim until they hit a header that grabs their attention and gets them to read the full section.
    • Justify paragraphs. Longer blocks of body copy should be left or right justified. 
    • Images! Use compelling images that bring your copy to life and reinforce the most important points.

 

(^^ Notice what I did with this list 😉)

What is the process for mining Voice of Customer data to find insights for my website copy? 

This is a big question—there are complete courses on this topic. 

Here’s the I’m-all-coursed-out version:

  1. Gather VoC data. Collect surveys, reviews, live chat logs, and sales call transcripts. Conduct live interviews. Gather any material that gives you direct feedback from existing customers or prospective customers.
  2. Bucket the data. Use a spreadsheet or tabbed Google doc to categorize the data and make it useful. You can use buckets like; 
    1. Pain points. What are my customers’ challenges, and which words do they use to describe them?
    2. Priorities. What is important to my customer, and why?
    3. Competitor dissatisfaction. Why do customers switch to us from their competitors? What did NOT work for them with the previous vendor?
    4. Objections. What are my prospects’ most common objections to working with us?
    5. Impact. How has our product impacted their life or business? What do they most appreciate about it?
    6. Sticky messaging. Did you find any particularly vivid or memorable lines that you could use strategically in the copy?
  3. Summarize takeaways. Create a document that summarizes the key insights gleaned. Refer to this document and spreadsheet when outlining and writing the web copy to ensure your customer’s challenges, motivations, and priorities are reflected in your messaging.

You offer your advice as a consultant. Have there been any instances where you have had to take your own advice in your personal life? 

Absolutely. I’ve trained 400 copywriters and creatives to date—and one of the things I preach is GRIT. Freelancing is not for the faint of heart. You have to keep showing up, even in the slow times.

What I’ve seen is that some of the most successful freelancers are NOT necessarily the most talented—they’re simply the grittiest.

And recently, I realized I need to internalize this truth too.

About a year ago, I was ready to give up. I had just started playing women’s netball — a no-contact, no-dribbling, no-backboard British version of basketball. AND I was pretttttttty bad at it.

I’ve played lots of sports, but netball was totally new…and there were SO many rules.
I kept racking up penalties and messing things up for my team. Moving with the ball (footwork), touching a player holding the ball (contact), going beyond the zone your position allows (off-side). And more 😁

Even worse, while I was okay at intercepting the ball, I could not shoot to save my life.

THE PROBLEM? I hate losing. More accurately: *I hate not being the best.* I consider myself fairly athletic, and this experience was extremely humbling. 

About three months in, I came home from a particularly awful game and overheard this feisty conversation.

PERFECTIONIST ME: “Yeah. So, Michal, you’re really not cut out for this.”

GRITTY ME: “Seriously? You’re gonna give up after three months of playing a sport you never played previously in your life?”

PERFECTIONIST ME: “Three months is not nothing. And smart people know when to give up.”

GRITTY ME: “For five years, you’ve been preaching grit to your CopyTribe students. You tell them All. The. Time. that it’s about showing up. That persistence and consistency are JUST as important as talent. And now you’re gonna be the ultimate hypocrite and quit after three months?”

PERFECTIONIST ME: “Okay, okay. I’ll keep at it for another three months. Just be quiet already.”

End of story? Nine months (and many penalties and embarrassments…and improvements) later, the head coach asked if I’d like to be an official sub for our city’s league.

I still can’t shoot to save my life—but it’s okay because I’ve become a fabulous defender.

I’m really proud of Gritty Michal, and I hope to listen to her more often!
 

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