How Good Pick-Up Lines Can Help You Write Great B2B Copy

When you were single, did you use the same pick-up line every time?

If you were talking to the smart guy (or girl,) you probably led with a brainy comment.

If a hockey fan caught your eye, you’d chat about the Stanley Cup and the Bruins.

If you thought an outdoorsy-looking person looked hot, you may mention your love for everything REI.

The key is, you’d change what you’d talk about depending on your, um, target audience. I bet it even came naturally. You’d do it to make a a better connection, faster – and move him or her to your next conversion step (asking them out.)

Why don’t we take the same care with our web copy?

Many B2B websites use the same pick-up line, expecting it to work with every audience they serve.

Rather than personalizing the reader pitch, their copy is the equivalent of “Hey, baby. How YOU doin’?”  It’s general. It’s untargeted. It’s all about them. And it doesn’t show that the company understands anything about their target audience.

Sure, this approach may work some of the time. But it won’t work most of the time. Here’s what to do instead:

I’ve talked before about creating vertical-specific landing pages for B2B copy. This gives companies two distinct advantages:

  • You can speak specifically to what’s important to a defined customer persona. For instance, dental offices and real estate agents buy mailing lists. However, the benefits to a real estate agent (finding possible home buyers within a certain demographic group,) is different than dental offices (finding families within a certain zip code.)
  • Splitting your pages up by vertical allow you to capitalize on less competitive (but still highly targeted) keyphrases. For instance, it could be tough to gain a competitive ranking for the phrase “mailing list.” It’s a heck of a lot easier to position for “real estate agent mailing lists.” Plus, searchers entering your site off that phrase would be highly targeted.

For instance, let’s look at this example from Constant Contact:

You can see how the company was able to customize the copy (and the application list) for the target audience.

Compare this to another Constant Contact page targeted towards consultants:

See what they’re doing? Their pick-up lines are personalized for the audience. They know what real estate agents and consultants want to hear – and it’s addressed in the copy. The “voice” is personal and friendly, not the B2B equivalent of “How YOU doin’?”

In short, the way they wrote their copy helps them make a better connection, faster, with their audience.

And I bet their copy converts like crazy, too.

What do you think? What’s your favorite way of connecting with your target audience?

4 replies
  1. Matthew Newnham says:

    Couldn’t agree more, Heather.

    I also would like to offer the corollary is what Seth Godin has been saying for some time, and Simon Sinek has picked up on so wel: “The point is not to do business with everybody, but those who think and believe as wel do.”

    Because ultimately, as long as we’re here to serve, and we deliver actual value, there will be people out there for whom we are just right, and vice versa. And it should be a whole lot easier to find the appropriate voice for/with them.

    And even if we’re writing for others, I think this still applies for us – and our clients.

    P.S. You got me smiling with the Joey Tribiani reference. :-)

    Best wishes from Scotland,



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