testing website hero messages

No Capes Required: The Secrets to Writing Great Hero Messages

testing website hero messages

When it comes to fighting for a user’s attention on the internet, you’ve literally got seconds.

And while capturing their attention can feel like a superhuman hurdle to tackle, you’ve already got a secret weapon that can make the difference between your audience hitting the Buy Now button or leaving them scrambling for the back button.

What is it? 

Your hero message. 

In the article below, I’ll break down everything you need to know about a hero message including what it is, why it matters, and how we write hard-hitting hero messages for our partners. 

Let’s dive in…

What is a hero message?

A hero message is the very top section of your landing page, homepage, or any other page on your site.

It’s usually made of a big headline, an additional sentence or two that supports the headline, and then finished off with a clear call to action button.

Why your hero message matters

The hero message is the first thing a reader sees and it’s the place where they make near-instant decisions about your business like:

Is this company legit?

Is reading this worth my time?

Can I find what I’m looking for?

…and a lot more. 

Too often, companies stick to fluffy, vague, and totally forgettable hero messages that leave readers thinking way too hard about what the page is trying to say. 

And when readers have to think too hard, they bounce. 

They don’t have time to waste trying to understand industry jargon and definitely don’t have time for vague. 

Take this hero message example:

hero message example

Not only is there no CTA button to be seen, but the copy is so vague and jargony. It fails to answer some pretty important questions like:

  • Who is this company?
  • What do they sell?
  • Who do they help?

Turns out, they’re an accounting firm that offers virtual bookkeeping and consulting services. But you’d never know that unless you went digging around their site.

Their hero message fails to capture attention and because of that, it risks their chances of getting a conversion.

What Henderson’s Hardware Store can teach you about your hero message

Let me drive this home with a story.

I live outside of a sleepy mountain town where a new hardware store moved in. I knew it was a hardware store because the big sign out front said just that, “HARDWARE STORE.” 

When I popped inside, I learned that their name was actually Henderson’s Hardware Store but in the interest of saving space on the sign, they left out the Henderson’s portion.

But what if they had done the opposite? What if they just went with “Henderson’s” instead?

Folks driving by would have no idea what Henderson’s was, made, or sold. Was it a furniture store? A jeweler? A barber shop that specialized in pompadours? Who knows! 

Your hero message is a lot like that sign outside of the hardware store.

It should make it clear to onlookers who you are, what you do, and what folks can expect from you. 

How to write a great hero message 

Great hero messaging usually starts with your value propositions. When written well, your value props are the clear-as-day reasons why your customers should buy from you.

They highlight what you do best—better than anyone else—and how you make your customer’s life better.

Here at Tuff, we guide each one of our partners through a Value Prop exercise that makes it easy to narrow down their audience, key pain points, and how their offer solves those pain points.

From there, we infuse those value props into their messaging. Depending on where customers are in their stage of awareness and the marketing funnel, some value props will resonate more than others. 

So we often A/B testing various value props against each other until we find those that clearly hit home.

Here’s an example from one of our long-time partners, Xendoo. Check out their hero message:

Xendoo_header

Like the example I mentioned earlier, Xendoo offers virtual bookkeeping, tax, and catch-up services to small businesses.

From our value prop exercise, we learned that Xendoo’s audience is made up of small business owners who are strapped for time. 

They’ve tried other bookkeepers and CPAs only to realize that the person they hired didn’t understand the nuance of their industry or even worse… left them feeling ghosted and in-the-dark on the progress of their books. Ultimately, Xendoo’s clients didn’t get into business to get weighed down by keeping their books or chasing down CPAs.

And that’s where Xendoo came in.

When we reworked their hero message, we used the headline to drive that point home. In the subhead (the 1-2 sentences under the headline), we highlighted other key value props like the dedicated team that each Xendoo client gets and their expertise across various industries. 

Then we used a small bit of microcopy above the headline to clearly spell out the services offered.

When pulled together, we created a hero message that made it instantly clear what Xendoo did, who they helped, and the value that they added to their client’s life and business. 

Hero message examples that work

Here are a few more hero message examples from our partners. 

Paid Social Landing Pages (Unsatisfied Change Makers)_header

Why it works:

  • It explains who they are: Teachable is in the digital course creation and knowledge business.
  • It explains what they do: Teachable makes it easy to create, sell, and build a knowledge business.
  • It explains how their services benefit their customer: They help people turn their side hustles into full-time, legit businesses.
  • It has a clear call to action: The black button clearly stands out against the white background and the button copy wastes no time mentioning that it’s free to start. 

 

Comqi-header

Why it works:

  • It explains who they are: Comqui helps businesses put their media in front of millions of customers, everyday.
  • It explains what they do: They put your media in front of millions of customers each day through their reliable digital display hardware and media players. 
  • It explains how their services benefit their customer: Multi-location digital media displays can get complicated, FAST. Knowing this, Comqi’s hero message drives home that it’s easy to set up their display hardware and media players—requiring only a power source and an internet connection.
  • It has a clear call to action: The CTA is clear and easy to find. Prospects don’t have to go digging for it. 

To sum things up

Hero messages are worth your time and effort because they make the difference in whether your audience will stick around to see what you have to offer or not. So the next time you need to write one, answer these questions.

  • Who are you?
  • What do you do?
  • How do you make your customer’s life easier?
  • What action do you want your customers to take?

With those few answers, you’ll be well on your way to crafting a great hero message that gets clicks and pulls in the leads. 

writing copy for a landing page

How To Write Landing Pages That Turn Traffic Into Paying Customers

writing copy for a landing page

When working with a growth marketing agency like Tuff, you can expect that we’ll tackle all kinds of growth marketing strategies, from CRO and SEO to Social Media Ads and PPC.

But none of those strategies can happen without the help of the simple landing page!

Whether it’s using one to collect email addresses, encourage downloads, make an order, or set up a demo, landing pages are an essential building block to every marketing funnel.

And while there is no perfect formula to writing landing page copy that converts, I’m going to share some of the key elements required to write landing page copy that will make your Stripe account sing. 

Let’s dive in!

1. Know your audience.

It’s one of the basic tenets of marketing: know your audience. 

But instead of talking about whether or not your target demographic is a mom between the ages of 35-40, with a preference for lattes, bulldog videos on TikTok, and drives a minivan, I want to talk about understanding what’s going on in her mind—specifically, her stage of awareness.

Touted by the copywriting great, Eugene Schwartz, your prospect’s stage of awareness refers to how much they know about a problem they’re experiencing, what options they have to solve it, and why your product is the one they should pick. 

The 5 Stages of Awareness are:

  • Most Aware: At this stage, your prospect already knows everything about your product and is 100% ready to convert. They just need to be told where to punch in their credit card number so that they can buy.
  • Product-Aware: At this stage, your prospect has a clear idea of what you sell, but hasn’t decided to go for it. They’re on the fence and need a bit more information to help them over the line.
  • Solution-Aware: When your prospect is solution aware, they know what kind of result they want, but have NO CLUE that your product can help them achieve it. 
  • Problem-Aware: When your prospect is problem aware, they understand that they have a big problem, but they have no idea how to solve it or that a solution might exist.
  • Completely Unaware: At this point, your prospect has no idea who you are, what you sell, or that there’s even a problem that they should worry about.

So when it comes to writing landing page copy that converts, take time to consider what stage of awareness your prospect is in when they land on your page. 

What do they already know? 

What do they need to know in order to make an informed decision? 

What are their hesitations about buying and how can you speak to them directly?

The more you can understand the stage of awareness your prospect is in—by asking questions like the ones above—the higher your chances of hitting the conversion rates you’re looking for. 

2. Limit your requests

The internet (and life!) can be full of distractions. Going back to our bulldog-watching, latte-loving mom from earlier, let’s say that you sell a jitter-free coffee alternative and want to create a landing page that will drive her to opt-in and request a free sample. 

If you use your landing page as an opportunity to also barrage her with “download this free report on the negatives of coffee” or “sign up here for a 10% off coupon” or  “learn more about our company” or “check out our latest arrivals,” you run the risk of:

1. Overwhelming her into INaction 

…and…

2. Could drive her away from your landing page altogether—distracting her from doing the original action you hoped for.

If you were to thumb through a stack of high converting landing pages, you’d see that most stay very focused.  Because trying to do otherwise will leave you with an overwhelmed prospect and a conversion rate that falls flat.

Which leads me to…

3. Make your Calls to Action (CTAs) strong & clear

You’ve experienced it before. You see an ad while scrolling through Facebook and you click through to its landing page. Except, as you start to read down the page, you can’t figure out how to order because they’ve buried the “Buy Now” button and their messaging is more clever than clear. So what do you do? You leave.

The reality is, confused people don’t buy. 

In order to write landing page copy that converts, you’ve got to make it crystal-clear what you want your prospect to do. You can’t expect them to just know, so feel free to spell it out for them in detail. 

Consider your own CTAs. How can you make them more specific? How can you make the path from point A to point B, even more clear?  

Pulling it all together

The secret to writing landing page copy that converts is that it helps lessen friction and uncertainty in your prospects. By joining the conversation already taking place in their mind, you can create a solid bond and increase that know, like, and trust factor that’s an essential part of conversion.

Then, drop in a clear and strong CTA and get ready—it won’t take long before your pipeline is flushed with paying customers.