3 copywriting errors software and tech businesses make
Just because everyone relies on technology and software doesn’t mean they understand it. And trying to can feel like an entirely different language… unless you’re a techie.
This causes a fundamental problem.
Your products and services are in huge demand. Yet, the majority of your target audience doesn’t understand how they work!
To the average layperson, terminology typically used in a software development business is Double Dutch. And we all know how important it is to be understood.
So, as a software or tech business, you have two options:
- Teach your entire audience how to understand what you’re saying
- Translate what you’re saying into plain English
See where I’m heading with this?
For complex business sectors, choosing the right words is more important than ever.
What’s the risk, then?
Let me be blunt…
Without perfecting your written message, you risk your business growth.
Readers will glaze over the moment they don’t get what you do. They won’t see how you can help them. Instead, they’ll look for someone they do understand.
That means, leaving your website, scrolling past your social media feeds, and walking past your trade stand.
You make no sense, so they don’t feel confident you can help them.
Having worked with many software, tech, SaaS, and IT businesses, I’ve distilled typical writing errors I see into three key areas.
By avoiding these bloopers, you’ll be well on the way to creating copy your audience enjoys reading. Which means more business.
Error #1: Not understanding your audience’s knowledge level
As I’ve alluded to, few people are fluent in tech-speak. In fact, many MDs and business leaders (AKA your audience) have no idea what .NET, SQL, or Python means (though pictures of snakes might spring to mind).
Does that mean they’re stupid?
Not at all. You might not understand their business sector either.
It does mean you need to understand who will read your copy before you write it.
Should your audience be IT managers, they may understand your language and processes a little more. There’ll still be gaping holes, though.
How do you know for sure?
Talk to them. You’ll also discover where they’re at and what frustrates them about your sector of expertise. At least, that should be your aim.
Writing any amount of copy without understanding who’s on the other side of the conversation – well – that’s like shouting from the rooftops with no idea who’s listening. Or caring, for that matter.
Don’t be a preacher, create a conversation they understand and can be part of.
Error #2: Writing about what you do (not what you achieve)
It’s a classic rookie error and not exclusive to software and tech businesses. But with a complex topic, you trip up more easily. Here are three mind-blowing examples taken from real home pages.
These companies have seconds (literally) to draw their reader in – and give them this…
Leaders in DeFi and Blockchain software solutions!
We specialise in Microsoft.NET, PHP, SQL Server, MySQL, iOS and Android, augmented by certified project management practices.
Some of these websites went on to explain what they do in even GREATER detail.
I get it. You do amazing stuff.
But here’s the sordid truth: your reader wants to understand what you can do for them. In plain English.
They want to transform the efficiency of their operations.
They want to integrate remote systems seamlessly.
They want to automate mundane tasks and reduce keying errors.
So, focus on what your audience wants to achieve, resolve, or overcome.
What outcomes can you promise them?
If you sell a technology product, start with the key benefits (to them) of investing in it. Don’t chuck them a list of features, leaving them to connect the dots with their own situation.
Because they won’t. They’ll go elsewhere.
Once you know what they want to achieve (and I refer to point #1) your communication job becomes MUCH easier.
You simply explain how you can help them get there – in plain English.
“What, don’t mention our specialist skills or features at all?”
That’s not my point. There’s a place for this stuff – just don’t lead with it. Maybe you cover it on lower pages within your website. Or tell them what you can achieve then include the stuff you do (briefly).
Always stick to plain English though. And when you must use a complex term, explain it.
Error #3: Letting a techie write your copy
“But Steve knows what we do and he’s ok at writing. Why can’t he do it? Nobody else knows this stuff like Steve, either.”
I commend Steve’s tech knowledge. Far greater than mine.
But I refer you back to your audience. They’re more like me than Steve. Promise.
And yes, I know Steve speaks English as well as ‘geek’. From experience though, I’ve never known a techie write commercial copy that can attract their ideal audience.
They can’t help themselves.
“Surely everyone knows what kernels are?” Yeah, it’s the edible part of a nut…oh, you mean regarding software? Nope, lost me!
Honestly, I urge you to keep your techies away from your words. The two don’t mix. Let them chat to someone like me who has experience of decoding their greatness into language that makes sense to the average Joe.
We all have different skills in life and business. It’s why I never became an accountant or a lion tamer (cue Monty Python – oh, snakes again).
Anyway, my point for software and tech businesses is this: think carefully about who will write your marketing copy. Because the right choice could mean an engaged audience who *gets* your value and more noughts on your future turnover.
The value of words, eh?
Should you want a chat about this, I'm just here.