Airbnb's 'Boring' Website Copy

Airbnb's 'Boring' Website Copy

Strategy

:

The Right Language

🚀 Success:

15-45% of web visitors become new users (2019)

🌱 Metrics Improved:

Sign Ups

Most startups don't truly understand language/market fit, even though it's more important than product/market fit.

It's all too common for founders to be stuck in a world of complex technical jargon and features that target users really don't care about.

Target users care about their own problems - not yours.

Without speaking the language of your target users, most won't understand your product and won't convert - no matter how good your product is.

The formula

When it works best

How it looks in the real-world

The Right Language

Airbnb is my favourite example of a company that understands users on a deeply psychological level.

Part of that is the simple yet super effective way they communicate the value of Airbnb to users.

They predominantly talk about benefits, not features. But most importantly, the benefits are written in words that travellers use.

For years their main headline has been 'find a place to stay'.

I know this doesn't sound very flash, so here's a counter-example you see all the time with early-stage startups.

Introducing... StartupX which 'Democratizes AI with Easy-to-Use Tools'. I don't know about you but I don't often think about wanting to democratise AI, and I have no idea what this startup does.

There aren't any publicly available A/B tests on Airbnb's headline, but I do have before and after stats on these other headlines thanks to Matt Lerner. He observes that companies with good language/market fit normally get conversion rates from 8% - 40%.

How it works

Airbnb is my favourite example of a company that understands users on a deeply psychological level.

Part of that is the simple yet super effective way they communicate the value of Airbnb to users.

They predominantly talk about benefits, not features. But most importantly, the benefits are written in words that travellers use.

For years their main headline has been 'find a place to stay'.

I know this doesn't sound very flash, so here's a counter-example you see all the time with early-stage startups.

Introducing... StartupX which 'Democratizes AI with Easy-to-Use Tools'. I don't know about you but I don't often think about wanting to democratise AI, and I have no idea what this startup does.

There aren't any publicly available A/B tests on Airbnb's headline, but I do have before and after stats on these other headlines thanks to Matt Lerner. He observes that companies with good language/market fit normally get conversion rates from 8% - 40%.

Why it works

When you use unfamiliar words, only the already convinced will sign up. With slightly more familiar words, you might convert some super desperate users. But when you use a user's exact words it opens up your offer to resonate with everyone else too.

Why is this so important?

When you have a particular outcome in mind and you're looking for help to get to that outcome your brain uses what psychologists call top-down attention (also called goal-directed attention).

When using this kind of attention, the brain is essentially 'information foraging'. It subconsciously pattern matches to determine goal-relevance and familiarity.

So you need to understand the target in your users brain - and essentially read their minds.

What it means for you

The first step is to understand what's going on in your target user's brain. Really get to know their anxieties, fears, doubts, hopes, dreams and struggles.


Then you can figure out the simplest way to frame your offering in that context. The Jobs-To-Be-Done is a great framework for this.


Then test it. All it takes is to go up to someone, show them your headline and ask what they think you do.


You'll know when you're speaking the right language when users go “that is EXACTLY what I’m looking for”.

Genius rating:

8

/10

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Cameron and a CRO

Hey! I'm Cameron.

Don't miss my next conversion examples! I share a new one every Friday.

Hey! I'm Cameron.

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Cameron from Conversion Examples and Converted Agency