I've been following Brian for quite some time - if you don't listen to the Bootstrapped Web podcast - it's great for hearing to two guys talk about the daily goings-on of their businesses. Lately, Brian's been working on SunriseKPI.com, a product he's built as he's learning to code. It's a neat little app with a simple premise: your most important numbers in your inbox every morning.
I've just finished reading Seth Godin's latest book "This is marketing", and I'm currently reading "How to write seductive web copy" - so copywriting and marketing are very top of mind or me right now, so when Brian sent me an email to try get me to upgrade to pro, I wanted to see if I could make it better. Here's the email:
As you know, you can continue using Sunrise KPI for free forever :)But you might want to consider upgrading to Pro to unlock all of these benefits:
- You're not limited to just 3 metrics. Connect as many as you want!
- Connect more than one of each type of metric. Multiple traffic sources, revenue metrics, Twitter accounts, you name it!
- Get Daily reports forever. After 14 days, free users can report weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually.
- Unlock the Google Sheets (and Zapier) integration so you can pipe in nearly any metric from any service into your Sunrise KPI reports.
Ready to go Pro? Upgrade now »
Brian CaselFounder, Sunrise KPI
By the way, this is very much a learning exercise for me, I may be wrong in my take on this email, but the goal here is to share my thoughts and hear your feedback - no offence meant to Brian at all for the work, obviously.
Opening with a weak proposition
"you might want to consider upgrading to Pro to unlock all of these benefits"
Straight off the bat, I'm not met with a very compelling argument. The word "might" - it plants the seed of doubt before I've even read the benefits mentioned.
I'm already sceptical of a marketing email that's arrived in my Inbox (even though I've a lot of respect for Brian and his work). In my opinion, reinforcing doubt in the reader's mind isn't a great approach. A better version of this opening line for me would be something like
"Get serious, productive and professional with your numbers with the Pro tier of SunriseKPI"
Why do I think this is better? It touches on the core emotions that Brian's target audience want to feel. As founders and builders of products, we want to feel like we're professional, that we're diligently monitoring the health of our businesses on a daily basis - but also not overdoing it by staring at dashboards for hours and not getting anything productive done.
We're all familiar with the paralysis that can set in when we incessantly refresh Stripe or Google Analytics waiting for that next signup, or sale, or event. Brian's app provides reprieve from that, and that's valuable, that's worth highlighting in marketing copy.
The benefits are actually features
Features are facts about the app. Benefits are outcomes for the user. In marketing terms, the benefits are better to talk about because users don't actually want to use your app for the sake of it, they want to get something out of it - value that's worth more than the time and money they put in.
For me though, the benefits that Brian lists are all just features of the app. They don't describe the outcomes that they facilitate. Let's look at them one by one.
"You're not limited to just 3 metrics. Connect as many as you want!"
So the free tier is limited, and the pro tier is unlimited as far as metrics are concerned. That's cool, but it's a feature. A benefit of this might be that as a user, you have the freedom to add any metric you need. You are unrestricted, free to set the app up to your own individual requirements - because you're special. Converting this to a copy that's benefit-focused, it might look like:
"Unlimited metrics - you'll have the freedom to add all the metrics you need to stay informed about your business".
I prefer this copy because it re-enforces the main value proposition of SunriseKPI - that you can know all of your metrics just by checking your email in the morning. It also uses words like "freedom", and "convenient". They're nice things to hear as a user, and it finishes by mentioning the user's business, reinforcing that this is an investment they're making, not a frivolous purchase.
"Connect more than one of each type of metric. Multiple traffic sources, revenue metrics, Twitter accounts, you name it!"
Again - this is a feature in my opinion - and probably one that can be rolled up into the previous benefit. This gives us the bonus of having just three list items then, which is a little easier to digest at a glance for the reader.
"Get Daily reports forever. After 14 days, free users can report weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually."
So the free tier doesn't do daily reports past 14 days, the user has to upgrade to get them daily. So what's the benefit of that? In my opinion, it's back to that sense of reassurance, the peace of mind that they know they'll have an overview of their key metrics every morning.
With that in mind then, my benefit-focused version might be:
"Daily reports forever - The peace of mind that you'll always know your business's health first thing in the morning - every morning"
Here I'm mentioning "peace of mind", who doesn't want that for their business? I also like the mention of "forever", it implies that you set it up once and it just does its job for eternity, that there's a huge payoff for minimal investment on the user's part.
"Unlock the Google Sheets (and Zapier) integration so you can pipe in nearly any metric from any service into your Sunrise KPI reports."
Again, a feature (albeit a pretty powerful one). This line focuses on the fact that the user can add metrics from anywhere to their Sunrise KPI reports.
But what's the main benefit of this then in the context of Brian's app? Well, for me it tells me that the app is future-proof, flexible, and can grow with me. It's a reassurance that no matter what direction my business takes, no matter what random new data tool I try out, I'll always be able to automate the reporting of data from almost any source.
People hate setting software up, so we need to know going in that our investment isn't going to be in vain when something new comes along that's incompatible with the app.
With that in mind, I might change this to:
"Pro users get the flexibility of Google Sheets and Zapier integrations, so that no matter what data you have, you can rely on Sunrise to report on it daily for you"
Again, I'm bringing it back to the core value proposition for the user. A single email every morning that tells them all they need to know about their business.
A note on style
If Brian were to read this, he'd probably feel that my versions are too sales-y, too in your face, and he'd probably correctly say that they don't fit his tone of voice. More and more these days people buy products based on liking the person that built it. If copy coming from them doesn't sound genuine, then it's likely to turn customers off. So, it's important to stay genuine.
Let me know what you think in the comments.