I've been baking bread since freshman year of college.
Bumping elbows with fellow college cooks and the occasional drunk looking for a snack I kneaded, shaped, and baked.
It was my stress relief and source of joy.
There's nothing better than sharing a fresh loaf of bread with friends who are living off of terrible college cafeteria food.
The baking tradition kept on through these many years after college and now I cringe at the thought of buying store bought bread.
It just...does not taste as good.
And you miss the right-out-of-the-oven-butter-melting glory of homebaked bread.
Now at this point, you're probably wondering: ok, what metaphor is Anna going to use to bring this delightful story about fresh bread back to copywriting?
Hold on, friend. Bread baking is an exercise in patience.
The hardest part of bread, in my opinion, is the proving process. You tuck your dough in a nice warm spot and cross your fingers.
Underproved and it splits and is super dense.
Overproved and it collapses and is chewy.
After so many years of baking bread, there have definitely been some doughs that just fell flat in the bowl. It's incredibly disheartening.
It's a fine art.
Ok, here's that metaphor you've been waiting for.
Ever wondering why that point in the bread baking process is called "proving?"
If the dough starts to rise, it proves the yeast is active.
In a sense, the audit is your 'proving' time.
But the key is- what is proof to you that "it" is working?
You could insert industry jargon here like KPI (key performance indicators) or conversion rates, but I think your proof should look beyond a data or conversion point.
If a bread proves, it means all of the components are working along with the yeast to rise the bread.
You've kneaded it enough to develop the necessary gluten, added just the right balance between flour and water, and put it in the right temperature for the yeast to be happy.
Proving isn't just about the yeast or your sexy conversion rates.
It's about everything in the dough working together...just like copywriting.
Good copywriting doesn't focus on a landing page to increase conversions. To make copywriting really work, one needs to look at the strategy as a whole.
- How are people getting to the landing page?
- Have they heard of you and your product/service before?
- What happens after they convert? Do they get an email?
- What happens after that initial email?
- How do you interact with them later on in your business?
Basically, look beyond the yeast.
Whenever someone comes to me for a project I always ask for the lay of the land to understand where my copy works in the greater whole of the business.
Not only does it help me write better copy, it helps makes the business (ie dough) rise to a nice delicious butter-melting finish.
P.S. If you want my favorite bread recipe, respond and I'll send it your way!