Why visual copy matters for your SaaS website

For some reason, most SaaS companies are brilliant at over-complicating how they explain their product.

What's the one thing customers need when they land on your website? To understand your product's value immediately.

And we humans are visual AF.

So let’s take that knowledge and apply it to how SaaS companies can turn SIMPLE visual diagrams into sales-generating assets.

1) Basecamp

I use a lot of Basecamp examples on this blog. And it’s because their marketing is brilliant.

This simple image accomplishes:

  1. Shows what the platform looks like
  2. Gives context into why each feature matters
  3. Shows what the tool replaces

But they don’t stop there. They use visuals across their whole website.

When re-positioning their competitors:

And to illustrate pricing differences between themselves and competing project management tools:

Literally a whole page's worth of information distilled into one image.

2) Wynter

Wynter is creating a new category: “Audience-as-a-Service”

In copywriting lingo, we call this a “low-sophistication market" since users don’t have any experience using these types of products. 

For that reason, you generally need to use a lot of copy to explain how the product works and why it’s valuable.

Wynter trims down on the amount of language they'll have to use by being as VISUAL as possible.

3) SimpleCrew - (case study)

SimpleCrew is another unique tool without a definitive market category.

So we knew we needed to leverage easy-to-consume product diagrams as much as possible to make it's value obvious.

We used them across the whole site.

It now SHOWS, rather than tells how visitors can use the product.

Plus, it made it easy to illustrate how SimpleCrew stacks up against the mushy bucket of G-Suite, DropBox & texts to get the job done.

4) Drift

It doesn't always have to be a screenshot or diagram.

Drift is unique in its ability to demonstrate the product's value right on their website homepage. 

Visitors can interact with the product right away, moving readers to the "aha-moment" faster. 


Now let’s look at a non-SaaS example and illustrate the concept of information transfer.

Information transfer is simply the sum total of information that’s being communicated and understood in a single unit without increasing the reader's cognitive load.

In human words, it's getting your point across efficiently.

That makes these little annotations your best friend.

5) Blessed Razor

After seeing this image, how much more trust would you assign to this barbershop?

The simple image does 3 things:

  1. Shows what the end product looks like
  2. Answers questions you might have (guard sizes, fades, etc.)
  3. Highlights the right angles to use

Now let’s look at an example that needs improvement.

6) MailChimp

Let’s pretend for a second that MailChimp isn’t the dominant market leader, and that they’re a brand new startup.

What would you do with this information in their hero section?

You’d misunderstand.

Is it an email tool? What am I “doing” with this? Why is this good or different?

The problem is it doesn't SHOW their product at all.

If they didn’t have the brand awareness they do, this would be a costly mistake. 

This type of messaging sends new companies to the startup graveyard :(

The lesson here: be visual and be simple.

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