How many times have you looked at a website and were underwhelmed by the copy? Straightforward, unemotional copy may be the backbone of copywriting, but it often doesn’t leave a lasting impression. There are plenty of websites that offer discounted deals online, and most of them concentrate on communicating clearly and without offending anyone who could possibly be offended. That approach hasn’t met with a fraction of the success of Groupon’s approach.
If you live in one of the 177 cities that Groupon caters to, you can sign up for free daily deal emails. Each email brings you deals in your city, but that’s not all that comes in those emails. The information is sent with attitude and without the constant, low drone of PC awareness that you can hear in the background of most copy these days. It’s writing with a humorous approach and a unique, memorable style.
The website also has short articles along with its deals, and all of them display the same odd humor and personality for which the deals have become famous. A short guide to home decor comes with the following advice: “Fill your bookshelves with the original Latin versions of classics, perhaps Huckleberry Finn and the U.S. Constitution.” For readers tired of the same five decor tips rehashed over and over again online, the higher quality content found on Groupon may be just what is needed to revive a tired Internet.
Online copywriting has been devalued in the past few years, and many website owners are now simply unaware that there is anything to consider other than the price of the writing. Sites paying $5 for an article or a lengthy description of a deal or product fade into oblivion—often sooner rather than later. Groupon, paying experienced writers $22 for each of the deal descriptions that have made the company famous, has become a powerhouse.
Making Billions (Yes, Billions) With Quality Content
So, just how well is the site doing? The experienced writers working on those daily deal descriptions, as well as the deals themselves, have earned the company 31 million readers each day. The company is raking in more than $1 billion a year and is now worth an estimated $25 billion.
There’s a frank lesson in all of this for experienced writers and for website owners looking for a way to ramp up their sites’ popularity: Quality content matters. It’s not about how much the content costs you, it’s about what it can do for your website. Groupon could have saved money by skimping on the quality. There are Web “gurus” out there who would have advised them to do just that. But, then all we’d have is a blog with some deals on it. By making the site’s copy high quality and stunningly memorable, they’ve turned what could have been a low-rent blog into an online force to be reckoned with.
Groupon is going public soon, My advice? If you don’t follow the company’s advice about investing in quality content, at least buy some Groupon stock. They’ve already figured out the online game.
Lizz S. is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments. WriterAccess is powered by ideaLaunch.