Over the years, I’ve had conversations with plenty of extremely chatty travel agents. They’re boisterous, they’re flat-out funny, they light up a room.
But when I go check out their websites—I can’t believe they were written by the same person!
Their website copy sounds stilted and dry. It sounds like they were so concerned with coming across as “professional” that they tipped the scales over into “boring” territory.
In short, their websites have NO personality. It sounds like a robot wrote them!
Not only is a robotic, personality-devoid website a total snooze fest to read … there are actually studies that show “robot speak” is less effective online.
Why “Robot Speak” Is Losing You Travel Leads
I read about something cool recently:
Professor Clifford Nass of Stanford University led a series of experiments that looked at how humans interact with computers. His experiments showed that we respond to computers as if they were human (even though we know they’re not). For example, we expect a website to say “thank you!” when we submit a form correctly.
Computers that gave positive feedback and were imbued with real, human emotion were much more effective at getting the test subjects to complete tasks and agree to requests. The subjects were also more likely to trust the emotion-infused computers, and distrust—and actually get frustrated with—the computers that sounded like, well, computers.
So how can you sound more human when you write online?
There are a couple of places were “robot speak” is especially common:
“Robot-Speak” Culprit #1: Your website contact form
Forms are easy to overlook—after all, it should be obvious what someone is supposed to do when they encounter a form, right?
But warming up your form copy provides a better user experience. Instead of something like “We value your input; fill out the below and someone will respond in 24/48 hours” (would you ever say that sentence in real life?!) talk to your prospect as if they were human. Describe the benefit of reaching out to you. If it fits with your brand, throw in a little humor.
Check out the contact page on my own website—notice how conversational the page is.
“Robot-Speak” Culprit #2: The “confirmation” email
If you’re trying to grow your list of e-newsletter subscribers, you probably are using a “confirmation” email that automatically sends out as soon as someone signs up for your e-newsletter, requiring them to confirm that they actually want to be added to your list. If you’re using the default email that comes with your email marketing system, the subject line probably says something like: “Confirm subscription” or “Response required.”
Ew. Robot much?
Again, warm up the copy here! This is the first email your new subscriber is getting from you—make it sound welcoming, while still describing what action you need your subscriber to take. Instead, try: “Welcome to the [Name of Agency] family! Please confirm your subscription”
“Robot-Speak” Culprit #3: Your website buttons
The little bit of copy on your website buttons can make a BIG difference in how many leads you get. Boring, unclear, robotic copy—or copy that implies a lot of work on the web visitor’s part—is a total turn off.
Instead of focusing on the action your web visitor has to take, focus on the result. So instead of a button that reads “Fill Out Form”, write “Get Your Consultation” or “Get Your Free Quote.” Make sense?
It’s time to give your travel agent website the human touch!
Stop Sounding Like a Robot—and Start Sounding Like YOU!
The BEST way to banish robot speak from your writing? Infuse your writing with your sparkling personality!
Take the 60-second quiz below to discover your travel agent brand personality now: