I’m incredibly excited about this week’s copywriting audit. Not only does this business have a fantastic story behind it (more on that in a bit) but it’s also local to me. They’re based here in Tucson, Arizona.
Presenting: Bottle Breacher.
You might know this name from the ABC show Shark Tank. Or, you might have heard about their bullet shaped bottle openers if you have veterans in your circle of friends. Or again, you might have received a bottle breacher as a wedding gift (they’re pushing to be a go-to groomsman gift, which I think is genius).
Even if you haven’t heard of them before, you’re going to want to tune into what they’re all about – especially if you love supporting veteran owned companies, like myself.
Here’s a bit about them:
I love this company because they’re veteran owned and operated. Founder, Eli Crane, is a former Navy SEAL. He started Bottle Breacher with his wife Jen by recycling authentic decommissioned .50 caliber bullets into bottle openers.
But their story is a lot deeper than crafting a tool to open a few cold beverages on a hot Arizona summer day. Crane is passionate about helping the veteran community because when he has seen first-hand the struggle there is within the veteran community to find jobs. The men and women who give so much for our country come home and struggle. Something’s not right about that and Crane has dedicated his career to changing that pattern. Not only do they hire veterans but they also reinvest in the veteran community by giving back to non-profits like Soldier’s wish and 31 Heroes Project.
I’m not the only one who loves this company either. Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary invested in it after they pitched on Shark Tank, and now the business continues to grow. In addition to the .50 caliber bullet bottle openers, Bottle Breacher has expanded their product line to include “Freedom Frags” (another style of bottle opener) and even wine openers – something I didn’t realize existed in their product line until writing this audit, which is surprising considering how much I L-O-V-E a good glass of Pinot Grigio.
So, there’s a lot of admiration here, can’t you tell? But here’s the thing. I don’t think their homepage is doing their brand justice, which breaks my copywriter heart. So, I chose them for this week’s audit. I believe you can learn something from this for your website too. Let’s dig in, shall we?
First, The Positive
Buyers take the path of least resistance. Bottle Breacher’s website certainly offers that. They have a deep product line but they keep the calls-to-action simple. If you’re looking for a bottle breacher, you click on “Bottle Breachers” and if you want some swag, you click “Breacher Gear.” Easy-peasy.
They also have a rotating header image that takes up a good chunk of real estate on their website. I love the combination of imagery and copy here. Their copy isn’t incredibly exciting but it’s designed well enough to capture the attention and the hearts of people stopping in to see the latest and greatest from Bottle Breacher – but that’s assuming they have quite a few repeat customers who peek in every now and then (my hunch is they do).
The first calls-to-action a person is met with on this website are the shopping links. They can buy the special of the month, buy from their line of bottle breachers, or buy swag. Then, scroll down past two lines of copy and you’re hit with more calls-to-action to BUY.
In other words, Bottle Breacher wants you to BUY, BUY, BUY when you land on their homepage.
It isn’t until the footer when you’re given the opportunity to sign up for their email list and that CTA is lacking quite a bit. The headline is simply, “newsletter.” There’s no incentive waiting for me to sign up. There’s no discount available to me for signing up. I have no idea what to expect when I hand over the key to their inbox with an email address. It’s uncomfortable at best.
Now here’s something to consider. Who’s looking at the homepage most often?
One of their target audiences (a huge target audience, actually) are grooms looking for gifts for their groomsmen. Guess what? This group of men is also looking at other popular wedding gifts to give their buddies. They might not be ready to whip out their credit card and buy six (or so) bottle breachers on the spot. So, they might click away and when they do…
There’s a popup message with an incentive to join their email list. Why it’s hidden, I’m not sure. Getting those email addresses is like getting digital GOLD. Yes, they might sacrifice 10% off the first order, but getting that first order is the hardest order to get. After that, you’ve won the hearts of the buyer and conversions are far easier to get moving forward.
So, the lesson here is this: If I were designing and writing Bottle Breacher’s website, I’d put this CTA higher up – or at the very least, in the footer.
A Headline Pet Peeve
Below the BUY BUY BUY CTAs is a headline that strikes at my inner core. It’s the reading equivalent of hearing nails on a chalkboard.
“Welcome to XYZ Company” is probably the weakest headline any website could use. And yet, it’s used so often. Why? Because it’s easy. Too easy and the visitor sees right through that lazy approach.
Sounds harsh (can you tell it’s my pet peeve) but I write this from a place of love for Bottle Breacher, for you, for all of the fabulous businesses that plop in “Welcome to…” on their website as a way to introduce their company. When you read it, it doesn’t feel like the welcome mat was laid out for you; it feels flat.
I can think of a bunch of other headlines that’d work *really* well in this space.
For example, “Breacher Up!” would be a great addition! It’d speak to their story, while simultaneously tugging at the heartstrings of their beloved veteran niche.
Another example is: “Love Veterans? We Do Too.” It speaks clearly to their mission and places the buyer as the hero of their story. It also tees up the next paragraph to talk about their why and explain their story.
Speaking of the story…
Where’s the Story?
I opened this post talking about how much I adore the story behind Bottle Breacher. I didn’t talk to you much about the product, although I enjoy that too. I like them so much that I’ve gifted these to a few friends and family members. But it’s not the quality of the product that sold me. It was hearing their story on Shark Tank.
That episode of Shark Tank might have a few more reruns in its future but that can’t be the only medium for telling their story. Their website has to do it too. Dig a bit and you’ll find a watered down version of it here but even this is pretty weak.
I’m going to step back and give you a little psychology lesson here (which is what copywriting is all about – psychology) about why this is so important to me. 95% of all cognition occurs in the subconscious mind, according to Gerald Zaltman, author of How Customers Think. The way to tap into that subconscious mind – or the emotional brain – is with a story. The story is what gets people invested in the product. It tells WHY this product matters and why it exists. In this case (especially in this case) that’s far more powerful than any piece of metal can ever offer.
So, you can imagine my disappointment when I looked at the homepage and found that there were only two lines dedicated to making this powerful connection between the person visiting the website and the company’s WHY. They do nothing to light up the emotional brain and get their audience to buy into their mission of giving back to the veteran community, which breaks my heart because their story is so dang powerful.
They could add a healthy amount of engaging copy here, or even a video.
No matter what medium they choose, something needs to get added to tell their compelling story – because it is compelling and deserves to come out.
An Alternative Imagery Idea
The last content section on their website is a scrolling display of Bottle Breacher’s featured products. Once again, the visitor is hit with another CTA to BUY BUY BUY. This is a little less aggressive but it still feels like the company has their hand out begging for cash.
Instead of creating content for this space, I’d encourage Bottle Breacher to use this part of their website to showcase their customers using Bottle Breacher. There’s a simple code that can do this by pulling images from Instagram.
The biggest reason for this is to showcase the experience of using the product. Now, I looked, and there aren’t a ton of posts with #bottlebreacher right now but that can change with a simple request to kickstart the posts. This is a product people will love showing off. Encourage buyers to post on Instagram with that hashtag and I’d be willing to wager a bet that more posts will start popping up with how and where people are popping tops with bottle breachers.
Okay, Bottle Breacher! I love ya. I love your mission. But I don’t love your homepage and think there’s tremendous untapped potential here.
Does your website commit any of these copywriting “crimes” (for lack of a better word)? Try making a switch and see what it does for your conversions, then come back here and share! I love to hear success stories.
I’m going LIVE on Facebook to chat about the Bottle Breacher website at 10 a.m. PST on Friday, March 9. Come with your questions and feedback and let’s talk all things COPY! See you there?