Obsession Eleven Case Study: Pets Crave Love™

Client: Pets Crave Love™  | The Project: “Our Story” website page copy

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If there’s any business in need of emotionally compelling copy,
it’s a service that walks and cares for your dogs.

A case study of the power of brand messaging.


The Situation

Katie Gingrich is Founder and CEO of Pets Crave Love™, a dog-walking company based in Austin, Texas.

After Katie and her own dogs suffered at the hands of an irresponsible pet sitter, she vowed no dog would ever have to go through an experience like that again. So she built Pets Crave Love™ (PCL) for dog lovers like herself who wanted only the best for their dogs.

Katie suspected the “Our Story” page on her website could do more to sell her dogwalking services. She told the origin story of PCL on that page...but she was always-kinda-sorta hoping nobody would read it.

(I’ll let you read the original (unformatted) copy right here.)

So she hired Obsession Eleven to rewrite the page but maybe more importantly to address...

Katie’s #1 doubt about her existing copy

Talking to Katie that first time, I was fully convinced she was the real deal and I felt eager to re-tell her story so everyone else would know that too. Before we went through my questions, she shared her #1 doubt about her current Our Story page:

Was her story hurting her business?

Katie’s concern was completely understandable! Was her story TMI? Would potential clients deem her foolish and untrustworthy because she herself had selected the wrong dog sitter?

No!

Because PCL’s ideal client is a dog owner who loves their dog to pieces.

Contrary to Katie’s fear, her ideal client would actually trust PCL even more

  • Her ideal client wouldn’t judge Katie - that ideal client would empathize with Katie!
  • They’d feel all the pain and fear that Katie must have gone through and probably stop reading their screen and go hug their dogs.
  • And then they'd trust PCL more, because they had proof that Katie and her team understood their fear of leaving their dogs with the wrong person.

After reassuring Katie her story would pull clients toward PCL, and not push them away, I reviewed with her where I thought the Our Story page worked well (and where it needed some help).

Where Pets Crave Love™’s “Our Story” page already worked well

First, Katie’s existing copy already told an emotionally compelling story, which was good. Each of the Obsession Eleven is focused on writing copy that makes people feel something when they read it.

Second, Katie also ended her story with a powerful rallying cry for her company:

Your pets are our passion. Their care is our obsession. When you leave the house and trust us with their care, you will breathe a huge sigh of relief; we’ll take the leash from here.

Remember that text, because I kept it verbatim in her new copy. (She had me at “obsession.”)

Where Pets Crave Love™’s “Our Story” needed some help from Obsession Eleven

After telling Katie what worked, I pointed out what I’d noticed was missing from the page.

  • A call to action that sold. The CTA on the page was to read the Frequently Asked Questions page on the site. That struck me as a lost opportunity to ask for the sale.

  • A page with skimmable, easily digestible information. The copy on the page was a wall of text: no headlines, bullet points, or other visual cues for a site visitor to skim for the information they wanted. Which was too bad - it was a story worth reading.

  • PCL’s unique value proposition (UVP). The page only told PCL’s origin story. But where was the proof that PCL would make me breathe a huge sigh of relief? Why would I choose PCL over a competitor? Site visitors needed to understand what made PCL different - immediately.

  • Photos of Katie and her team’s faces (no sunglasses allowed). Katie’s business is a trust-based business. Her clients needed to trust her as well as her employees with a key to their home and the wellbeing of their dogs. The copy could do a lot, but, site visitors needed to see the eyes and faces of the people caring for their dogs.

After our call, Katie filled out the Obsession Eleven Creative Brief Questionnaire. Her answers were A++++! She erred on the side of giving me too much information, which is every copywriter’s dream. She provided more detail than I needed for the Our Story page, and as a thank you, I made strategic recommendations about where she could use the remaining information


The new Pets Crave Love™ web page copy

This is PCL’s new copy, right here in a screencapture.
See it live on the PCL website.

To write the new copy, here’s how I used the Obsession Eleven to address those aforementioned problem points.

✔ Updating the Call to Action

“Read the FAQ” became “Book Your Meet & Greet.” The meet & greet is the mandatory first step of working with PCL, so this CTA would move the site visitor closer to hiring PCL.

✔ Making the page easier to read (skim)

Katie Gingrich, Founder and CEO of Pets Crave Love™

Katie Gingrich, Founder and CEO of Pets Crave Love™

To make the page more skimmable, I grouped the information by topic and made design recommendations as to how the copy should be laid out on the page. I also streamlined the PCL origin story for maximum empathy.

✔ Photos of Katie’s face

Katie also had Shelia Streetman of A Lemon’s Wish take new photos of her walking one of her dogs - sans sunglasses. Hooray, we could see and trust Katie even more!

Now we get to the wicked exciting one. It gets its own section!

Proving that PCL is the superlative dog-walking service in Austin

Step one: Repackaging Katie’s bona fides into a Unique Value Proposition (UVP)

To prove that PCL is the real deal, I could have touted Katie’s extensive experience, training, and degrees to demonstrate her expertise.

That would have been entirely inadequate and boring because Katie does so much more.

  • She studies holistic and integrative dog care, as well as science-based reinforcement dog training;

  • She takes classes and otherwise educates herself on proper dog nutrition, exercise, enrichment, health, safety, and dog behavior;

  • She applies all of that plus her knowledge of dog behavioral wellness for the benefit of every single PCL client.

As she put it,

From what I’ve learned I’ve created a very solid protocol on what dogs need to live healthy, satisfied lives. I train all of my employees on it.

Ding, ding! I seized on this and repackaged her expertise into:

We are the only dogwalking service in Austin with a proprietary, evidence-based dog care protocol.

Did you see that? It was PCL’s credibility skyrocketing.

^^That’s her Unique Value Proposition (UVP) right there. Other dogwalkers walk your dog. But PCL walks your dog and improves their health and happiness. Based on science.

Step two: Miniature case studies

Next we repositioned PCL’s status as a small, independent firm to mean “PCL knows all of your dogs personally.”

Then we proved it by sharing stories about PCL’s clients / the dogs themselves.

And there’s Jake, who greets us only by showing us his “babies” (stuffed toys). When we met him, he was taking anti-anxiety medication in addition to recovering from a leg injury. So we sat on the floor with him and fed him frozen broccoli (his favorite), and soon Jake loved seeing us while his parents were at work. We’re proud to say we did such a good job helping Jake that he grew to love the schedule and no longer needs his anti-anxiety meds!

Katie has dozens of stories about how she and her employees have improved the lives of the dogs they walk. We limited it to 4 stories, with the understanding that PCL can and should share other stories as needed during a Meet & Greet.

Brand messaging for Pets Crave Love ™

Many people think their brand is their logo. Surprise!

Brands are actually (the) words (that they use)!

Applying the Obsession Eleven to Katie’s copy led to a more solidified messaging platform (words).

✔ Pets Crave Love™ is the dogwalking service in Austin for people who want only the best care for their dogs.

✔ We believe: Fresh food + outdoor exercise + enrichment + love = happy, healthy dogs

✔ We are the only dogwalking service in Austin with a proprietary, evidence-based dog care protocol.

✔ We know all of your dogs personally. Because we’re small and independent.

Because no matter who is caring for them, pets crave love.

These messages combined with Katie’s emotionally compelling story define the Pets Crave Love™ brand.

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My new, Obsession Eleven’d copy has already had a huge impact on my business.

“My team members have noticed the difference especially during Meet & Greets. They can establish rapport almost instantly because my story makes new clients feel so connected to us.

“Giving my dog care protocol a name, and making it front and center, was Jenn’s idea. New clients treat us as experts now, not assistants. They have a much better understanding of the value PCL provides beyond just walking their dogs.

“Hiring Jenn is more than hiring a copywriter. Using the Obsession Eleven creates great copy and marketing strategy. I feel so much more confident about how I run my business now.”

—Katie Gingrich, Founder and CEO of Pets Crave Love™


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All photos used with permission from Pets Crave Love™ .

Case StudiesJenn Whinnem