Whether you’re writing a direct mail piece or an online sales page, your content has to compel prospects to purchase. Think about it. When you get an offer in the mail, what makes the difference between you throwing it in the circular file (i.e. your trash can or shredder) and opening it? If you click on a Web page, what makes the difference between you reading what’s there or clicking to another site?
What makes the difference is whether or not the content speaks TO you . . . has you thinking “that’s me” or “yes, yes, this company understands my dilemma.”
I call it “pushing your buttons.” If the words reach out and grab you, make you feel you’re understood, you’re likely to keep reading. And, if the copywriter has done his/her job well, you’ll get to the order form and fill it out, call the toll free number, or you’ll click on the “buy now” button.
Here’s a simple four-step copywriting formula to follow:
1. Determine the problem. What is the issue facing your target audience? Touch on the emotions they might be dealing with daily. They may be stressed out about past due bills . . . frustrated with their jobs . . . experiencing chronic back pain . . . afraid of losing a loved one.
2. Push their buttons. Let them know you understand their feelings . . . you can relate to their stress, pain, anger, etc. Your goal is to create that “AHA” moment. As they’re reading, you want to get them thinking “Yes – this company gets me. Yes, they understand my feelings . . . fears . . . anxiety. Yes – they can relate to what I’m going through. Therefore, I want what they have.”
3. Offer the solution to their problem. As direct marketing pro Bob Stone wrote “. . . people respond to any given proposition for one of two reasons: to gain something they do not have or to avoid losing something they now possess.” For instance, they may want to:
- Make money or avoid losing it.
- Save time.
- Avoid losing possessions.
- Have great health or avoid getting sick.
Let prospects know how your product or service will affect them personally. Tell them how you can help alleviate their problem. Remember, prospects and customers want to know “what’s in it for me?”
4. Get them to respond. Of course, last, but not least is your call to action. Don’t forget to tell your prospects what you want them to do. Should they complete & return the order form, dial a toll free number, click on the “buy now” button? Check out my blog post on this topic at https://www.writedirection.com/call-to-action
Now, go back and review your copy. Are you pushing prospects’ (or customers’) buttons and letting them know how you can help them “see the light of day?” Post your comments (or questions) below and let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you.
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