If you’re a salesperson with killer instincts, you know that your mantra is “close, close, close.” The trick is knowing how to chart a course from the second you have a prospect in your crosshairs. Here’s a style guide to take you through writing copy that will build trust, quell customer objections, and gather clients around your digital campfire.
Know Your Ideal Client
You may not have the in-house resources to do thorough research into who exactly your clients and ideal prospects are. But never fear—algorithmic data sets are here! Quantcast is a helpful service that offers demographic information about customers when you type in the name of a company, product, or service. Such online tools can help you find out all kinds of data about your customers, which may quickly become the starting point for your marketing efforts.
It’s Not About Me, It’s About You
We all want to be the centre of attention. If you write about the reader, you’ll capture their interest. Phrases like “How often do you find yourself…” can get your audience nodding in agreement, which is a great way to build relationships. Build sympathy by offering praise, such as, “You work hard and play hard, everyday. You are so ready for the next level.” Once you’ve got their attention, train your lens directly on them by showing them you understand where they are coming from as a customer or client. Now you can get on with exalting just how your product is going to meet their needs. It helps to actually picture a person—what they drive, where they live, what keeps them up at night. Picturing your ideal customer will help you write with them in mind.
Start with a list of problems or challenges that your ideal client needs to solve. Then, make a list of your products’ attributes that are going to meet those challenges head-on. Sounds dry, doesn’t it? Let’s think of it in different terms: everyone wants to be understood. You can learn about what bothers customers by searching online discussion forums on topics, companies, and products. For instance, Quora allows you to enter your product or field into a search field, and will return you results that highlight different conversations around issues your customers are concerned about. Knowing the objections of your potential customers, and hitting those nerves directly, helps show that you already know what is bothering them, and are offering a way forward.
A Pyramid of Attention
Think of a piece of sales copy as an hourglass, with the sand perpetually running out. This is the attention of your reader, seeping out letter by precious letter. Your headline is there as bait for them to chomp, but from then on, you need to fight against losing their interest. Search engines operate in a similar way—if you haven’t made your point in the first couple of sentences, you’ve squandered the moment. You want to open with a value proposition that contains your target phrase. Rephrase the questions your readers have come to you with, and then offer assurances that they will find answers with you.
Trust Us: We’re Human, Not Robots
Many readers are jaded from a lifetime of being advertised to. Most people can sense a formula in ad copy the same way they can predict the ending of a lousy TV show. Your customers don’t trust you—at least, leads that have yet to buy from you don’t. Doing something unexpected, witty, or personal can take readers by surprise and move them from their skepticism (oh, yawn, another pitch) to suspended disbelief. That momentary openness and curiosity is golden. It can be achieved by throwing in some quirky details. Use story to make statistics sing. Insert yourself into the copy when it works; if you are an app developer working in partnership with your wife, speak from “I” and “we” to build rapport and trust.
Your style is another hook that can keep readers engaged. Brevity is the soul of wit. Keep your sentences short, sharp, and snappy. Avoid using the passive voice; use “investors have been flocking to the table,” instead of the lukewarm, passive version, “the attention of investors has been attracted.” Don’t hedge—if you have a claim to make, come out trumpeting. Be bold but calm, clever but sincere, confident yet kind read the full info here.
Writing copy that turns heads is a delicate game. Wrapped up in those simple-sounding sentences are complex concepts, carefully researched keywords and phrases optimized for search engines, all executed with a conjuror’s flair. Knowing who your customers are and what they care about is key to letting them know just how right for them your product is. The trick, from then on, is to speak their language and sustain their interest.