There are 5 major components to good marketing copy: (by the way, the order of these is essential to success)
- Command Attention
- Showcase Benefits of Products/Services
- Prove the Benefits
- Persuade People to Embrace the Benefits
- Call to Action
Advertising is sales in print. So, you need to think about the unique benefits your products/services offer and showcase that in a persuasive way. You need to emphasize results, not features. Features are your “widget” does. Benefits are how they solve your prospects problems. Big, big difference.
If I told you my dog could open my fridge and get me a beer, you’d think that was cool and then wouldn’t think of it much again. But, if I told you I could teach your dog to get you a beer out of your fridge, now that’s a hole new conversation!
So, let’s take a minute to talk about each of the five components of good copy:
- Command Attention: This is usually accomplished with the headline. You need an attention-getter that makes people want to know more about your solution (products/services.) The best headlines give a vivid portrayal of the benefits, show how a problem can be avoided with your products/services, or just plain grabs attention. When you can, grabbing attention within the context of what you do or are trying to say MUCH BETTER than not. The headline is the pitch for the pitch.
- Showcase Benefits: You have to showcase the benefits of your solution and, more importantly, show how your ‘widget’ will solve or prevent their problem. They need to know what’s in it for them. Include useful, factual and clear information to show precisely what the benefits are and how they are going to help the customer.
- Offer Proof: This is where you prove what your pitch is offering. You need to establish you have a method to deliver. Consider information that establishes credibility and past performance.
- Persuade: You need to add compelling reasons for your potential customers to purchase your widget. Hard sell and scarcity rarely work anymore though it does depend on the type of product you have. It never works with a service. We are tired of the hard pitch and you become quickly un-trustable. So, what else is amazing about your widget. Is it the color choices, the ease of use, customer service, you? If there is nothing special or compelling about your widget you better undercut everyone in price or have a stellar location. And the second of those is often difficult with the internet inches away from our fingers. Give this some thought. This is not some crap you throw on a page or a poster or website. This is how you feel about what you sell. Most folks will harp on the call to
actionclaiming that’s where most fail to perform in their marketing. It’s true, I’ve seen quite a few people, usually service oriented, solo- preneurs, neglect to create a clear call to action but that is NOT the core of most incompetent marketing I see, which is predominant. It is quality of persuasion that lacks. A true attempt at distinction, either actually or in our marketing, this is the greatest short coming.
- Call to Action: You need to compel your potential customers to DO something. They need to check out your site, sign up for your newsletter, purchase your products, contact you about services… something! Offer a freebie; a booklet, sample, mini product, bonus, demo, consult, limited time price… the list goes on. There are lots of ways to get potential customers excited about ordering and help them feel like they are getting an amazing deal. And I suggest you spend a bit of time thinking about what you actually want them to do. That’s
the how, but it’s not the whole story.
The reason many calls to action do not work is that the prospect sees no value in it. No, they’re not blind. Either you have shown no value or you’re speaking to the wrong audience. Period. Isn’t it nice to know there are only two possible problems here? I think it’s great news. And, in my humble opinion, it leads back to your call to action, or in fact, what’s compelling about your “widget”.
It leads back to the strategy of your product/service/hybrid and if you aren’t clear on that no one else will be.
Good marketing includes all of these components and is not complete without any of it.
HINT: You can sit down and think through any one of these components, then figure out how to best place them together for the most effectiveness.