Today, I have a very important topic to talk to your about. This has nothing to do with the technique of copywriting, and everything to do with the way you approach your craft.
What I’m talking about today is need to empathize with prospective customers.
I’m often amazed at just how often clients will come to me with copy drafts that don’t address their customers’ needs or wants. They will show me sales pages that go on and on about themselves, their business and their product, without ever saying a word about the customer.
Just as an example, I once got an e-mail from a client who was wondering why his landing page wasn’t converting. He had recently started his own weight loss training business (offering both a paid-for e-book and nutriotion consulting), and he had no idea why his business wasn’t going anywhere. He said that he had poured three hours into writing this landing page, and that even though he was getting plenty of hits, he just wasn’t getting any sales. So, naturally, I asked to take a look at what he had written, to see if there was anything I could do to salvage this poor guy’s business.
When I looked at what he had written, I was absolutely SHOCKED to see that he hadn’t included a SINGLE reference to customer needs or wants in his entire landing page. It being a weight loss business, I figured he would at least talk about the desire to be thin, the frustration of failing at a diet, or the boredom of doing the same workouts day in and day out.
He didn’t make a reference to a single one of these elements, all of which are CRUCIAL bits in any marketing material having to do with weight loss. Instead, he just went on for 1000 words about himself, his own weight loss experience, his weight loss products, and the benefits of using his products.
It was pretty amazing. His landing page seemingly had it all. The headlines were well written, grabbing attention and building a sense of urgency. His words flowed well, having a good rhythm, facilitated by sentences of alternating length and structure. He used bullet points, emphasizing each key feature of his product with a short, succint setence punctuated with an arrow graphic.
And yet, it was obvious why this piece was not getting sales. Nowhere did the language speaking to the customer, their dreams, desires, and deepest fears. Instead, it just talked about the writer and how awesome his product was. Come to think of it, the whole thing came off a little bit narcissistic.
Always remember that copy is intended to get the reader to take an action, and that most readers will not take action unless you acknowledge their needs, wants and even fears. Once you acknowledge these emotional soft points, it will be much easier to sell your readers on whatever you want them to do, whether you want them to buy your product, sign up for your e-mail list or join your forum community.
The following are five easy steps you can follow to make sure that your copy always empathizes with readers. This may seem like a quick fix or band-aid solution, but if you take these actions consistently, you will forge the habit of writing copy that anticipates customer concerns and deals with them in advance. The result of this can be powerful. If done correctly, your copy will serve as a sales page, help desk and checkout line all in one!
The Five Steps:
1. Make a list of all your product’s features. Features are attributes inherent to a product, like size or shape.
2. Make a list of all the benefits associated with your products’ features. Benefits are what your customer actually gets from using your product. For example, if “simple interface” is the feature, “ease of use” would be a benefit.
3. Imagine the customer that your products’ benefits would appeal to. Every benefit appeals to a different type of person. Ease of use appeals to non-technical users. Durability appeals to users who will use the pr0duct a lot. Customizability appeals to customers who have very specific ends in mind. For every benefit you have listed for your product, list the types of people for whom that benefit would apply.
4. Imagine that you are the person who will be using your product. Think of how you would feel when deprived of the benefits that your product provides. Make a list of words to describe these feelings. Also make a list of the opposite feelings.
5. Incorporate the words you listed in step 4 into your landing pages, squeeze pages and sales letters. Be as descriptive as possible when talking about how the customer would feel when deprived of the benefits they seek, and be equally descriptive in talking about how great they’ll feel when your product satisfied their needs.
Alright, that’s it for today. Remember to always empathize with your customers, even when they aren’t present. It can make a world of difference in your business!