Communication: entrepreneurs are you good copywriters?
If you’re here, you must already be familiar with copywriting. If not, I encourage you to read this article in which I answer FAQs on the subject. Now that you’re convinced of the benefits of copywriting to boost your company’s profitability (or at least curious to see for yourself), we can get down to business!
Many entrepreneurs tend to forget they’re selling to human beings with personal needs, and that in the eyes of the humans in question, their needs are clearly more important than your product or service. In other words, if your customer has a need, they don’t care how your product works or why it’s amazing. What they are interested in is a concrete solution to their problem. If you don’t know who your target is, take a stop in here before going any further!
For a customer to take interest in what you want to sell them, you need to show them:
- That you understand their problem
- That it’s important to deal with it
- That you have a solution to that problem
- That your solution works
- That now is the time to take action to solve it
It’s a copywriter’s job to convince customers of each of these points. You’re not here to sell something, you’re here to solve your customer’s problem.
Start with the structure
Though it may seem counterintuitive, what I recommend for copywriting is starting with the structure. Doing so gives you a framework that will make building your pitch more comfortable. Plus, the same structure can be used in any context. All you need to do is change the content.
Have you heard the acronym “AIDA”? It is the theoretical basis of all good sales pitches and copywriting structures. It stands for Attention/Interest/Desire/Action. To spell things out, start by getting your customer’s Attention, then spark their Interest, create Desire, and get them to take Action. The order is of the utmost importance. If it’s not followed, your efforts could have the opposite effect.
Although this structure is easy to grasp, I must admit that implementing it is a different matter… but do not fret, we’ll get there!
Writing for your customers
As I already mentioned, your clientele is less interested in your product or service, and more interested in finding a solution to their problem. That is what your focus should be on when you’re writing your pitch using the “AIDA” structure.
To help you along, remember the following:
The difference between function and benefit
A function is one of your product’s characteristics, and a benefit is the outcome of using your product. All too often, sales pitches shine the spotlight on functions rather than benefits.
If you were on a product page for an electric bike, would you be more interested in its engine power or the ability to pedal your way to work every day without breaking a sweat?
The description you provide should depict your product or service’s functions in a language your customers can understand.
The usefulness of functions and benefits
Customers buy your product or service for the benefits it brings them, so you must emphasize them. That being said, functions are also useful: they make the benefits possible and help remove any objections to purchase. To use our electric bike example again, as a customer, you would be reassured in the bike’s ability to help you arrive fresh and ready to work if you knew one of its functions was a high-power motor and long battery life.
Functions and benefits are complementary. An effective way to portray the ideal interaction between the two is: “My product or service has [function] that enables [benefit].” The benefit is the key element and the function justifies it and gives it credibility.
The value of emotional benefits
Whatever your product or service, it surely has benefits that are concrete, and others that are much more abstract. Buying an electric bike can be a way to get some “soft” exercise, but it can also feed your ecological conscience as you will no longer be taking your car every day. Although such benefits are harder to put forward, it would be a shame to leave them out entirely: they can be strong desires and powerful purchase motivators. Emotional benefits help customers anticipate the feeling of satisfaction they will experience when they use or receive your product or service. Their imagination is your greatest asset!
The importance of visualisation
Your customer’s imagination is a series of images (as indicated in its name!). You must learn to get customers to visualize the benefits you offer and motivate their purchase decision. Ideally, it should be a situation they have experienced before or will be able to relate to. In our electric bike example, it might be “How many times have you been stuck in traffic on your way to work, swearing you won’t keep doing the same thing and wishing for a viable alternative?” Your goal is to find the detail that will go straight to your customers’ hearts. Here, visualization is in written form, but you can very well combine writing with visuals (pictures, videos) to boost your statements. However, do be careful not to add visuals just because they’re pretty… If you’re using visuals (yes, pretty ones are best!), make sure they enhance the benefits you are putting forward.
Objections to purchase
These are any questions you do not answer (or do not answer well enough) on your sales page that could prevent your customer from making a purchase. Clearly, your goal is to remove as many of these as possible, while keeping your content “digestible.”
Technical charts are a commonly used solution for this (which you can generally find on the product description of electronic devices). It’s not what makes people buy the device, but anyone looking for information can find answers to their objections there.
On your marks, get set, write!
We’ve now arrived at the hands-on portion! Write down the functions and benefits of your product or service and consider how you might include them in the structure of your text. Think about situations your audience will be able to relate to. Try once, then again, and as many times as it takes to remove all objections to purchase.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a target group that’s willing to help you, ask them for feedback to improve your idea.
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