DIY Copywriting: Sell The Benefits

Copywriting

When writing sales copy, imagine your reader is stressed, late for an appointment and in a bad mood.

Presume that no matter how great your product’s features are, she’s going to say “so what?” to every claim you make.

When you know she’s going to say “so what?” to everything you tell her about your wonderful product, you can answer her before she even asks the question.

You’re the copywriter, you do the work.

Don’t presume your reader will think about anything other than themselves.

Or that they have time to.

Your reader is busy and distracted.

She’s late, has the TV on in the background and is trying to prepare her home for a visit from the in-laws – while eating breakfast before her appointment at the salon. Phew.

She’s not likely to spend the time working out what a list of features can do for her. Or how they’ll improve her life as she scans your flyer before throwing it out.

All features have benefits. Many have more than one. What does she need to know to be interested?

Some benefits are harder to find than others. However once you put yourself in your potential customer’s shoes, it’s a logical process.

Usually there are core benefits that lead to secondary benefits.

When you know your customer, you’ll be able to decide on what’s most important to her.

One classic example is a home security system.

Your customer needs to know that this product will give her peace of mind and keep her family safe.

Only then will she go to the trouble of reading how your alarm has a finger print sensor, low power consumption and communicates with her mobile phone.

These features also have associated benefits.

Remember she’s still going to say “so what?”, so include these secondary benefits as you list the features.

Now that you’ve aroused her interest with the benefit most important to her, the secondary benefits will help her decide to buy your alarm.

Not just any alarm.

Often the primary benefit can be implied while focus is given to a secondary benefit.

Use the one that sets you apart from the competition. Remember, you don’t want to convince her to buy an alarm, you want her to buy your alarm.

Choosing which benefit to lead with is your job as a copywriter.

Don’t be afraid to only cover one benefit. Your customer really hasn’t got much time to understand your copy.

Here a crystal clear example from Dyson:

Great copy from Dyson, copywriting, benefit led, customer centric, benefit led copywriting, know your customer

Great copy from Dyson

Everything you need to know is instantly absorbed here.

If I was to offer one criticism, it would be that they should have integrated this marketing communication by including a call to action – a good reason for visiting their website or social media.

If you have any good examples of benefit led selling I’d love to hear about them.

Please comment below.

Thank you for reading.

images from advertolog and uprootedtogrow

copywriting audience, marketing audience, target audience, audience persona

DIY Copywriting: Know Your Audience

Copywriting, Original Marketing

Recently a business owner friend of mine asked me to have a look at the newspaper ad he’d been running.

“It’s nice”, I said cautiously,  “except… it’s not clear on exactly what you sell, the benefits you provide, why people should visit or even who it is you’re talking to”.

Ah sure it’s just to get my name out there somehow. None of my customers probably even read that paper anyway”, he abruptly replied.

When my eyes returned from the heavens, I asked him to put the kettle on. This would take a while.

You can’t hit a target that you can’t see.

Why do so many companies send out the same marketing messages month after month not knowing exactly who they’re aiming at?

Every business has an ideal customer. Or at least an ideal customer type. If you’re not clear on who that is, you’re doing one of two things no business can afford to do. Either you’re spending more than you need to on marketing, or you’re not attracting enough customers.

Do not despair.

Understanding your customer properly may take some time and effort but you’ll be glad you took that time.

Start by creating 3 – 5 customer personas, depending on the type of product or service you sell. This will inform you on how best to speak to them and what they need to hear. As this is a DIY article I won’t go into advanced research methods, for now common sense will do.

Ask yourself, your colleagues and even existing customers to help you answer the following questions for each persona:

How old are they? Are they married, working or staying home with the kids?

Where do they live? Are they educated? Do they drive or use public transport?

What’s the household income? What’s important to them: quality, price or style? Are they on social media? What paper or magazine do they read?

What are they like? Where do they go and with whom? What are they into?

How busy are they? How can your company improve their situation?

I could go on but you get the point. With further research you can find out how many of these people actually exist, essentially learning the true size of your market. For now though we’ll concentrate on who they are. Get to it.

If you’ve answered most of the above I have great news.

By now you’ll have begun to understand which channels they’re most likely to come into contact with your message through.

And you’ll have an idea what tone, images and benefits they’ll respond to best. And, maybe more importantly, which ones they won’t.

To illustrate this point, watch the following two videos and try to reverse engineer Dove’s persona building process. Dove is selling what is basically the same product here but to two different personas.

 

I think it’s a fantastic example. And I love the moisturising technology and unloved armpit concepts.

They’re both fun adverts. Both selling basically the same product but in different packaging. Their personas are probably identical in many ways – salary, lifestyle and education, but the approaches needed to reach men and women are poles apart.

Using what we’ve discussed here today will make a huge difference to your marketing and advertising results. This process can be time consuming and many businesses will hire a marketer to do everything for them. Whether you’re spending time or money though, the process will ultimately pay for itself.

Thank you for reading.

image from freeimages