You're in business to make a profit. Those were the first seven words I heard in college while pursuing a degree in business. Profit is what keeps businesses alive and thriving. Without it, you're out of business.
In business you need customers. Once you find where they are, what do you tell them? Why should they want to buy your product or service? How do you get through to them? You need to get the correct answers to these questions if you want to make a profit.
If there is one thing I learned in thirty-one years of broadcast management it's that every person listens to one radio station all the time. It's in their head. It's called WII-FM. What's In It For Me? That is the single most important piece of information you can provide a potential customer or client. People want to know what the benefit is to them for using your product or service.
It has amazed me in working with clients over the years just how many really didn't know what business they're in. They might tell me, "Well, I sell widgets." I would answer, "No, you don't sell widgets. You sell what your widgets do." Therein lies the benefit. The other purpose of being in business is to solve a problem that a customer has. That's what the benefit provides. It solves the problem.
So when you write your marketing copy, write it so the benefit of your product or service is right at the top. Ultimately that is what your customer really wants to know. Customers buy benefits, not features. People don't care if your product is square, purple, tall, or made of plastic. Those are features, not benefits. People don't buy features. They buy benefits. If you state right up front in your marketing material that your product or service is going save them two hours a day, or make them 53.3 percent more profit in a week or gives them better looking skin-then you are closer to a sale--the more specific the benefit statement the better.
Powerful, compelling marketing copy has relatively few components. First, outline the benefit as early in the copy as possible. If you can do it, announce the benefit in the headline of your marketing material. For example, "Look ten years younger." "Save $300 on your next computer." "Free, no fee, no-hassle checking account." Etc. Just make sure you can back up your benefit statement or headline. With a powerful headline, you grab the customer's attention and you tell them what's in it for them. Now, they'll read the rest of your announcement.
The next step is to back up your claims with tangible understandable facts and figures to help them make a positive decision. Although virtually all sales are ultimately made by emotions, people also like to have information to support and justify what they are about to purchase. It's just human nature.
The final step, interestingly enough is one where many salespeople and companies drop the ball. You need a strong call for action. Ask for the sale. Ask for their business. The worst case scenario is that they will say, "No," But asking the question will certainly get you closer to a "yes" than if you don't ask and leave it in the air. That's giving the potential customer a way out. That will not get you closer to the profit you seek. Ask them to take a specific action. Again, the more specific the better.
To wrap up, state your benefit right up front in your marketing copy, support it with facts and figures and then ask your reader to take the action you want. It's a simple but effect formula. Writing compelling marketing copy is a lot less stressful if you can follow these simple guidelines. Oh, and it will work with virtually any product or service. If writing it yourself becomes too intimidating or you just don't have time, hire a freelance business writer to do it for you. Make your marketing copy work hard for you. It's the key to that profit you seek.
Tweed Scott is the author of the three time national award-winning book, Texas In Her Own Words, a professional speaker and an ADDY award-winning copywriter. He is the owner of Tejas Communications, a writing and professional speaking company. He can be reached at Tweed@TweedScott,com or 512 484-0340.
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