Super post Shakirah! I love the "Be miserable" tip. You're spot on when you remind us that misery loves company (even if it's only so the miserable one can escape the company, somehow). I think it's a lot like active listening where you repeat what the person has just said to you in your own words, but in this case, backing it up with your own miserable experience. Great idea!
The Attitude Cycle Of Your Sales Prospect Part 1: The Selfish Reader
Anyone who begins reading your sales offer immediately begins something I’d like to call an “attitude cycle.” Your job is to address every one of these attitudes to keep that person reading until it’s time to make your offer. If you do it right, it will be much easier to close the sale. In the next few posts, let’s take a look at each of these attitudes, starting at the beginning with:
You’ve sent your offer to someone who–based on your duly diligent research, right?–is a prime buyer of things similar to it. She picks it up, and seriously could not care less how bright and shiny her life could be if she were to buy from you. She’s thinking about her, her life, and her needs. You have a couple of seconds to get her attention with your headline. Have it address an issue that’s top-of-mind for her, and you’re in. Three ways to accomplish this:
Be direct. If she knows all about your brand and it has a reputation she already trusts, don’t beat around the bush. No cloak-and-dagger. No smoke or mirrors. Tell her all the “catches” so suspicion doesn’t distract her. Tell her you’ve got something she needs while making it abundantly clear she stands to gain no matter what she spends. I received and continue to receive quite a few like that from Turbo Tax both online and offline. It worked.
Differentiate. If she knows about services like yours, you’ve probably got to do battle with others. Lead with a unique selling proposition that promises her you’re different. I’ve been eyeing Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM Online “Don’t get forced” campaign for a while in my sidebars with no small amount of admiration, even as I wince for Salesforce. Even though everyone is aware of Microsoft’s brand, Microsoft had to get into the trenches to pull market share from Salesforce. I just noticed TaxAct used the same tactic in its “Turbocharged?” campaign, too.
You don’t have to go for your competitor’s throats, but choosing one benefit that clearly differentiates you from every other provider out there is key to keeping a selfish reader reading.
Be miserable. If she has a problem she doesn’t know how to solve, neither a blatant offer nor a USP are necessarily going to make it clear that you can solve it for her. But guess what? Misery loves company. So lead with some commiseration. It may seem morbid to you, but remember, right now your reader is selfish. Reading the story of her own suffering is like music to her ears. She wants to know how you know what she’s going through, and if you know anything more.
Okay, so she’s interested, and wants to know more. Now she’s just curious enough to read on. But her attitude cycle has just begun. So how do you turn curiosity into a sale? Find out in my next post.
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Number 3 made me laugh so much! That tactic works well for me. "You feel me!" I think my favorite example of that is the Best Buy Buyback Program TV ad where everyone sees the device they JUST bought is out-of-date. Apparently it's not online, which saddens me, because it's one of the funniest ads I've ever seen. But - who hasn't felt like that? You get the latest and greatest and suddenly it is not great. And here is Best Buy offering to solve that problem! Perfecto.
Great advice, Shakirah. I always work from the WIIFM principle - "what's in it for me?" THAT is what most readers of marketing materials want to know ... and they want to know it fast, especially if they are in "pain." It's SO important for marketers to remember that what you're writing should not be driven by what you're trying to sell, but by the problem you're trying to solve ... FROM the perspective of the reader/buyer.
... and now that I've used WAY too many ALL CAP words, I'm outta here.