When it comes to crafting messages that resonate with your target market. You need to stack the deck in your favor. The best way (backed by extensive testing) is to carry out research.
More specifically, researching your customers.
This step takes time, energy and focus.
If you could dissect a winning marketing promotion, or spend time with marketing greats like Dan Kennedy, you would understand the importance of researching your customer.
Imagine you are selling a $1,997 product.
Now imagine you’ve just written the best sales letter… it follows the normal structure of writing a winning sales message.
You think the headline rocks.
And NO response!
Why is that?
A few reasons:
1. They don’t believe what you say is true for them.
2. Your offer is way off mark.
Imagine if you got the world’s best living copywriter to run your promotion?
You start to make sales!
So what made the difference?
RESEARCHING THE CUSTOMER!
Any respected copywriter with many home runs under their belt will swear under oath research is the most important part of any sales message.
Think of yourself like Detective Columbo when you approach any sales message.
The 8 step Columbo guide to researching your customers – get a pen and notebook ready…
- Find out where your customers hangout.
Which social media platforms do they engage? You should join them. Study them. And see the feedback. This can arm you with some great insights into objections and fears your customer has.
For example, if you read a blog on weight loss, hiding in the comments could be a busy mom of four children complaining about having no time to go to the gym.
Now imagine if your sales message addressed her specific problem; and imagine if your solution was a ‘Workout At Home Program For Busy Moms’. Do you think you would have her attention?
2. Do your prospects read newspapers and magazines? If so, start digesting them.
3. Read any reviews about anything (for example; in a newspaper you may discover articles with plenty of questions and answers, or magazines may have a dear Jane section – read it!)
4. Buy data – more specifically, you can now rent mailing lists with relevant data for just about any niche in any town. For example, known buyers in the last 30 days of a similar product or service to yours. Better still, you can rent lists based on gender, age and interests etc.
5. Investigate where they live, it’s good to have an idea of your customer’s lifestyle. Why is this important? It’s no good trying to sell affluent products to poor people.
6. Create your ‘Columbo’ customer profile (Gender/Age/Address/Likes etc.)
7. Step into your customer’s mind for the day. Try and act out their typical day.
8. Try and think like your customers do. Try and discover the problems that keep them awake at night.
Now you have your customer’s profile.
You can begin to write about your product in a way your customer will relate.
This is one of the most important steps. You want to win trust as soon as they lay eyes on your sales message.
Here’s an example of an Ad written by John Carlton. Notice how the lead, headline and subhead are loaded with facts and information targeted to the prospect reading it.
It’s not a typical “How To Master Your Swing And Out Drive Your Competition Every Time You Tee Off!”
Another famous ad by John was the “One-Legged Golfer”…
When John was interviewing the expert who casually mentions he developed his amazing new swing after watching a one-legged golfer bounce up to the tee and launch one of the longest, straightest and most impressive drives he’d ever seen.
John says: “It took me nearly an hour to pull this little factoid out of the expert — to him, the story was old news, and who cared about one-legged golfers, anyway?
I knew I had the greatest hook in golf the second I heard the tale.
The key, again, is to have a legitimate payoff in the ad when you use sensational headlines. The payoff here comes on page 2, when Milt describes feeling sorry for the guy … until he realizes the truth: The one-legged man actually had an advantage over normal golfers. It’s all about balance.”
Special Bonus Tip – Check out amazon book reviews on your niche. Go to amazon books, search the top 10 best sellers in your niche and read the reviews good and bad. Think of the bad reviews as potential objections that you could handle when writing your copy.