Copywriting that Converts Readers into Buyers Part 2
In our last article, we talked about the importance of conversion to your online marketing success and then, we dove into what is arguably the most important part of conversion - effective, compelling, persuasive copy and content.
Because this is such a broad (and deep) topic, there was no way we could cover everything we wanted to in the last article, so we decided to give you this article as a followup. It offers some additional, random (but very important and useful) tips that can help make your content sizzle and help send your conversion rate through the roof!
Saturated With Marketing!
It's very important to remember that your prospects are bombarded with marketing messages. According to a USA Today article from 2005, we see anywhere from 3500-5000 marketing messages per day. This study was conducted before the smartphone revolution. So this number may even be higher today, and your prospect's attention span may be that much shorter.
Content marketing is often touted as an effective alternative to “advertising”, but we are bombarded with content offerings also, especially in the B2B world. Much like advertising has to stand out vividly to get noticed and responded to, your content must stand out in bold fashion as well, if you have any hope of grabbing and keeping your prospect's attention and interest.
What grabs and keeps a reader's attention? Marketing messages and content that he perceives as being relevant to him. Relevant to his pain, his problem. Offerings he perceives as relevant because he's confident they will give him the solution he so desperately wants.
Direct response marketing and copywriting pioneer Robert Collier understood the importance of leveraging the power of relevance in order to capture and keep the reader's attention. In The Robert Collier Letter Book, which he wrote in 1937, he mentioned the “conversation in the reader's mind”.
This “conversation” is about the reader, about his problems and about his desire to have these problems solved. Collier said that writers of sales letters (today this includes digital copy and content) had to enter this conversation and steer it towards how our product or service can solve the problem the reader is talking to himself about.
This is a textbook example of relevance and how it relates to marketing and advertising. It's critical that you, as a marketer, produce copy and content that readers view as being relevant to them, that enters into the conversation in the reader's mind, that offers him hope for his pressing problem, the problem your product solves.
Readers will be drawn to this kind of copy like moths to a bright flame; they will view it as relevant to them.
What's In It For Me?
On the topic of what prospects perceive as relevant: When any of us are reading a marketing message or sitting through a sales presentation, we are asking ourselves (maybe subconsciously) What's In It For Me? (WIIFM?) We don't care about the product or service, per se; we care specifically about how it will benefit us – how it will improve our situation, what problems it will solve for us, etc.
To keep your reader's attention and to persuade him to do business with you, you need to tell him what's in it for him if he invests in your product. Do not make the mistake that so many marketers make: do not focus only on the features of your product. Focus on the benefits those features will provide your reader when he invests in your product.
To understand the difference between features and benefits, consider this: steel-belted treads in tires are a feature. “Longer tread life so you don't have to purchase new tires as often” is a benefit.
When your prospect reads about a feature of your product, he may ask himself “So what?”. By all means, you do want your copy and content to include features. But you also want to include the benefits those features can provide him.
You don't want him to say “So what?” and not get an answer, so always tell him how the features of your product benefit him. One way to do this powerfully is to mention a feature and then say to your reader “What this means for you is...” and then describe one or more very powerful benefits about that feature.
Sometimes, you can even take this a step further. Don't just mention the benefits the reader will receive; where appropriate, “paint” a glowing, emotion-drenched “word picture” that shows him enjoying the lifestyle your product enables.
For example, if you were selling a hypothetical product called the XYZ Fitness System For Senior Adults, you wouldn't only talk about “lower blood pressure” and “stronger bones”. You might say something like this in your copy aimed at senior adults:
“Imagine this. It's a beautiful Spring day. The sun is shining. There's a gentle breeze. The flowers are blooming, and the birds are singing. You and your family are enjoying a picnic at your favorite park. You have enough energy to play with your grandchildren because you invested in and faithfully followed the XYZ Fitness System For Senior Adults.”
Although benefits can be a very powerful addition to copy and you want to use them, don't you see how much more powerful this style of writing could be than merely mentioning “lower blood pressure”?
Tell Me A Story
You just read a story. And stories are a very powerful, but often overlooked tool for ratcheting up the persuasive power of copy and content. People respond to stories. It's almost like we are hardwired to love stories.
Stories can be a very powerful tool for getting your marketing messages noticed and responded to.They can help increase your conversion rates in a big way! Remember what we said in our last article.
People make buying decisions largely based on emotion. Few things can arouse a reader's emotions like a story, even a story told by a marketer in a sales letter or email.
We can use stories to help us build up our credibility and trust in the reader's mind by telling of a success another reader enjoyed from using your product. We can use stories to enter the conversation in the reader's mind, like we discussed earlier.
We can use stories like our example of the XYZ Fitness System For Senior Adults. This can be very powerful. It lets the reader see himself enjoying and benefiting from your product, making him want it that much more!
Use stories in your copy and content. They are an often overlooked tool that can give your copywriting and content marketing campaigns a major boost.
As you seek to convert your site visitors into buyers, do not overlook the importance of powerful content and copy.The right words are a critical component of your marketing success. Leverage these powerful tips and be prepared for your conversion rate to skyrocket!
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