In this week’s post, we will be examining how sales copywriters like Momoko Price from the CXL Institute get into the head of their customers to learn how they think and position products and services in a data-driven way.
Knowing your customer is one thing, reaching them in the appropriate manner and getting personal responses is a more critical task to copywriting. We will look at the different ways to get into the mind of your customer and see your product from their perspective because if they don’t think it’s good enough to give you money for it, no matter how well you understand the product or service, that business will soon become history.
Doing sale copy for a startup or a business that hasn’t really relied on online visitors for customers can be daunting since there are little or no customer data to rely on while doing a message mining.
- Make a list of keywords: You want to make a list of keywords that typical customers of a close competitor would use to find them in search or Pay-Per-Click or on the social media.
- Google the Keywords: Use google or any other search engine to look for reviews, forum discussions, complaints, social media tags.
- Check popular Sites: For consumer good and popular services, you can check Amazon, Yelp, consumer report, Trustpilot, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the company site for reviews.
- Collect all these data into a spreadsheet: Use spreadsheet to collect the data into easily identifiable themes which will allow you easily sort them using pivot tables in Microsoft Excel or Google spreadsheet.
- Rank the collected data: You need to sort and rank the data into the themes and columns of motivations/pain points, purchase prompts, objections, fears and anxiety etc.
Another method of message mining is for a more established company with customers and visitors coming through their website.
Since customers have different awareness level from you site visitors, you will need to create different surveys for each of them.
You will need to focus on the following while engaging your site visitors with a survey:
- Pain points: What are those things that made them realize that they have a challenge?
- Purchase prompts: What alternatives are they using to handle those challenges presently?
- Anxiety: Do they have any difficulty in using the solution they are using presently, if yes, what are these challenges?
- Purchase Prompt: If the answer to the previous question is a yes, would they choose your solution to solve the problem?
For this type of survey, you will need to target the paying customers not people using a trail version of the product. These are customers that has the real sense and value of the product and would give appropriate response for it.
- Dealbreaker Values: Ask them what did the product do or is doing for them presently.
- Unique Value/Benefit: Is there any unique benefit that made them settle particularly for your product or service?
- “Aha” moments: Did they have a wonder moment in using the product. This is a unique quality that is not a feature but has come to solve a peculiar problem for that customer. For instance, a customer that bought a robot vacuum cleaner said she has back pain and the robot has helped her begin to heal as she no longer has to bend and clean the floor every time.
- Desirable outcomes: These are outcomes that has been achieve basically because of the product or service your company offered. This is less likely to vary from one customer to another but look out for the words they use in answering this question.
Editing your Sales Copy
Some of the methods presents here are not exhaustive but a more robust list can be seen at the mini-degree programs at CXL Institute.
Be explicit/clear with your messaging: No matter how obvious you think about your message, if you don’t say it your audience won’t see it. The seven seconds eye test says your audience should be able to read your message in the first seven seconds of landing on your page.
Research Your Headline: Well researched headline will always outperform an unresearched headline. Your whole messaging is to present your customers with what your product or service offers that they want to hear. It is a confluence of what your customers want to hear and what your product does for them.
Match your readers expectation: For campaign-based traffic, consider the sales how your customers landed on your sales page.
“What are they looking for?”
Once you can answer this question, then ask a question that reinforces their motive and then answer the same question.
In many cases, I see marketing staff try to coin a headline without really putting the customer into context. They believe they understand their product so well and so can coin the best sales headline for it.
Knowing your product is half of the challenge and most cases it’s the easier part, a good understanding of your customers or the audience you are targeting is trumps tactical headlines from your head.
When you’re running an add, you easily loose focus of what the ad says and just ramble away on the features of your product.
Blow them away with value: The next thing you want to do is give them offers they can’t say no to, make it so good that it displaces your competition.
Now this is what you present them with based on what brought them to your landing page.
Offer them specific happy outcomes
Elimination of specific pain points
After you have excited them with these class of information, then go ahead and prove it with hard and rich testimonials.
Cloudy platitudes lack the hook that your customers will hang on to, give them specific claims, dig into your data or research, find press releases, find something that clearly reinforces your claim.
Five paint brushes you could use
- Lift word pictures from customers: Use words that add imagination to the meaning, words that are so on-point that you see another dimension of the situation through those words. The mind is photographic and you are best soothed engaging it that way.
- Replace generic nouns with specific ones
- Use specific adjectives in place of generic ones. Instead of say “Really good” you could say “fantastic”.
- Replace weak verbs with punchy ones. You want to use words that leave strong impression on your audience. Instead of say “I went to the store” you can say “I raced to the store”.
- Call out your reader and their need. This makes the impression that you are specifically addressing them not just anyone.
Show and tell: As much as you can use imagery, images are more implicit but you need to be explicit; literally tell them what they need to hear from you to prompt immediate action.
Cut anything that doesn’t do real work.
- Is it reflecting/Matching motivation?
- Is it conveying or clarifying value?
- Is it proving a claim?
- Is it addressing an anxiety?
- Is it adding authentic specificity?
If the answer is “NO”, then just “KILL IT…”
For a mini-degree on several aspects of digital marketing, please check out CXL Institute.
Chukwuebuka Justus Asogwa is a post graduate student of Digital Business: A joint program from MIT and Columbia Business School, with interest in Digital Enterprise and Platform Businesses in Africa. He works with Agroyields Africa Ltd, an Agritech company in the production and retail space in Nigeria. Connect with Chukwuebuka on LinkedIn, Twitter or send him a mail via firstname.lastname@example.org