I know you love your readers. But you have to admit, they are a bit self-centered. Rightfully so since after all, they're the ones holding the cash. And it's your job to create products and services that are worthy of their decision to give you that dough. Here's the catch: You have to focus on their needs and only on their needs to let them know it's OK to place an order.
The solution: Feed into their self-centeredness.
One way to do that is to list all of the "hats" your customer wears. One of my favorite writers, Bob Bly, always lists who his product or service is for. Here's an example:
Who should attend this seminar on product liability?
- product managers
The list can be as long as you like. But make sure your target audience is well represented whenever you're offering a product or service. That way, they'll ask the question, "Why would I, being a product manager, want to be interested in this product/service?"
And that's what good copy is all about, answering the next question. We know the first question already, "What's in it for me?"
By listing the titles of your customers you're answering the question, "Why would you think I'd be interested in what you have to offer?" It's not limiting. It's actually liberating - liberating enough to shake the money tree and send some sales your way.
Here are some ways to put more of the reader into your copy.
1. Replace the word "You" with the reader's title - sometimes.
Notice how I gave myself an out with "sometimes." We know the word "you" is a very powerful word in copy and it doesn't paint us into a corner. It can also be a bit too general when you're trying to create a voice that makes the reader feel like you're sitting right there. Here's an example of the you/title replacement:
Use: That's why small business owners need this kind of information.
Instead of: That's why you need this kind of information.
2. Use the reader's title in your headlines.
Ease into this technique by placing titles either within or above your main headlines. It lets the people who first view your site to know you're in their world.
Here's a variation on a headline I used recently:
"Hey Writers, Speakers, Coaches, Small Business Owners and Editors - Your Search for a Definitive Source on How to Write E-mail Newsletters is Now OVER! Here's Why . . ."
3. List titles in the body of your sales letter copy.
After you've described your product or service, let your readers in on how it will help them make money in their particular niche in the business world. Here's an example:
Sprightly widgets are often used by:
Widget managers - for the safe installation of sockets and engines.
International brokers - for hassle-free export to manufacturers in the Asia-Pacific region
Widget engineers - as a backup for unmounted widgets
By using this example you've not only placed your product or service in the reader's world, but you've told him how he can use it to make his job easier.
Lisa Sparks, author of "Power Words: How to Write Ezines that Increase Your Sales," has more than 13 years of experience in journalism, copywriting and marketing. Sign up for her ezine, a $197 per year value, at no cost by visiting http://www.integritywriting.com.
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