Although they do so in different ways, both business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketing look to persuade their target markets into taking a specific course of action. And here’s what I have learned on my journey to become a copywriter:
“The more credibility you have, the more people are willing to follow your lead.”
In marketing, to gain credibility, you need to inform and educate your audience about your brand message. And the more you can do that within the body of your copy, the better.
The more information you have at your disposal, the easier it is to write persuasive copy. It only becomes a matter of picking the most relevant facts and present them in a way that is appealing to the market.
When a copywriter digs for facts and piles enough information for their project, they do not have to rely on fancy phrases and fluffy expressions to make their content stand out.
Without doing your research, you might write information that is cool to read. But chances are it won’t generate any sales – which is what you want in the first place?
But, how does a copywriter go about doing research? Start by gathering as much information as possible.
Here’s a checklist of questions for you to start collecting valuable information about your offer and target market. Make sure you have the answers before you start writing copy for your next marketing project.
Questions About the Offer
- What does the market expect when they plunk down a few dollars for the product? And do we deliver?
- What are all the features of the offer?
- What are all the benefits that come with your offer?
- Which benefit is the most important to the market?
- How is the offer different and, hopefully, better than the competition?
- If the offer isn’t different, what aspects of it you can touch on that have not been stressed yet by the competition?
- What technologies does the product compete against?
- What problems does the offer solve?
- How is my offer positioned in the marketplace?
- How reliable is my offer?
- How efficient is my offer?
- How economical is my offer?
- What sizes, materials, and models in the offer available in?
- How quickly do we deliver the offer?
- What service or and support do we give?
- Is the offer guaranteed?
Questions About My Market
- What industries will benefit from my offer?
- What’s the ‘universe’ i.e. what’s the total number of potential customers?
- How is my market differing from the general public?
- Who will buy my offer: teenagers or octogenarians … men or women … executives or blue-collar workers?
- What is the character of my market?
- What motivates the market to buy offers like mine?
- What is the market’s main concern?
- How many buying influences does my campaign must appeal to?
- How much can my market reasonably expect to pay?
- Does my average prospect have a credit card or a checking account?
- Will my offer be purchased for business or personal use?
- Can I expect to get multiple sales from my buyer?
- Is there a market for overseas sales?
Questions About the Campaign
- What methods, approaches, and sales techniques is the competition using?
- Will I need to show my offer in color?
- Should I offer time payments?
- Will my offer be a good gift item?
- Should my copy be long or short?
- What should the tone of my copy be?
- Should I test the price?
- Should I test copy approaches?
- Is there a seasonal market for my offer and am I taking advantage of it?
- Are testimonials available from satisfied customers?
- Do I need photographs or illustrations?
- Which appeals have worked in the past for this offer?
- What objections might arise from a prospective customer? How can I overcome these objections?
- Should I use a premium?
- Should I offer a money-back guarantee?
- Is this item also sold by retail? Are there price advantages I can stress to get direct buys?
- Should I consider a celebrity testimonial?
- Can I tie in my copy to some news event?
- Can I tie my copy to some holiday or seasonal event?
- Does my offer sell better in a particular region or climate?
- Should I consider using sweepstakes?
- Can my offer be sold through a two-step advertising campaign? (In a two-step campaign, ads generate inquiries rather than direct sales.)
- What must I do to give the reader a sense of urgency, so they will buy my offer now?
- Can I use scientific evidence in my sales approach?
- Have I allowed enough time to write, design, produce my ad and place my insertion order’?
- Can I get my customer to order by telephone?
- What unsuccessful approaches have been used to sell this offer?
- Can I get powerful “before” and “after” pictures?
- Assuming the ad is successful, am I prepared to fill all the orders?
- What is the logical “back end” (offers in your product line you can offer to someone who has bought the primary offer) offer to sell someone after they buy this offer?