Message & Media: Increase Visibility
It was a blustery January morning a couple of years ago when I mustered the courage to march into my creative director’s office and ask him why he wasn’t using a senior staff writer (like me) to write the copy for Fingerhut’s new insurance program. I was bored with polyester pantsuits and burned out writing about cookware. I wanted a challenge. I wanted to write insurance copy.
In his usual fatherly manner, George Schlegel put his arm around me and said, “But Pat, insurance is different than polyester. It’s an intangible and requires special expertise to sell it effectively. Insurance copy needs to be written by an insurance writer.”
So, imagine my surprise two years later when I landed the job as the only writer at a life insurance company selling entirely by mail. After confessing I had no insurance experience, Forrest T. Jones, former chairman of Fidelity Security Life, told me, “I can teach you insurance. What I need is a writer who knows how to use words to motivate people to take action.” Since then, I’ve written dozens of insurance offers and learned a lot about selling intangibles—products you can’t see, touch or smell.
Whether you sell insurance, toilet tune-ups, home loans, teleconferencing, investment services or other intangibles, these tips help create messages that sell more of what can’t be seen.
• Call to action. This is basic, but often overlooked and undervalued. Tell people what you want them to do and why they should do it. What action do you want your customer to take as a result of receiving your message? What can you do to motivate your customer to call, click or complete an application? Prudential’s ad on LinkedIn is a good example: “Watch this video for anyone in or nearing The Retirement Red Zone. Click here.”