Message & Media: 12 Copy Improvements
For example, if you're selling whole life insurance with a hefty annual premium, quote lower monthly or quarterly premiums right up front. Know the top three reasons your reader won't respond and artfully address them before they become major stumbling blocks.
5. What's your answer to "What's in it for me?" The answer is your offer. Your offer is the driver of direct response copy. Start by understanding all the elements of your offer. It's more than just product, price and a premium. It includes customer service, payment and terms, even the response options available. Make sure your copy fully describes everything you are willing to give in exchange for your reader's response—including no phone menus, free gift wrap service, or a no-obligation comparative analysis.
6. Connect with your audience. That means knowing more than just your reader's age, sex and job title. You need to understand the person you are trying to influence inside and out.
Think of your copy as a dialogue between two individuals, rather than a shout-out to an anonymous crowd. How can you get to know the individual to whom you're writing? Read customer mail. Interview prospects. Review research and focus group findings. Talk to customer service reps and sales people who have personal contact with the person reading your copy. Effective direct response messages are one-to-one communications.
7. Focus on benefits, not features. Features describe; benefits sell. And they sell by establishing value. Here's an exercise to help understand and remember the difference: Make a list of your product's features, everything from how much it costs to how long it takes to install. Then add a corresponding benefit for each that appeals to your targeted audience. Prioritize these benefits based on their importance to your reader. This becomes your roadmap for what you are about to write. Make sure to include the top three to five benefits whether you're writing a letter, email, postcard, space ad or product Web pages.