Customer Testimonials The Copywriter's Problem-Solver
For example, I once faced what seemed like an insurmountable challenge. I had been asked to write a lead generation mailing for AT&T targeting the general managers of rural feed and grain co-ops. The reason for the challenge: The mailing went out shortly after phone deregulation, when AT&T was first facing competition (and everyone wanted to buy any brand but AT&T), the ad economy was at an all-time low, and the objective was to generate leads for a new and pricey concept in small-business phone systems.
I initially thought I'd taken on the type of project one colleague calls a "work-me-a-miracle," but then I found the hook for my copy platform when I asked the AT&T team if they'd sold any of these new systems to co-ops. As it turned out, they'd sold four. So I got their names and phone numbers. I hit pay dirt when I talked with the office manager at the first co-op I called. For starters, this woman had an answer for every buying objection I knew I had to address in my letter. Then she gave me an unexpected, and perhaps little-known, piece of information that helped me reorganize my letter copy to make it more effective.
While the AT&T product manager had proudly told me about all the whiz-bang high-tech features and benefits this new small-business system offered, the customer told me the feature she had never had before and now used the most. Bet you can't guess what it was—the hold button! Based on the long list of features and benefits I'd been handed, I hadn't planned on even mentioning the hold button. But because of my conversation with this customer, I not only used this woman's comments as the all-important opener for my letter, I moved the hold button up to the top of the list of bulleted benefits. The end result was a letter that successfully generated qualified leads, because the argument it made rang true for the audience it addressed.