One Line Every Marketer Should Remember
A while ago, my wife mentioned that we needed some distilled water for our steam iron. The next time I went to the supermarket I searched for this
item and finally came to the right shelf. Sitting there were some big, plastic jugs with labels that read: "Distilled Water. Perfect for Steam Irons, Humidifiers, Wet-Cell Batteries, and more!"
Bingo! This was exactly what I needed for our iron and I grabbed a gallon.
The writer of the little label on that jug will never win a prize for creativity or be profiled in Ad Age magazine. But he sure knew what he was doing!
By explicitly stating, "Perfect for Steam Irons, Humidifiers, Wet-Cell Batteries, and more!" the writer reassures people that they were buying the right product -- the one that will meet their specific needs.
Sure, if the label had simply read "Distilled Water," I probably would have bought it anyway. But the four little words "Perfect for Steam Irons" made me feel 100 percent certain that I was getting exactly the right thing. It closed the deal.
In essence, the label was saying "We've got just what you want," which are words that many marketers and copywriters all too frequently forget.
Let's get back to basics and think about this for a second. If you are trying to sell a product or a service to prospects, you are instantly up against a tough challenge: You are asking prospects to pay you money.
How do you get them to give it to you? By convincing them that you can provide something they need or want, something that has real value.
As a direct response copywriter, it's my view that the clear benefit should appear right in the headline.
Here are just a few examples of ways to say "I've got what you want" right up front:
WRONG: Through the air, silently it connects your world.
RIGHT: At last! An affordable way to get Wi-Fi convenience for your home!
WRONG: You can hold the future of profitability in your hands.
RIGHT: Get your FREE Forrester Report now: "Enterprise Handheld Apps Emerge"
WRONG: Are you as secure as you think you are?
RIGHT: FREE guide for Senior Management: "How To Create A Security Action Plan."
WRONG: If only Alexander Graham Bell could see this offer.
RIGHT: You could win a Nextel i2000 phone worth $399!
WRONG: Rx for security
RIGHT: How physicians can avoid malpractice lawsuits
The takeaway message this month?
Don't make prospects wonder if your product or service is the right one for them. Put your benefit where it really belongs: Right up front!
Ivan Levison is a freelance direct response copywriter who works for companies like Bank of America, Fireman's Fund, Intel, Microsoft and many others. Levison writes direct mail sales letters, e-mail letters and ads. For a free subscription to his monthly e-mail newsletter for software marketers, visit his Web site at http://www.levison.com. He can be reached at (415) 461-0672 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.