Writing good content for your website and Blog has a lot to do with understanding your customer or audience.
If you have ever been through a good strategic planning or sales excellence exercise you will have looked at your value proposition, which should give you what you need to make it easy to write an article that relates well to your customers.
As you will see in this article the first step is to state your value proposition, followed by the feature then the benefits.
If you were looking at your value proposition in a business planning or sales excellence exercise you may have also looked at your channels to market, types of customer relationships and customer segmentation. Your value proposition message may change based on these additional elements. For example, the customer segmentation may have different age groups as segments and as a result, you will have a differrent language of value propositions.
It’s not necessarily about writing well.
It’s about writing persuasively.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a world-class wordsmith or a literary genius.
If you can’t effectively move readers through the proper sequence of steps and ultimately convince them to buy, your conversions are going to suffer.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the world’s greatest writer.
You probably won’t see me publishing a novel anytime soon.
But I’d like to think I’m good at copywriting, which, in its simplest form, is “the act of writing text for the purpose of advertising or other forms of marketing.”
In this post, I’d like to provide you with a straightforward formula you can use to become a highly persuasive copywriter with the end goal of maximizing conversions.
I’ll explain both the basic structure and the specific techniques you need to use to become more persuasive.
Start with a killer value proposition
Research from Nielsen Norman Group found that you have a very small amount of time to grab a visitor’s attention before they leave your page.
In fact, you usually have a max of 20 seconds.
Your first order of business is to make it abundantly clear what your value proposition is.
Now, there are several ways to go about this, but I believe in keeping things simple.
Getting too complex tends to dilute the message and confuse prospects.
What I’ve found to be most effective is keeping my value proposition short, sweet, and clear.
I think the Moz homepage does a really good job at this as well:
Don’t make them guess what you’re offering.
Let them know in a split second what you are offering with your crystal clear value proposition.
To accomplish this, try to condense the essence of your product down to just a few words.
Swiftly move to the benefits
“What’s in it for me?”
That’s what most visitors are thinking after hearing your value proposition.
But here’s the thing.
Most people have a tendency to emphasize features over benefits.
But it should be the other way around.
Just look at this Venn diagram from ABC Copywriting:
Notice that benefits are valued over features.
Of course, you need to explain how your product works. But you can elaborate on that later.
What you want to do first is explain how the product fulfills a need or desire.
In other words, explain how your customers’ lives will be better after they buy your product.
Here’s a great example from Moz:
See how prospects instantly understand the benefits of using Moz?
It will save them time and make things more efficient.
They also don’t have to worry about deciphering complex data because Moz takes care of this for them.
When it comes to describing benefits, there are three main types to cover:
This illustration from ABC Copywriting explains these various types of benefits in more detail.
As they point out, “Benefits need not be unique, but they must be compelling.”
Keep this in mind when deciding on an angle.
I personally find that it’s best to highlight the benefits before getting down to the nuts and bolts of the features.
That way prospects should be more receptive and willing to wade through the details.
But if you go the other way around and cover the features before the benefits, you’re probably going to lose a sizable portion of your leads.
Now explain the features
“What’s in the box?”
That’s what Brad Pitt’s character David Mills wanted to know in the closing scene of the movie Seven.
While the contents of the box were quite grisly (his wife’s severed head), this question demonstrates the importance of promptly telling your leads what they’ll get by making a purchase.
In other words, let them know what’s in the box.
They already know what you’re offering and what the benefits are.
Now it’s time to succinctly break down the features of your product.
Again, I feel like Moz pulls this off flawlessly, so I’ll use this as an example:
I prefer breaking features down into bullet points or concise little sections like Moz does.
“Digestibility” is huge, and you want to present your product’s features in an easy-to-absorb, intuitive way.
You also want to touch on specifics to distinguish your product from competitors and to add a sense of value.