Understand your prospect’s 5 stages of awareness to write more effective copy
Copywriting. Looks easy, but it’s not.
As marketers, we have problems when we write marketing copy, whether we do the writing ourselves or hire a copywriter, we agonize over this issue:
What do we say?
What does our prospect need us to say?
But a concept used by experienced copywriters can help us. Let me share the concept and show you how I applied it to website copy.
What’s the Concept?
The 5 Stages of Awareness of your prospect.
How to get inside a prospect’s mind
Before we write, we think about what we need to say. We know we need to focus on the reader.
We need to determine their point of view to persuade them to take action. So how do we do that? By listening to the prospect, which includes understanding the prospect’s stage of awareness.
The 5 stages of awareness is a scale. It shows how much your prospect knows about your products and services. The concept also shows how much the prospect knows about his needs, pain, and problems.
The concept was coined by renowned copywriter, Eugene “Gene” Schwartz. And he wrote about this in the book, Breakthrough Advertising. The book was published about 50 years ago, but don’t discount this idea of its age. The framework is foundational to good copywriting.
So you need to measure your prospect’s awareness level to write to him or her.
Let me share tips I’ve gathered to ease the burden of writing a testimonial. You can nip the hesitancy to start. Drafting an effective testimonial won’t take you more time to write than an average one.
Plus, you can use your influence for good. You’ll help your vendor grow. And that’s gotta feel good to contribute to another’s success, right?
Decide where the testimonial is placed in the email
Word-of-mouth and third-party reviews don’t allow that flexibility.
Use customer testimonials
“When value is demonstrated rather than described it immediately becomes more relatable … Showing is more powerful than telling because it reflects the customer’s desire, problem or dilemma (alongside your potential solution) back to him. This is why success stories build trust in a way marketing copy never can.” Bernadette Jiwa
Your prospective buyer is bombarded with choices. As he considers what product or service to buy, inner tension builds. He’s looking for reassurance. Good testimonials minimize the friction a prospective buyer experiences inside his head. When he reads other customers’ opinions, he instinctively views this feedback as fact.
Good customer testimonials add credibility to your offer.
So read my tips and learn how to enhance your customer testimonials. If you act on these ideas, your testimonials will resonate to your prospective customer.
Have customers tout your company’s distinct benefits
Hey, you. Person in charge of your company’s marketing. B2B marketer extraordinaire. You’re good at what you do. And I think one reason you stay ahead is you’re always on the lookout for the next best marketing trend. A better way to get more leads, gain more customers, you know, make more sales.
Let me back up. I can’t say eating a fun-size candy bar is by choice. A more precise phrase to describe my behavior is giving into a snack of temptation.
So why are these so irresistible? What’s their appeal? And why do I bring up the topic?
1) Mini-sized candy bars = bite-sized chunks of information
If you think about it, eating a “junior” candy bar is a complete package. The bite-size sweets still contain the chocolate, the caramel, the peanuts – the value of a regular-size bar — but they’re also encouraging you to want a little bit more.
They’re a ready-made “grab and go” dessert. Tempting to devour. And people do. I do.
So when you’re trying to convince a prospect to buy your product or service, think about conveying your message in a mini-candy bar style.
Lessons from Grover in The Monster at the End of This Book
When my daughters were young, we’d pile into the navy blue Honda Accord (a boxlike-design model year) and go to the public library every week for story hour. We’d check out dozens of books and scoop them up into our totes.
I was doing a weight-lifting regimen back then: hauling book totes and childcare bags, and lifting children in and out of car seats, high chairs, bathtubs, tricycles. I swear I had Michelle Obama biceps and triceps. At least back then.
On some occasions, the books they chose as their favorites would be mine too. Such as this one:
When I needed to find a book for a toddler gift recently, I knew which one to choose. Before I wrapped it, I handed the book over to my teenager. She smiled and said, “Oh, I remember this book.” And we read aloud, “So please don’t turn the page.”
And, of course, we turned the page.
Jon wrote a classic children’s book featuring Grover. It’s not only funny and entertaining, but also steeped in persuasion. You can apply his techniques to update your marketing messages. Here are three principles of persuasion he used:
So you’ve joined your peers in viewing an email list as a big asset.
And you can’t stop once you gain a subscriber. No, you’ve got to win him over to earn his long-term engagement, you know, reading your emails and taking action. Perhaps buying your product or service. Becoming a customer.
Because the value of an email list is the level of engagement, not the size of the list.
Curious to know the technique that will boost your email open rates by 82%?
When I wrote articles for regional business newspapers back in the day (they were called business journals, i.e., Springfield Business Journal and Lincoln Business Journal), one criterion for the assignment was word count. I needed to stick to that number and get to the point before my word limit was up.
Every two months, my article would make the front page, and it needed to fit in the upper right section, starting above the newspaper’s fold.
Today, we don’t have to squeeze our words into printed newspapers’ limited space. The Internet offers freedom! And yet, as business-to-business companies, we’re still obsessed with word count.
In describing the project’s scope, a chief marketing officer often says, “I only want 500 words.” Why only 500 words?
“See, the best interpreters are part linguists, part diplomats. They have to know the politics behind each word,” Danny Hajek, National Public Radio reporter.
Try to put yourself in the shoes of a prospective customer.
How do you want him to feel when he visits and reads the copy on your website? Like you’re speaking directly to him? So he feels like you understand him, can relate to his concerns and have the knowledge to solve his problems?
I watched a movie recently about Saroo Brierley, a boy from India who fell asleep and rode on a train 1,000 miles from his home. When Saroo got off the train, he was lost. Only five years old, Saroo found himself in another part of India where a different language is spoken. He also did not know the correct name of his hometown, and encumbered with language barriers, could not return home.
It’s an astonishing tale and one I can’t keep thinking about.
Saroo wrote about his journey from India to an orphanage, then to adoption in Tasmania and eventually his quest, 25 years later, to seek his family in India. The book, A Long Way Home, inspired the movie, Lion, and earned six Oscar nominations.
Here’s a Google Earth: Saroo’s Search video describing his fascinating journey. (Spoiler alert: Stop the video at the 1:30 minute mark if you don’t want to know the ending and prefer to watch the movie or read his book first.)
Saroo’s story also inspired me to share some tips on how to get the information you want faster in Google Search. Let’s be more savvy in our searching, shall we?
1. Simple works best
In Google search, one or two word search terms will usually give you the broadest results. Start with short search terms, then refine your results by adding more words.