Your process of writing for specific customers

7 replies
Lately I've been paying attention to how my marketing copy does or doesn't speak directly to the customer. I was made aware of this principle early on, but I'm starting to realize how difficult it can be in practical application. My last lead magnet fell really flat, even though I thought it hit the nail on the head. I'm starting to realize how over-broad it was and how it didn't focus on any type of customer in particular.

The idea is, if a cafe advertises great coffee everyone will enjoy, they will generate tepid interest by being too general. However, a cafe that markets the hottest espresso this side of The Tiber may alienate people who don't care for espresso, but will invigorate Italophiles and create a loyal, active customer base.

How do you see this play out in your writing? Is it something you're conscious of in a first draft, or does it come out in the revision process? Or is this even a priority for your work?

I'm grateful for any advice you can provide.
#customers #process #specific #writing
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  • Profile picture of the author srdjanrepic77
    To be truthful, I don't always take the time that I should when I'm researching the target market. Ideally, I would use the Google keyword tool and Facebook advertising tools to research interest groups. After that, Think with Google is also a platform I use to research trending products, but as I said, I don't always go the whole 9 miles.
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  • Profile picture of the author SARubin
    Originally Posted by Stephen Floyd View Post

    Lately I've been paying attention to how my marketing copy does or doesn't speak directly to the customer. I was made aware of this principle early on, but I'm starting to realize how difficult it can be in practical application. My last lead magnet fell really flat, even though I thought it hit the nail on the head. I'm starting to realize how over-broad it was and how it didn't focus on any type of customer in particular.

    Lesson #1 - You are not your customer.
    Unless you plan on buying 100% of your own product, then we really need to think about what the other person wants.


    What are the ingredients for great sales copy?

    Of course we need essentials like
    • a great hook
    • a great offer
    • an attention grabbing headline
    • a compelling call to action
    • etc. etc. etc.

    But all these things revolve around, and are influenced by, the first essential ingredient

    Without this one thing all your formulas, formatting and fancy words will fall flatter than a piece of roadkill under the wheels of a tractor-trailer truck.
    (wow, that sentence was a mouthful wasn't it?)


    So what is the first essential ingredient to all winning sales copy...?

    First, and foremost...

    Know your reader!


    Know where they hang out and what they're interested in.

    If you're advertising a product that's perfect for 30 year old women, don't go scattershot with facebook ads across the stratosphere. We want our ads showing up in the groups where 30 year old women hang out.

    If you're selling shoes, it's no good advertising running shoes to people with no feet. Sure, you might sell a couple pair but you'll waste a lot of time and money going after the wrong market with the wrong message.


    Once we know who our ideal target market is, then we can hang out in their world for a little while.
    We can start by just observing for clues and patterns, and then we can ask a few questions once we grasp the insider lingo.


    When we understand our prospects world it becomes so much easier to bridge the gap between our offer and their desire, and sometimes our copy practically writes itself.


    Anyway, that's how I do it

    Originally Posted by Stephen Floyd View Post

    The idea is, if a cafe advertises great coffee everyone will enjoy, they will generate tepid interest by being too general.
    I think Howard Schultz might disagree with you on that one.

    Originally Posted by Stephen Floyd View Post

    How do you see this play out in your writing? Is it something you're conscious of in a first draft, or does it come out in the revision process? Or is this even a priority for your work?
    This is such an odd question for me. Of course the person I'm writing for is a top of mind priority. Always. How else would salesmanship work?
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Stanley
    One "trick" I've seen recommended before that I've found useful (when applicable/possible) is to print out a physical picture of (a representative of) your target consumer (nb: this presumes a well-researched and grounded target). Keep it near where you're working so the image remains in the back of your mind. Read your copy aloud to them. You may find you make helpful revisions/additions you wouldn't otherwise have considered.
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  • Profile picture of the author Teright03
    Asking more specific questions about your target audience leads you to answers more relatable with your target audience.
    These answers connect more deeply with your reader.
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    I advise you to reread SARubin's post...in my nutshell:

    Target: Who, where, when.
    Match your message to that marketplace.
    LINGO...or Bingo if you speak the language of their desires.
    And to add to what Matthew Stanley said about avatars (pics of prospects)...

    Sometimes you can think of certain celebrities to give you "types". Oprah might love bread, but she likes to diet (every couple of years to hawk her latest weight loss tips).

    Or a relative, Aunt Polly or cousin Vinnie, pretend like you are writing to them, if they are in your target niche.

    I, too, am miffed with the question as SARubin is, it just seems like you are going about it backwards, at least until now.

    Some pictures in your mind, (metaphors), which might be of service to you:

    A bridge you need to lead them across. Who is the them? Why should they cross the bridge? What awaits? Or just the old world What Is In It For Them (WIIFT).

    Another mental image, a busy INTERSECTION, where you may encounter several prospects, but you need to find them and within a very short time, give them a reason why to read more or to get more info from you.

    One other image to consider, you are in a room divided by a curtain, your prospect is on the other side, how do you get your message to her? Is she in one spot, or does she move around, if she moves...where to and when?

    One thing I used to teach copy writer wannabees is the use of the MASLOW Pyramid combined with Schwartz' stages of awareness.

    Example. Self improvement/development. At the top of Maslow is the person who spends 25 thousand dollars to walk on hot coals on Tony Robbins' private island as opposed to one on the bottom, who has to scrape 25 bux to buy Tony's book.

    The avatars at the top of Maslow, are also the most aware on the Schwartz list.

    As for where it comes into play, BEFORE a single word gets written, I have to know who and WHY I'm writing to.

    GordonJ


    Originally Posted by Stephen Floyd View Post

    Lately I've been paying attention to how my marketing copy does or doesn't speak directly to the customer. I was made aware of this principle early on, but I'm starting to realize how difficult it can be in practical application. My last lead magnet fell really flat, even though I thought it hit the nail on the head. I'm starting to realize how over-broad it was and how it didn't focus on any type of customer in particular.

    The idea is, if a cafe advertises great coffee everyone will enjoy, they will generate tepid interest by being too general. However, a cafe that markets the hottest espresso this side of The Tiber may alienate people who don't care for espresso, but will invigorate Italophiles and create a loyal, active customer base.

    How do you see this play out in your writing? Is it something you're conscious of in a first draft, or does it come out in the revision process? Or is this even a priority for your work?

    I'm grateful for any advice you can provide.
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  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
    Example:

    AUDIENCE
    Mothers at home looking after school age kids

    TIMING
    Kids have just gone back to school
    after holidays

    MESSAGE
    Now that the kids are back at school,
    you deserve a break and
    some tlc.

    Come on in and redeem your Mom's Pamper Package

    blah, blah
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    What you see is the ATM method.

    Your message almost writes itself after some practice
    of the the 3 steps.

    For the targeted audience, it is on point,
    relevant and shows you understand her/his world.

    Best,
    Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author OliviaY
    I've tried these two approaches, and to be honest, I haven't noticed much result. The sale of my product was rather influenced by great deals and special promotions.
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