What is your biggest struggle when it comes to writing copy for buyers?
That’s the question I ask everyone who requests access to the Facebook group for my free Funnel Copy Fix 5-Day Challenge. I want to know what’s tripping them up, what makes them feel stuck, and what keeps them from getting the results they want.
Nearly every single answer I get has to do with words and writing. I guess that’s not so surprising. Copy is made up of words and writing, so it only makes sense that people’s biggest challenges with copy are things like:
- “I just wish I knew what to write.”
- “I don’t know if my copy is any good.”
- “I don’t know how to translate my ideas into a coherent text.”
- “I can’t get my copy to convert.”
- “I don’t know how much to write.”
Want to hear something crazy? When it comes to sales copy for buyers, most of the time the words aren’t the problem. Yes, copy that’s well-written and grammatically correct with no misspellings or punctuation errors is easier to read. You’d get a better grade on it if it was a book report or a research paper.
When it comes to conversions, though, the standards for writing are completely different. “Well-written” copy in the traditional sense doesn’t make a difference unless you know the buyers first. In this article, I’m going to break down six things you need to know about an offer’s buyers before writing the offer’s sales copy.
Know What They’re Thinking
My mom and I have always been close. There’s a lot of genetic similarity going on there too. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been in conversation and responded with the same answer at the same time. Our reaction when that happens? We look at each other and say at the same time, “One brain.”
My brother and my dad would roll their eyes and carry on with whatever they were doing, and Mom and I would dissolve into a fit of laughter over whatever it was that had started the whole exchange.
We alway seemed to know what the other person is thinking, and that helps keep our relationship strong. If I’m struggling, she is one of the first people I go to because I know she understands me.
Take the time to research what your buyers are thinking about. This will help you build common ground with them as you communicate. Instead of just skipping right to the sale, you can start by creating a relationship with your buyers through your sales copy because you know what’s on their mind.
Know What They’re Feeling
A year and a half ago, my husband and I took our teens to a conference for entrepreneurial families. It was a great chance for them to have some fun while learning more about what we do as digital marketers.
One morning during a session, my husband leaned over, pointed to the family in the row in front of us, and said, “Hey look, that guy has an Iowa Hawkeyes sweatshirt on!” We found out later that this family lived less than an hour from us and had three girls our kids’ ages.
Although we had to travel all the way to Denver to meet them, Brad and Dana and their family have become some of our closest friends. Why? Well, we do share a lot of common interests and our kids are the same age, but it goes deeper than that.
Like us, they know how it feels to be an entrepreneurial family. They understand the unique challenges we deal with because they deal with them too. They know how unusual it is to work online from home and see the workforce from a different perspective.
Your buyers need that kind of understanding to come through in your sales copy. You may not be business twins with your target audience like Brad and Dana and Jeremy and I, but you can do the behind-the-scenes work to uncover what it’s like to be them and how they feel about the problems and challenges they face.
When you know what your ideal buyers are feeling, your sales copy will be much more effective because the reader will feel heard and understood.
Know What They Want
When I was 14, I babysat for 18-month-old twins. They were the cutest little blonde brother and sister, and I really enjoyed hanging out with them, but there was this ONE time that lives in my memory …
We’d been playing outside, and the twins were ready for a snack. And when I say ready, I mean the brother side of the equation was there and beyond. He had gotten so worn out and hungry that words escaped him when I asked him what he wanted for a snack.
All he could do was stand in the middle of the kitchen, point at the snack cabinet, and wail.
I went through every single item in the cupboard, holding up snacks one by one. “Do you want this one?”
“How about this one?”
It can be like that with our target audience, can’t it? Sometimes we’re tempted to just throw out some sales copy and see what happens. “Does this appeal to you? How about this hook? This angle?”
Although testing is a very important part of optimizing campaigns, knowing what the ideal buyers want before you start writing sales copy helps cut down on the time (and cost) spent testing. It seems super simple, but when you know what they want, your sales copy can focus on giving it to them so your buyers don’t end up standing in the middle of the kitchen in a full-on tantrum because they feel like no one’s listening.
Know What They Need
Let’s take this one step further. It’s one thing to know what your ideal buyers want, but we all know that sometimes what they want isn’t what they really NEED.
Take my example with the twins. Brother WANTED a snack, but what he really NEEDED was a snack AND a nap. But guess what would have happened had I tried putting him down for a nap before giving him a snack? We’ll never know, but I’m guessing it would have been on the level of nuclear meltdown.
I knew he needed a nap, but all he could think about was the snack.
Buyers are like that too, and I see this trip up entrepreneurs and business owners all the time. How? They offer what the buyer needs before the buyer even knows they need it. If you don’t find a way to give them what they want, they may never stick around long enough to understand that you’re offering what they really NEED.
Once I got the snack in the kid, he was able to take his mind off his rumbly tummy. His little eyes started drooping, and I was able to put him down for a nap without a fight.
What is it that your ideal buyers really need? Are you taking care of what they think they want so they can see past the immediate to the deeper solution? Your buyers may not be aware of what they need yet, so your job is to lead them to it with your sales copy.
Know What They’ve Tried Before
One of the best ways to show up for your ideal buyers in your sales copy is by calling out what they’ve tried before. The truth is, your offer will most likely not be the first thing they’ve tried to solve their problem or get results. Ignoring the fact that buyers have been let down by something else before only makes that problem bigger in the background.
But calling it out shows you’ve done your homework and are aware of the gaps and pitfalls in the market. It gives them hope that someone out there knows the unique issues they’re facing and really cares about providing a true solution.
Let me give you an example. It’s kind of corny, but stay with me. So I have had notorious issues with can openers. I feel like I’ve owned just about every kind there is, and none of them work. I’ve tried the handheld crank ones, the cabinet mount ones, and the standalone electric ones. And one by one, they’ve all failed me. It’s so annoying and frustrating.
Then I was introduced to the Pampered Chef can opener at a bridal shower. Great, another one of those. How could that be any better than what I’ve had? It’s a can opener. They’re pretty much all duds.
I was SO wrong! As the consultant held up the Pampered Chef can opener in one hand while she ticked down the list of other types of can openers, I was impressed. I could tell she really knew her stuff and had done her homework on other can openers. Because of this, I was willing to listen to what she had to say.
Oftentimes, we hesitate to bring up the competition, but that’s a mistake. Not mentioning the competition doesn’t make them not exist. It only leaves unanswered questions in the minds of your buyers.
“Well what about …?”
“Isn’t that just like …?”
“I think I’ve tried that before already.”
I promise, when someone is introduced to an offer, they automatically think about what they’ve already tried and how it hasn’t worked. When you can come in and address it in the copy, you stand out as an expert (and a mind reader)!
Know Why It Didn’t Work
The last thing you need to know about your buyers before you start writing sales copy is what what they’ve tried before didn’t work. This is an important step because it allows you to create contrasts and comparisons with the offer you’re writing for. These contrasts and comparisons are the key to establishing your offer as unique and different.
Why does the offer you’re writing for need to be portrayed as unique and different? There’s a part of the brain that fires dopamine, a chemical that makes you feel motivated and intrigued, causing your buyers to want or desire something into your system. Guess what triggers dopamine?
Unique and new things.
Find out the why what they’ve tried before hasn’t worked so you can contrast it with how your offer is better, different, and unique. This will make the offer stand out. It’s insanely effective – but you can’t do it if you don’t know WHY what they’ve tried before hasn’t worked.
More from Christa Nichols
Using these “before you write” tips will help you create sales copy that’s dialed in from the get go. Want more tips on how to write sales copy that converts? Download my FREE guide on “8 Must-Ask Questions For Sales Copy That Converts” for the eight questions I always ask my clients before I write. Click here to download the guide now.
Want more about writing for buyers? Click here for “4 Ways To Build Massive Trust With Your Target Audience”.