Have you ever watched a baseball player on deck to bat next? You’ll notice that batters often place a weighted…
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Your headline draws them in, while your opening copy maintains the magnetic hold. The express benefits give them hope that…
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Your copy has to convey the benefits of buying, period. But have you thought about how to best frame those benefits? The Framing Effect is a psychological response in which people react to a particular choice in different ways depending on how it’s presented. For example, we tend to want to avoid pain more than Read More…
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One cool thing about being a content marketer is that you tend to become an expert in your topic. You probably know an awful lot about your business, your project, or your subject matter.
In fact, you might actually know too much about it.
It’s called the curse of knowledge. Because we research our topics deeply and spend so much time writing about them, we tend to understand the technical specs inside and out. We have a great grasp of the under-the-hood details that make the thing work. And we think customers want to know all about those details.
But most of your potential buyers? They don’t care.
What have you done for me lately?
To be effective, marketing needs to show exactly what the offering does for the person buying it.
The features of your offer are what make it work. The benefits are the results it creates for the customer.
What transformation does your product or service empower? What does it allow the customer to become that she isn’t today?
Jimmy Choo high heels aren’t coveted because they’re comfortable or well-made. (Even though devotees believe they are.) Women buy them to feel confident and gorgeous.
Hybrid cars aren’t popular because they’re fuel-efficient, money-saving, or environmentally friendly. The real benefits are feeling virtuous and smart, with the warm, fuzzy glow that comes from believing you’re saving the world.
Your content and copy will never be truly relevant to your audience until you translate your features into customer-focused benefits.
The five-minute feature check
Quick, take a
If you’ve studied copywriting, you know the purpose of the headline is to get people to click and start reading. And your opening copy needs to continue that momentum all the way to the offer or conclusion.
One way to do that is to make a bold, seemingly unreasonable assertion in your title or headline. A proclamation so jarring that the right person can’t help but keep reading, listening, or watching to see where you’re going with it.
As far as I can tell, copywriter John Forde (whose site tagline is, not coincidently, “Learn to sell or else …”) was the first to define the Proclamation Lead:
A well-constructed Proclamation Lead begins with an emotionally-compelling statement, usually in the form of the headline. And then, in the copy that follows, the reader is given information that demonstrates the validity of the implicit promise made.
This type of lead works for both sales copy and persuasive content. Let me give you a couple of examples.
Forde illustrates the Proclamation Lead with a direct mail report that is ultimately selling an alternative health newsletter. Written by Jim Rutz, the piece immediately startles and tempts the prospect with a bold statement:
Read This Or Die
Today you have a 95% chance of eventually dying from a disease or condition from which there is already a known cure somewhere on the planet. The editor of Alternatives would like to free you from that destiny.
The copy continues not by jumping to the offer, but instead by