Copywriting: Perform Brain Surgery
One of the most powerful connectors between a seller and a prospect is language, or voice. Of course, it’s the writer’s job to get that communication across in words and ensure that it’s culturally accurate. To speak (write) to your customers and prospects the way they wish to be spoken to can be daunting when you’re not exactly like them — but it’s far from impossible. It just takes a little research.
Most of us can tell if someone’s not “speaking our language.” We hate to be spoken down to. This is true both face-to-face and in your catalog. Yet, I constantly see curt and uninviting language. Or it’s so sweet that it’s clear I’m being pandered to. Multichannel marketers essentially are uninvited guests into the homes of prospects. If prospects don’t trust you, they won’t buy.
So, how do you make yourselves, and esp. your catalogs, welcome guests?
1. Love your customers — or, at least, like them a lot. The fastest way to alienate customers is to act like you like them when you don’t. They can tell. Here’s how:
• If you understood their priorities, they would be communicated in the copy (and they’re not).
• Your language isn’t the same as theirs, e.g., you use the wrong vernacular, or use it incorrectly.
• Your copy assumes they understand what a product does, when they don’t.
• You talk down and try to teach them something about a product that’s abundantly clear.
Writers who don’t care about their readers are “outed” by the ignorance or benign nature of their copy. So, writers must have integrity.
If technical products and gadgetry bore you, for example, and you can’t stand spending time around folks you perceive as geeks, then writing to sell technically oriented products is bad for business — yours and your client’s. And if you have no interest in kids, the last thing you want to do is write for a kids’ toy catalog. That’s where integrity comes in. And writers must be prepared to turn down work if it turns them off.