Today it is extremely easy to find out.
However, does that affect your copywriting?
Before you put pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard, an interesting copywriting strategy is to put a face on your prospect. In other words, “picture” your prospects and customers.
You can do this in two ways. First, you can look at your prospects and customers statistically. From your CRM of existing customers, you can determine your “average” customers based on age, income, geography, profession, home ownership, credit standing, hobbies and so on.
Yes, it works well in B2B.
In the B2B market, the average customer might be based on industry type, geography, product classification, contact people, purchasing, in products or services, a person to contact, size of company in revenue, employees, purchase history and so on.
The more precise you are in developing this statistical picture, the more you can speak to them at a level they can understand and relate to.
This doesn’t mean writing at an eight-grade level. It means speaking to them about those things in their lives that really matter to them – benefits you offer that can enhance and improve their lives.
Is there an average consumer?
The second way to put a face on your average consumer is with an actual photograph. It sounds a little bizarre, but think about it. When it comes to direct marketing communication, there’s a tendency to talk to the masses. It is the “I” (the writer) speaking to “all of you out there in direct marketing land.”
Direct marketing mail is one of the most intimate of all communication channels. One on one and one at a time, your readers are holding your message 18 inches from their noses. That’s a lot closer than television, radio or billboards can ever get. Others, such as newspapers or magazines for instance, you must first find the message. Or in emails case, the message may be sucked in by the spam master.
So, as you write, hang a photo of a typical prospect or customer near your computer screen. Look at the photograph often. Write to that specific, individual person only. Block out the rest of the world and become that consumer or buyer.
Another tool to limit mistakes.
The process of “becoming” the consumer or the “buyer,” helps you avoid obvious mistakes. It helps you determine if your copy is clear, believable, motivating, and captivating. It also helps you to see if your copy dramatizes key benefits that are strong enough to inspire that customer to say ‘Yes!”
Now, we know it’s not as difficult to get photos or videos for that matter with the variety of social media channels at a click of our mouse. You may even find the one customer that represents all others in one of your CRM’s “targeted customer profiles.” In addition, using B2B as an example, if your customer has a LinkedIn profile page, your copy may become more relevant to the type of buyer you are trying to reach. The options are too numerous not to have targeted profiles of the buyers in your CRM and your mind, as well.
The key is to make eye contact with your average reader as you write. It will improve your copywriting. And it will improve your results.
Reprinted from Direct Mail Success. Winter, 2004. Updated to reflect the emergence of social media and digital marketing.
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