SUBJECT LINE: “I Hate To Tell You… But Nobody Cares!”…
“That’s right! Nobody! Not a single soul!” I said.
My client sat shell-shocked from my frank and honest feedback.
They had just read some copy I’d written for them and well… they were just a little perplexed.
Despite the sales letter being about them and their wonderful company… apparently, I had missed the mark with the copy by not telling the reader all about how utterly, magnificent the company was. Somehow, I’d missed the most important piece of information… To Them!
My job… I was told… was to showcase the company so people would want to buy what they were selling. And, to them… I hadn’t done my job.
So they asked me… “Why didn’t you talk more about our company, our products and what we do in the letter?”
And that takes us back to the opening line of this email… because nobody cares.
It’s harsh, sounds unfair but most of all it’s 100% true.
In Direct Response Marketing 101… we are taught the importance of answering one question “What’s In It For Me?”
So… giving the reader reams of information about your company, your vision/mission, your difference in the market or your favorite flavor of ice-cream is irrelevant.
The only thing the market/reader wants to know is… what can you do for them! What results do they get!
Recently, I watched a video by Ramit Sethi, where he critiqued and then tweaked a woman’s webpage. (It illustrated what I’m talking about perfectly.)
The woman was selling a great program that helped kids enjoy reading. She was at a loss as to why no one was signing up because it was such a great program.
In her copy, she spoke about her credentials, her vision and basically her favorite flavor of ice-cream.
Sadly for her, the copy was like a sleeping pill… it was boring and if you stayed on the page too long, you risked falling into a deep sleep or even a coma.
Ramit asked her a few questions about what the reader wanted in life and what they received from the program.
(On a side note, there is a big difference in what you as a provider “gives” in a program and what the recipient “gets” from the same program. This is a huge tip! If it wasn’t already written down… I’d tell you to write it down.)
After Ramit had all the answers… the copy he wrote was nothing short of a work of art.
It hit the pain points, it described the day of the parent whose child is not reading, their fears of their child not succeeding in life because they don’t read etc.
In fact… it described the reader’s day better than they could have done themselves. It was a perfectly polished slide, which lead to the short and sharp Call To Action!
And that’s what you want. (As Dan Kennedy says… If you can describe a person’s problems better than they can, they’ll naturally think you have the solution.)
90 – 95% of Ramit’s copy was about the reader and the last 5 – 10% was about the company and the offer.
Talk about a paradigm shift!
So why does the highest percentage pertain to the reader?
Knowledge Nugget #40 – People Don’t Care About You!
Something marketers and business owners forget is… before people receive their marketing material… they are living their life in blissful ignorance of the fact that their life is missing anything whatsoever.
Then we come along and try to convince them that they have another choice, highlight their pain and tell them they need to buy our product or service.
But, and please excuse the skepticism here, where have they heard that before?
As Dan Kennedy so aptly says “We are not selling to Virgins!” They’ve heard it a million times already!
And the quicker you talk about yourself… the quicker you lose their interest… and their money!
Whereas, the more you talk about the reader… the more engaged they become and the more likely it is they will take you up on your offer.
So, why would you risk losing them by writing so much about yourself?
When I write copy, I like to seduce the reader by creating curiosity, answering objections organically in the copy and saying what’s in it for them. This basically… keeps them reading to the end. (Elephant in the room… I actually know there’s a lot more to writing copy than this. But, this is a simple tip to make sure your copy gets read.)
Have you ever seen a person roll their eyes when you are talking to them? (Maybe you were lucky and saw it happen to someone else instead.) It’s horrible! The last thing you want from your reader is an “eye roll,” because that means they are about to exit. And, the fastest way to make them do that… is by making your copy all about you.
It’s kind of like… “Well, that’s enough about me… so what do you think about me?”
How does that sentence make you feel?
It makes me imagine a sleazy, pick up guy who is totally into himself… and only has one thing on his mind. And it has nothing to do with pleasing his “conquest!”
‘Aint nobody got time for that!
If you don’t already, from now on when you write to your market, show a genuine concern and you’ll get exactly what you want from them. And remember the percentages of 90-95% about them and 5-10% about you.
Here’s something for you to think about… “What percentage of your marketing message is about you and then about your prospect?”
Until next week… be safe, take care and care about others 🙂
Pauline (I Do Care) Longdon
a.k.a. “The Copy Alchemist”
P.S. One problem business owners have is, they don’t know what each piece of their marketing is supposed to do. Many will try to tell everyone everything in one massive verbal vomit. It’s like they have an absolute desperation that they only have one chance to “tell and sell.”
That’s why marketing funnels are invaluable. You take the person on a journey of getting to know you, piece by precious piece… and you prove to them along the way that you know and care about them. And then as if by magic… they will eventually care about you.
P.P.S. I was interviewed on a Podcast with David Allen on Tuesday morning (well it was 1am so I guess that was morning.) He’s a clever guy and we had so much fun. I’ll let you know when the podcast goes live.
P.P.P.S. I’ve told my client they are free to change the copy I wrote, but it won’t work. The conversions they are expecting won’t happen and they will fade away into the “me too” and “it’s all about me” marketers. I’ll remind them of how they asked me for a fresh concept and copy that the market hasn’t seen before.
You see, they have an important choice to make… they can either do a verbal vomit, telling the reader how awesome they are as a company… or they can make money. But sadly for them… they can’t do both!
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