By Michele Pariza Wacek Copyright © 2006
The moment I
decided to specialize as a direct response copywriter (which means you get a
response directly from the marketing materials, there's no middle person
involved, like a sales rep) I knew there would be one thing that would determine
if I would be eating steak or eating mac and cheese.
And what's the one
thing? The results I got for my clients.
Therefore, improving results
became a pretty big focus of mine. You might even call it a passion. (Some
people who aren't nearly as nice have called it an
Regardless, here are 5 tips that can help you improve the
conversions of your marketing materials.
1. Know who you're talking to
If I hear anyone say "women are my potential customers" or "anyone
with skin is
my target market" (yes, that really was a direct quote from someone who sold
Mary Kay or Arbonne or something like that) I will send my border collies
of them) to your house and force you to play fetch with them until your arm
falls off. Seriously, the quickest way you can end up with the most dismal
results imaginable is to try and talk to everyone. Come up with a specific
customer -- the more specific the better -- and make sure your marketing
materials speak directly to that customer.
2. Make sure you write
benefits, not features
This one is probably the hardest one
to "get" but also
one of the most critical. People buy benefits, not features, so if you only
about features you're just asking for people not to buy what you're
So what is the difference between features and benefits?
Features are a description of a product -- for instance, if we're talking about
a diet pill, a feature would that the product is a pill. A benefit would be
solution the product provides -- in this case, losing weight.
As much as
you possibly can, write about why someone should buy your product. No one buys
diet pills because they like taking pills, they buy them to lose weight. Think
of the solution your product or service provides and write about that.
Work on that headline
David Ogilvy, famous ad man and author
of Confessions of an Advertising Man, has said that people make the
decision to read your
marketing materials based your headline.
Your headline should: a. speak
to your potential customers, b. contain a benefit, c. be so compelling
your target market is compelled to read further. That's a lot to ask for
basically a handful of words. So don't rush the process -- take as much
time as you need to create the very best headline for your particular piece.
Don't forget the call to action
You've got to tell people what to do
If you don't tell them what you want them to do, chances are they won't
Don't assume your potential customers know what you want them
to do. They don't. They can't read your mind. Nor do they want to.
They're busy people. They don't have the time or the energy to figure
out. Tell them
what to do next, or don't be surprised when they don't do anything.
Use P.S.'s or captions
Postscripts (P.S.) are the second most
read item in a sales piece. What's the third? Captions. (The copy under
other illustrations.) Now that you know that, think of the ways
can use either or both of those items in your pieces. Maybe you
put a special
there or you highlight a particularly compelling benefit. Or you
tell them again what you want their next step to be. Whatever you
If you even do just one of these tips, you should start seeing
better results. Work on all five and you might be amazed at how
your results improve.
About the Author:
|Michele PW (Michele Pariza
Wacek) owns Creative Concepts and Copywriting LLC, a copywriting, marketing
communications and creativity agency. She helps people become more successful at
attracting new clients, selling products and services and boosting business. To
find out how she can help you take your business to the next level, visit her
site at http://www.michelepw.com.|