Hey there, Dean here. I run content and SEO at AppSumo. Here, I write and share about productivity, leadership, money, psychology, marketing, and more.
Brain Audit is a must-read if you want to use copywriting for your business. The brain works just like a conveyer belt. To get your customer to take action, you need to remove all seven red bags on the belt: The problem, The Solution, The Target Profile, The Objection, The Testimonials, The Risk Reversal, and The Uniqueness.
Writers often forget that readers are busy. Readers have little time to go through three hundred pages of material. When faced with daunting prose, readers put it aside, never to see it again.
Problems seem to activate our brains and generate more brain activity than a solution.
Your customer is juggling several problems all at once. If you don’t elevate the problem, your customer will never notice your product or service. Elevating a problem ensures that your product or service gets higher priority than everything else.
Every product or service solves many problems. To get your message out effectively, you have to isolate the problem. In other words, choose ONE.
If your product or service doesn’t isolate a problem, then the customer can’t relate to what you’re selling.
This isolation of the problem is necessary because people are busy. They’re busy with their problems. And unless the problem you state is crystal clear, they may be more than likely to miss your message.
The customer needs to be alerted to a single problem at a time. And the customer has to be taken through one ‘room at a time.’
If you try to be clever with the solution, you’ll confuse the customer. The solution is just the flip side of the problem.
Solutions are just as important as problems. But they have to follow the sequence. They should only show up once the problem has been introduced. Don’t jump the gun and put your solution before the problem. Doing so will greatly reduce the impact of communication.
Solutions are pain-relievers. They bring down the ‘pressure cooker situation’ created by the problem. They assure the customer that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
The solution is different from the process. The client is not interested in how you do things—well, not at the start anyway. The role of the solution is to nullify the problem, not to explain the long-winded process you use.
If you wanted to play Santa and get a gift just right, you’d be in big trouble if you didn’t know exactly what the person wanted. Playing Santa requires you to understand ‘target profile’, in order to do a great job of gifting.
The target profile is simply the factor of choosing one person.
Not an entire audience. But one solitary person. And then craft your message to that one person.
Every product will solve multiple problems. Yet if you base your marketing on individual profiles, each message will be far more powerful than if you simply try to get every single problem across in the same message.
Saying yes to anything means having to commit. And commitment brings its own headaches. Which is why fear kicks in immediately. Our brains scramble to find all the possible reasons where things can go wrong.
Objections are not your enemy. They are your friends. An objection literally means that the person who’s doing the objecting, wants to take a decision to buy your product/service or idea. If they didn’t care about the product/service, they’d just walk away.
In every commitment or purchase scenario, the ‘buyer’ is going to have objections. Hiding the objections doesn’t speed up the ‘sale,’ because the objections don’t go away in the ‘buyer’s’ head. It’s way better to bring up the objections and give each objection its due spotlight.
The buyer looks at your product or service and tries to find objections that are related to his/her own situation. The more you understand the objections, the more you can bring up the exact issues that most customers consider when buying into a product or service.
A reverse testimonial talks about doubt. It starts with the skepticism first. It describes the fear or uncertainty racing through the customer’s mind at the point of purchase.
Testimonials don’t exist to do the rah-rah. They’re not there to make your page look sweet and sugary. The job of testimonials is to reduce the customer’s fear of buying the product or service. They’re there to build trust. They’re there to make your product and service believable. And when testimonials are structured correctly, that’s exactly what they do: they reduce risk.
As a customer, you feel the specter of risk when buying a product or service. But as soon as you become the person selling the product/service, you feel that the customer should be the one to take the risk. And that’s erroneous thinking.
You may believe that risk reversing is risky. But customers will only ask for their money back if your product/service really needs to be fixed. If you’re working on a service-only project, break up the project into tiny slices, and give a risk reversal for each slice, only moving ahead when you’ve finished that slice of work.
Most people trying to find their uniqueness ask the question: What’s unique about my business? Instead they should be asking: “What do I *want to do* in my business that’s different from everyone else?”
You don’t find your uniqueness; you invent it. Choose one of the factors you want to be the best at, and then build your business around that factor of uniqueness.
The three reasons to create uniqueness are: a) You can make your company’s offering simple and understandable. b) It becomes the DNA of your company. Everything revolves around that uniqueness. c) Your customers and the media start to see you as different, and hence newsworthy.
It ain’t enough to simply create the uniqueness. You have to make sure that everyone knows. And the best way to test whether you’ve done a good job is to ask your customer if they know why you’re different. And every customer should respond in a similar manner.
If you remove all the bags from the conveyor belt, you can still lose your customers if you don’t bring out the uniqueness of your business/product/service. You don’t want to throw away all your hard work, so make sure you create your uniqueness. It’s important for you and your employees to know what makes you different. It gives the company/product/service a measure of pride and distinction. And a spotlight in an increasingly noisy market.