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Copywriting Tip: Who are you and why are you bothering me?

Ask questions when you’re preparing to write copy. You need to know what you’re talking about in the first place. You gotta get the who, what, and why covered. Most of the basic questions can be answered by research, but the rest is up to you to ask your clients the right questions that get you the right answers.

The Why
Why would anyone want to do business with you anyway? The why is the motive or reason behind the action you want your visitor to take. You have to know the feelings your visitors are having. They may be very uptight about making a purchase and your job is to soothe them into the comfort of buying.

The What
What’s the problem? Address exactly what it is that your service or product does, what problem it eliminates, or how it can streamline an exact process. This is where the benefits come in, which are vital to your copy and its effectiveness. Use adjectives to create images in your visitors heads, be as descriptive as possible, but never diluted. Always use specifics. An easy way to determine these specifics is to envision your product or service as a person.

The Who
Who are you? More importantly, who are your competitors? Even more important, who are your visitors? Use analogies to identify your customers and your company. This creates an experience for your visitors, heightening brand awareness and conversions.

When you ask the right questions, you have the answers you need to focus your copy.

Max Speed

If the Pole Position Marketing team had a muse—and it does—it would be Max Speed. We love Max’s occasionally off-color, usually amusing and always pointed “Maxisms.” (Maybe “Maxims” would be a better word.) Max gives voice to some of the things we think but, bound by professional decorum, aren’t permitted to say. At least, not out loud.

2 Responses to Copywriting Tip: Who are you and why are you bothering me?

  1. Bill Hilton says:

    Good post, Katie.

    In fact, I’d add a couple:

    How – what’s your approach to your work and your customers? A lot of the questions I get from worried potential clients are related to how many revisions I’ll do of a piece of work, or when I’m available on the phone (answers: as many as they like, and whenever they call!)

    Where – I think people still have a local bias. Given a choice between buying a widget from a guy in London or a girl in Honolulu, I’ll choose the guy in London – all other things being equal – because he’s closer to me. It’s easier from the point of view of communications and customer service. If I’m hiring a service provider (designer, coder) I prefer local because it’s easier to deal with someone who is on the same cultural wavelength as me. Again, these is all other things being more or less equal, and price is often a major issue in outsourcing.

  2. Katie Cummings says:

    Thanks Bill, I was wondering when someone would point out the Ws I missed. We might as well add when too. This would take into consideration the market trends. For example, if the present trend is towards a certain color, you might consider offering your product in that color…