Advertisement

Creating Content That Connects ... and Generates Response

Copywriter and direct marketing best practices for audience development

by Pat Friesen February 28, 2013
2
Get the Flash Player to see this rotator.
 
When your assignment is to write (or approve) copy and content that's responsible for generating a response, the first question to ask is, "Who's the audience?" And don't settle for answers like these:

"Customers."

"Women/men over the age of 65."

"Business owners with fewer than 9 employees."

"People with a lot of money."

Here's why. These descriptions don't come close to telling you what you need to know to engage a reader in opening your envelope, clicking on your subject line, or coming into your store. 

To write copy and content that connects, you have to understand what makes your reader tick. That's why writers ask so many questions about the audience. And why those of you who provide us with input need to be prepared to answer them!

For example, when I'm writing to a customer, I'll ask my client if I'm writing to a first-time, second-time or multi-buying customer. The reason I ask is that a first-time buyer is still a "tryer." And tryers require reassurance. A multi-buyer is a believer. Believers already trust the brand and the company behind it. What I say to these two audiences will vary even though they are both customers. 

Here are a few more questions whose answers will help you connect with your reader:

  • What is the typical reader's age, gender, marital status, household income, educational background, location (urban vs. suburban vs. rural), number of children (at home), and any other information pertinent to the message being written. This info helps you envision and engage with an individual rather than a sea of nameless, faceless people.
  • Is the delivery address (email or USPS) at home or the office? This can be especially important when writing to audiences such as physicians, users of financial services and teachers. Where will they be when they read your message?
  • How is the individual's mail screened? The screener sees it first, so you've got to plan for this.
  • How much mail/email does this person typically receive? This is part of your competition for attention.
  • Is your reader the decision-maker or decision-influencer in your sales process?
  • What is your offer and how does it benefit the reader?
  • Is English your reader's first language? Or will your message be translated?
  • What is your reader's preferred channel for receiving marketing messages?
  • What is your reader's relationship with your company (prospect, customer, donor, first-time buyer, etc.)?
  • Which three product benefits are most appealing to your targeted audience? Different product benefits appeal to different audiences.
  • Does your reader recognize your company as a trusted source?  Or will you have to educate to build credibility?
  • What is the length of the decision-making cycle?
  • What has this customer purchased from your company in the past? Is there value in cross-referencing this purchase in your copy?
  • What are the three top reasons your reader won't do what you're asking him or her to do? You need to understand these so you can address them successfully.  

Yes, you really need to know as much as you can about the person you're trying to persuade. And it's important across all channels. If you don't connect with your reader, you won't make the sale, generate the lead, or get the clickthrough you covet.

 

Companies Mentioned:

2
 
 

COMMENTS

Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments:

MORE ON DIRECT MAIL >>

FROM THE BOOKSTORE

This PDF book explores a range of marketing metrics and seek to help marketers to answer such questions as:  What metrics to use to determine whether your marketing/advertising programs are accountable? And is it a waste of money, hence a danger to the company, if your marketing strategy and executions are not accountable? How to calculate how much you can afford to spend to acquire a customer or make a sale. And how can you calculate the customer’s lifetime value? How to understand the relative economics between customer acquisition, retention and CRM. How to measure the funnel process and which improvements will have the most impact.Your download of this book will also include model templates that you can use to immediately calculate and increase profitability for all your marketing efforts.  Profiting from the Magic of Marketing Metrics

This PDF book explores a range of marketing metrics and seek to help marketers to answer such questions as: What metrics to use to determine whether your marketing/advertising programs are accountable? And is it a waste of money, hence a danger to the company, if your marketing strategy and executions...

ORDER NOW

This book explains why experience is everything and how the future of business will come down to shared experiences. Aligns the tenets of user experience with the concepts of innovative leadership to improve business performance and engagement and to motivate readers to rethink business models and customer and employee relationshipsMotivates readers to rethink business models, products and services, marketing, and customer and employee relationships with desired experiences in mindBrian Solis is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media, and is the author of Engage! and The End of Business as Usual!  What's the Future of Business?: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences

This book explains why experience is everything and how the future of business will come down to shared experiences. Aligns the tenets of user experience with the concepts of innovative leadership to improve business performance and engagement and to motivate readers to rethink business models and customer and employee relationshipsMotivates readers...

ORDER NOW