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Copy For Conversion...emotion Or Logic?
Posted 29 April 2005 - 05:01 PM
I purchased and read Karon's Copywriting Course and it had a lot of great info. I am a newbie at writing copy. I understand that I must write copy that appeals to my target audience, and I know who my target audience is. However, I am not sure how to determine what kind of copy is for my customers.
Almost all of my customers are males between the age of 18-50 and I am trying to decide if I should write my copy in a more detialed and logical manner, or try to appeal to emotion...
any input is appreciated.
Posted 29 April 2005 - 05:15 PM
intend use of your product/service (sometimes use differs, sometimes not)
The more you know about your customers, the more you'll know about how they get the most from your products/services.
Keep in mind, while need recognition and purchase justification are logical, over 80% of all buying decisions are emotional - even for men.
Remember that you have to make a connection on their emotional level. Don't try to force a one-size-fits-all approach to copy on them.
(And thanks for your purchase!!)
Posted 29 April 2005 - 10:18 PM
Of course there's nothing stopping you from using both approaches on your website, or several approaches, tailored to satisfy different shopping habits and needs. One click could lead to a clinical feeds&speeds kind of sell; another to some lurid prose, another to a purely visual presentation... and so on etc. Try to picture a "typical" customer, imagine what would appeal to that person and create a page or thread that speaks directly to that person. Then do the same thing for somebody else that you would consider a good prospecy but with different tastes and habits. Write for one person at a time, but know who that person is.
FWIW: One school of thought out there is that ALL purchase decisions are made emotionally. The question to be answered is: how much rationalizing do your customers have to do after they decide what to buy?
Good luck! Hope you enjoy getting to know your customers better & better.
Posted 30 April 2005 - 06:39 AM
Look at these examples... they are all emotionally-oriented copy, but for different communication types:
Men's Dress Shirt
Charter Fishing Guide
See? None of these is screaming hype copy. Emotion doesn't mean jumping up and down and yelling. It means finding out what your visitor is concerned with, in want of and even passionate about and giving it to them in words.
Need recognition is logical - "My car keeps breaking down so I need another one. It should have air conditioning (because I live in the south) and cruise control since I travel on the interstates a lot, etc." Purchase justification is logical - "I know it costs a lot more than other cars, but it has a warranty that's twice as long, gets better gas mileage and has a higher safety rating." The rest is pretty much emotion.
Again, until you know your target customers, you'll be guessing about how you should write to them.
Posted 05 May 2005 - 02:20 PM
I have one more question: How do I do research to find out how to appeal to my target customer? Is there a place or company that does this kind of research?
Posted 05 May 2005 - 02:23 PM
Posted 05 May 2005 - 07:24 PM
If you don't, I'd try interviewing a few, or at the least add a feedback survey to your site to try and understand their likes and dislikes.
Search your current sales data... are they mostly male or female? Where do they live? What types of jobs do they have? Are they more concerned about saving money or saving time? Are they older or younger?
The more you know about them, the more you can get an approximation of what their needs are. The best way I know of is through a usability study (or market research) specifically targeted to the people who buy your products. It doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. But it does have to be well thought out and interpreted correctly.
Posted 05 May 2005 - 11:07 PM
Here's an example.
My first book was a guide to building better toy train layouts. A headline like:
"Who Else Wants To build An Impressive Toy Train Layout?"
results in fewer sales than a headline like
Professional Layout Builder Reveals…
"The Secrets of Building Fantastic Layouts"
because men who spend lots of money on toy trains refuse to admit they want to impress visitors. While IT IS a primary motivator, addressing it directly hurts sales. However addressing the desire to impress indirectly results in great sales.
In this case I used phrases like: "Over the years I've been asked to reveal the secrets that allow me to make the most impressive layouts for my clients," and the killer:
"Undoubtedly, you have seen layouts that are nothing more than a circle of track. Within minutes you have seen everything. Then the proud layout builder puts you in an uncomfortable position. He has spent a few hours screwing down the track and wants your opinion about his layout. It wouldn't be polite to tell him it's boring. So you mumble something like, "the trains run well," and look for the exit."
That paragraph doubled my sales. Not only does it speak to the hidden motivator, but it adds an element of fear.
One way to get some feedback about your targets is to participate in some discussion groups or email chat lists. The emails are betetr because people tend to respond without thinking and reveal more of their motivators. If you get two people arguing it might not mean much, but if you see an extended brawl with dozens of people chiming in, you have found a nerve. When I wrote the sales letter I used as an example above, I posted a list of reasons why I played with trains. With the exception of one person, everyone who commented was disturbed by the impressing others statement.
My cleints were always telling they want something impressive. The fact is people do not want to admit they are seeking validation and respect, but these are two powerful emotional motivators.
PS people buy emotionally, and then justify the purchase rationally afterward. You must address both factors in your sales letters and stick programs
Posted 06 May 2005 - 06:45 AM
Assuming he's writing sales letters. There are other forms of copy, too.
Posted 06 May 2005 - 03:48 PM
None of us ever knows our customers so well that we shouldn't be doing research. Needs and wants change all the time.
Posted 11 May 2005 - 10:39 PM
This is a great question! I wanted to point out another angle for consideration. It's something I've found in my usability work and as a parent.
Take the example of a web site selling products (like clothing, accessories) targeted to young people. What I've seen is content written in the language young people will relate to. The colors, phrases, jargon and images will be in their style, written to appeal to their known behaviors and feelings. This is great persuasive writing, intended to sell products targeted to youth.
Now, say a young person, perhaps a boy aged 16, wants an item from a certain site and wishes a parent or relative to check it out. He's hoping the item will be purchased for him, or is at least showing examples of what he likes and what his preferences are.
The parent goes to the web site, which is targeted to the teen's market. The colors are dark. The images are angry - even violent. The content is hard to understand, using terms the parent doesn't understand or has never seen before.
The parent is the one with the credit card in hand. But, if they're put off by what they see, they won't, or can't, make a connection to the site. Even if the site is user friendly, they may not like the message or the vibes. They may get the idea of what the teenager likes, but will search for it in Google in the hopes they find it on a site that is less traumatic to their tastes.
This is where usability plays its hand. It's part persuasive writing, not just to one target market, but related possible target visitors as well.
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