“Nobody wants to read your copy.”
This is the cold, hard truth about advertising according to popular copywriter Steven Pressfield, and I believe him.
There is a phenomenon in the advertising industry called “Client’s Disease.” Essentially every client, whether that client is your own organization or an external customer, mistakenly believes that because it cares about the product it’s advertising everyone else will as well.
The harsh reality is that no one cares, and it’s not because they are mean or have a grudge against you or your organization, it’s just that they have better things to do, such as solving their own problems.
Knowing and accepting this fact is half the battle in advertising. The other half is capitalizing on it by communicating to your audience that you can solve those problems. This is the only way to get your audience to even give your ad or website a few seconds of consideration. Though there is no concrete evidence, most experts agree that most people spend about 10-15 seconds to glance over a communications piece before deciding to continue to look into it or reject it. So it’s critical that your copy and other elements are finely tuned for maximum effect.
Here are 10 tips to enhance your copywriting so that your audience gets the message and decides to stick around long enough to buy into what you are selling.
1. Know your audience. More specifically, know what problems they want to solve. Also, know their demographics, interests, political affiliations, and other relevant info that can help you craft your message and gain their attention.
2. Communicate how your product or service solves your audience’s problem. Whether it’s protecting assets through insurance, increasing retirement income through an annuity, or getting the highest commission percentage possible, your audience has a need and it’s your biggest priority to tell them how you can meet it.
3. Explain why you are better than their other options. As an insurance agent or broker, you obviously have to deal with a lot of competition. So right after you tell your audience how you will solve their problem, you need to tell them why you’re their best option. Be very specific with this.
4. Tailor your message to the medium. One piece of copy isn’t going to universally work for all mediums. In fact, you may need a whole new message depending if you are communicating your message through a Google Ad, direct mail, e-Direct, or website.
5. Call them to action. Once you’re done explaining, it’s time to get your audience to respond. Whether it's getting them to call you, landing them on a specific page, or getting them to sign up, you need to tell them what is the first step they can take in solving their problem.
6. Be honest. Though everyone expects some exaggeration or puffery during the sales process, you must be careful to not step over the line into illegal territory that may lead to an expensive suit that can wreck your business.
7. Keep it concise. Keep your message as brief as possible and only focus on the audience and the solution they seek. No one cares about your rags to riches story or how your business has been around since the horse and carriage days.
8. Stay on message. If you are promoting solution X, then don’t get side tracked by also trying to promote solution Y that isn’t relevant to the problem. If you can get them to buy solution X, you’ll have plenty of other opportunities to promote solution Y.
9. Avoid clichés. People can immediately see laziness, especially in writing. If you’re using over-used and tired phrases or wording, such as “Step up to the plate and sign up now!” then your audience will tune you out, and you'll see your credibility diminished.
10. Proofread… and then proofread again.