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To Increase Your Advertising Effectiveness – Stop Selling!
|by Karon Thackston © 2001
How many times have you heard the old adage, “The customer doesn’t want a drill, he wants a hole in his wall”? While I may disagree with parts of that phrase, one thing is for sure… if you want to increase your advertising effectiveness, you have to stop selling what YOU want the customer to buy and start solving his problems.
What exactly does that mean? For starters, it means finding out who your customers are and what challenges they face. It also means that your ad copy, your tag line, your Web site design, your brochure, your customer service plan and your support need to all work in concert to provide the solutions to those challenges.
The most effective advertising pieces don’t sell… they fulfill. They don’t talk about the company… they talk about the customer. They don’t push price… they provide solutions.
When you focus on the customer in your advertising copy, when you get inside the mind of your customer and speak to their emotional needs, you will see greater results.
Here are 7 tips for creating copy that does not sell… but provides a solution.
1. Talk TO the customer, not ABOUT the company. Yes, you have to mention your company name so they’ll know who you are. But the majority of your copy should speak to the customer and his/her needs. Not: “ABC Web Site Designers has been in business for 13 years. We do great work. Our clients think this or that. We provide design, java and cgi. Our customer service can’t be beat. ABC is the best and you should use us.”
2. Use “you” and “your” and write as if only one person were reading your ad or site. Make your copy personal.
3. Get Real! Use real-life examples in your copy. Reach your customers on their level by identifying with them. Instead of something like, “You can get more organized and stay that way” say “You’ll be able to find your keys in 5 minutes or less and never again wonder if you or your spouse is supposed to pick up the kids today.”
4. Get emotional! Most buying decisions are emotional. Your ad copy should be, too! Bring out their frustration, their anger, their greed. Whatever the situation calls for, use those emotions in your copy. Example: “After you throw the plunger across the room and SCREAM… call ABC Plumbing.”
5. Benefits, benefits, benefits. I know you’ve heard it 1,000 times, but you simply must fill your copy with benefits. Always answer the question, “What’s in it for me?”
6. Show them they’ll get results. Tell your customers what life will be like AFTER your product or service solves all their problems. By showing them that they will get their desired end result, you make a very persuasive argument for your product.
7. Be their friend. Let your copy portray you as “easy-to-like”. Show your customer that you’re their friend who is willing and able to help instead of just another business who wants them to buy.
When you put the focus on the people with the money… the people who keep your business up and going, you can work wonders with your copy. You’ll see your sales improve if you just quit selling!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Most buying decisions are emotional. Your ad copy should be, too! Karon is Owner and President of KT & Associates who offers targeted copywriting, copy editing & ezine article services. Subscribe to KT & Associates' Ezine "Business Essentials" at
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Karon’s site at