The Biggest Mistake People Make When Writing Persuasive Copy

I recently spoke with a saleswoman from Boston who was dismayed about her email marketing strategy. She was sending email after email to customers, trying to get them to computer-1295358_1280register for an upcoming event. But she wasn’t getting any responses.

I asked to see the messages she was sending. Each one listed the name of the event and pointed out the main features. But the words “register today” were weightless, because the email was impersonal.

This wasn’t an email. It was spam.

I then asked her a question: What about me? Why should I — the target customer — even open this type of email, let alone respond to it? She didn’t have a solid answer.

The biggest mistake that sales associates and marketers tend to make when communicating with customers is they fail to recognize that the product or event they are offering is secondary to the customer’s needs.

If you inform a customer about an upcoming event, he or she probably will not care unless there is a direct way benefit from it. The email will wind up in the trash. Whoever receives such an email will have bigger problems to worry about like:

  • Making payments on time
  • Preparing for the holidays
  • Picking up the kids from soccer practice after work
  • Making a car repair
  • Dealing with a medical issue
  • Preparing for an upcoming presentation

Your customers are distracted, and they have limited time. So, you need to get persuasive if you want to convince them to take action. Show your customers why attending an event or buying a product can help solve some of their biggest problems.

In other words, think about a customer who may be struggling to pay for Christmas gifts this year. Explain how taking a few days to attend a conference in Austin may introduce him or her to a brilliant idea or technology that could help spur business growth and possibly lead to a raise or promotion next quarter.

Or, picture someone who is upset because work is taking away from family time this holiday season. Show that customer how the type of disruptive software you are selling can help make work easier and lead to more free nights and weekends.

Why will this strategy work? It will work because most people spend the majority of time focusing on their own problems. Everyone wants more free time, professional advancements and a happier work/life balance. So if you make a concerted effort to focus on your readers’ needs, you will eventually strike a chord.

Always assume you are speaking to someone who is busy, stressed to the max and is looking for a way out of a problem.

Then, offer a way out.

And remember: Your reader has to WANT to open the email!