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When writing customer communications, it’s safest to assume that your customers don’t care about you. But they do care about what you can do for them.

This is why the most effective communications put the customer first — taking account of their wants and needs before anything else.

Because, if you want your copy to sell, you need to remember that it’s not about you — it’s about them.

Here are three ways you can improve your customer focus and increase your sales.

1. Write for different awareness levels

There are five levels of customer awareness:

  1. Most aware
  2. Product aware
  3. Solution aware
  4. Problem aware
  5. Unaware.

The aim is to target the customers at each level and increase their level of awareness to a point where you can sell to them.

Let’s have a look at each level in more detail.

Most aware

The customer knows about you and your product. They’ve probably bought your product already and may have recommended it to others.

You need to keep these people happy and engaged. You can do this by making them aware of all the features and capabilities of their product and making sure they’re getting the most out of it.

Content marketing:
💡 Inspiration posts
💡 How-to guides
💡 Feature tutorials
💡 How others are using the product.

How to sell:
🔎 Focus on features and capabilities
💰 Special offers
💰 Updates, upgrades and add-ons
💰 Complementary products.

Product aware

The customer knows about you and your product, but doesn’t yet know if it’s right for them. It’s up to you to persuade them it is.

The best way to persuade this group is to focus on social proof. Show them who’s used your product and how it helped them

Content marketing:
💡 Case studies
💡 Buyer guides
💡 Feature guides
💡 Promote testimonials.

How to sell:
🔎 Focus on social proof
💰 Free trials
💰 Free samples
💰 Introductory offers.

Solution aware

The customer knows they have a problem and what the solution might look like, but they haven’t found it yet.

These customers could be searching for their ideal solution, so bear this in mind with your content marketing and keywords and think about the language they might be using.

Content marketing:
🔎 Focus on your solution
💡 Alternatives/comparisons
💡 How-to guides
💡 Tutorials.

Problem aware

The customer knows they have a problem, but they don’t know if there’s a solution.

These customers will be searching for their specific problem, so bear this in mind with your content marketing and keywords and think about the language they might be using.

Content marketing:
🔎 Focus on the problem
💡 Push on the pain points
💡 Introduce and assess the possible solutions
💡 Introduce solution terminology.

Unaware

The customer doesn’t realise they have a problem.

Content marketing:
🔎 Focus on the pain points
💡 Help them understand the problem
💡 Introduce problem terminology.

2. Write for different temperaments

The Eisenberg brothers, who are experts in buyer personas, have identified four basic customer temperaments:

  1. Competitive
  2. Spontaneous
  3. Methodical
  4. Humanistic.

You need to tailor your content to the specific wants and needs of these four types. Let’s have a look at the specific needs of each one.

Competitive

Competitive customers use logic and facts to make quick buying decisions. They want to be in control, to be the best at what they’re doing and have a competitive advantage over their rivals.

You need to show them how your product will:

✅ Solve their problem
✅ Give them more control
✅ Help them improve
✅ Give them a competitive edge.

The ideal content is logical, factual and quick to consume, so use:

✅ Quick, simple explanations
✅ Headings for skim reading
✅ Bullet points
✅ Number visuals (charts, graphs, infographics).

Spontaneous

Spontaneous customers are emotionally driven, impulsive and quick in their buying decisions. They like things to be simple and respond well to a more personal approach.

You need to show them:

✅ Why your products is best for them
✅ How your product will make them feel
✅ The freedom/autonomy it will provide
✅ Social proof (reviews, testimonials).

The ideal content is personal and emotional, so use:

✅ Case studies
✅ Success stories
✅ Scene setting
✅ Storytelling.

Methodical

Methodical customers are slow, careful and deliberate in their buying decisions. They like to take their time to weigh up all the information. They focus on logic and facts — and they will expect to see proof and numbers.

You need to show them:

✅ How your product will solve their problem
✅ Proof of what’s already been achieved
✅ Specific numbers and details.

The ideal content is all about detail, so include as much as possible in the form of:

✅ Studies/case studies
✅ White papers
✅ Factual information
✅ Statistics and proof.

Humanistic

Humanistic customers are slow in their buying decisions and are more emotionally than logically driven. They value community and relationships — and they’re more inclined to want a relationship with you.

You need to:

✅ Show how you’ve solved the problem for others
✅ Build authority and gain their trust
✅ Demonstrate social proof.

The ideal content is driven by relationships and emotion, so consider:

✅ Creating a buyers’/users’ community
✅ Encouraging engagement and sharing
✅ Scene-setting
✅ Storytelling.

3. WIIFM?

WIIFM stands for What’s In It For Me? It’s the question every customer has when they read your content — and it’s up to you to answer it.

This isn’t something that can be answered by how amazing/passionate/dedicated you are — it has to be about them.

Benefits vs features

One of the ways to satisfy the WIIFM is to talk about the benefits of your product. Showing them the benefits will explain to them:

  • Why they need it
  • How it will solve their problem
  • What it will enable them to achieve
  • How it will improve their life
  • How it will make them feel
  • Why it’s worth their time/money/energy.

There’s a school of thought that says always sell on benefits rather than features, but that isn’t always correct.

Some products are technical and those who use them are technically minded. For these products, you might need a mixture of features and benefits.

Take cameras and photographers, for example. You need to show the photographer the features of each camera so they can compare the different brands and decide which one best meets their needs.

“So what?”/“I should hope so!”

Here’s a little copywriters’ tip for you, to make sure you’ve got your WIIFM spot on.

Read through each statement in your sales copy and see if you can imagine your customers saying either of the following:

❓ So what?
❓ I should hope so!

❓ So what?

If your customers could read your copy and say “So what?” it shows there’s no WIIFM. If the statement is not important, remove it, If it is important, you need to show them why they should care about it.

For example, if you say:
We are the winners of the III award 2020.
But your customers haven’t heard of the award, they might respond “So what?”

So, you need to explain it:
We won the Innovators in Industry (III) award, 2020, for our innovative solutions in dealing with plastic waste.

❓ I should hope so!

If your customers could read your copy and say, “I should hope so!”, then it really should be a given.

For example:
We’re passionate about engineering.
If you run an engineering company, I should hope you’re passionate about engineering.

Any sentences like this can be removed and the copy will be all the better for it.

Do you need some help?

I’m Jenny Lucas, a freelance copy and SEO content writer, based in Leicester, UK.

If your sales copy is not converting enough prospects into customers and you’d like some help to change that, please get in touch for an informal chat about your needs.

Image by Sarah Lötscher from Pixabay