It can be overwhelming when you’re trying to write an effective marketing piece that’s supposed to educate your prospects and at the same time, motivate them to take the next step.
So how do you do it? How do you ensure that your copy is persuasive and educational, without being pushy?
Well, there are several ingredients that go into marketing copy and when they’re all present, the piece flows smoothly from start to finish.
It’s like putting together a meal in the kitchen. Follow the guidelines and with a bit of practice, you can cook some pretty good meals consistently.
However, if you just haphazardly prepare the ingredients and throw them into the oven, then you’re headed for trouble. I know this first hand, as most of my attempts at cooking end in in a smoke-filled room with food that looks like it was removed from volcanic ash. Not joking.
Writing marketing copy for your campaigns is similar. If you blindly throw something together without following a method, then it wont end well.
Copywriting (and writing in general) is a skill that needs to be learned. But you can make things easier on yourself by following certain proven templates.
In other words, you need to follow a recipe.
And the recipe I’m talking about is called the ‘motivating sequence’. It’s where you take all the aspects of your copy and put them together to create a marketing piece that flows seamlessly from start to finish in a way that motivates, educates and persuades.
It’s used in all types of copywriting, whether you’re writing direct-response advertising that promotes a financial newsletter or writing a B2B sales letter for nanotechnology solutions.
The motivating sequence is the same for most of the content you’ll write. It doesn’t matter if it’s a white paper, email, sales letter or banner ad, the sequence holds true each time.
Sure, the length of these materials will vary, so you’ll have less space for the motivating sequence in an email when compared to a sales letter.
But regardless of the format, it still follows a basic 5-step method:
- Gain attention
- Highlight the problem or need
- Position your solution
- Prove what your saying is true
- Ask your reader to take the next step (call to action).
For example, you have a headline on your website homepage which offers to help prospects understand the solution to a specific problem they’re having. This headline gains the attention of your buyers.
After clicking on the headline, the prospect is taken to a landing page which explains this problem and the difficulties it imposes. This is highlighting the problem.
The landing page then offers a free white paper which explains how a particular technology solves this problem. This is positioning a solution.
The scepticism of the reader is curbed when they read the testimonials given by your previous customers. This is the proof.
The end of the page asks the reader to fill out a form and download the white paper. This is the call to action.
If you’re writing a sales letter which you plan on mailing to your list, then you gain their attention with a benefit headline and a great lead, follow that up by highlighting the problem and positioning your solution and then give testimonials to prove what you’re offering can actually do the job.
Finally, you ask your readers to take the next step, which might be to register for a seminar or schedule a product demo.
Get it? You can’t go wrong with a good recipe.
Now there are other motivating sequences you can follow, but 90% of the time the one above will do the trick. Use it to make sure your copy flows and does its job.
All the best,