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For email that sells, get inside your customer's head
by Kevin Nunley
The email message that sells best is the one that looks just like something the customer would have written.
Let me explain. People like sales letters and web pages that agree with them. Whatever the customer thinks is a problem, or fun, or interesting, is what they want to see in your email...whether they know it or not.
Most people have no interest in reading a sales letter that disagrees with them. If your prospect already has a strong opinion that is opposite of yours, there is little chance you are going to change their mind.
The best sales copy shows a customer that your idea is so close to an idea they already have, that there is almost no difference between your idea and theirs.
If you've ever thought it was a good idea to try and teach your customers something new, your best bet is to stop in your tracks. A surprising majority of people are under a lot of stress these days. Researchers have long known that anyone under stress isn't very interested in learning new things.
So if your email message won't work teaching people new things and it won't succeed changing minds, what's left to talk about? Your customers!
Let your copy be a mirror image of the customer.
Get inside your customer's head. Find out what they are thinking, what they are craving, and what irritates them. Then have your sales copy talk about those things and little else. Use the same words and phrases your customer would use if she was writing the copy herself.
If your customer tends to be short on words, make your sales copy short. If your business's prospects like to talk and talk about your product or service to get every detail they can before buying, make your copy longer and more detail oriented.
Start the process by making a list of adjectives that describe how your customer sees the world. Use words he or she might use to describe you, your product, themselves, and their problem.
Write a half page story about a customer. Tell the story from the view of the customer--"I got here by doing this. Now I don't like that. I'm looking for something that will do this. I won't buy it unless it's like this."
These are simple exercises writers and actors use to create fictional characters that seem real. You can use these same exercises to start creating sales copy that seems real to your customers.
Customers love to feel like your focus is on them. They want to know you understand where they're coming from and what they want. They want to feel like they're buying from someone who's just like them. When your sales copy mirrors your customers, that's just how they'll feel, and it will pay off for you.
When your sales pitch or argument sounds a lot like something the customer would say, using their style of talking, using the words they use, and talking about the problems they struggle with--your chance of making the sale jump tenfold.