Start with a simple message
Writing sales copy requires a great deal of focus.
Much like telling a great story, you have to go into your writing with an outcome and a plot in mind before you ever put pen to paper.
Where many struggles is how do you focus on one specific message when there are so many ways the product or service you’re selling can appeal to many different groups of people in a variety of ways?
Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m a fan of lists. Organizing my thoughts and ideas into lists helps me focus on what’s really the most important ideas.
And that helps me get my priorities in line to begin my writing.
So, once I make my list, I ask myself, “what’s going to make the biggest impact?”
Generally, that message stands out on the list, glaring at me like the king of the hill.
This is how you focus on a single message and drive the most value from it…
Complexity is terrifying for most of us.
The more difficult something is, the larger the tendency is that you’re going to shy away from it if at all possible.
Now, don’t confuse size or length with complexity. Those are not the same thing.
Regardless of how focused and driven you are, your brain still wants to be lazy. But lazy doesn’t mean inactive.
You see, your brain wants to take the easiest path possible and at the same time, to gain the most powerful connections possible, because powerful connections in the brain means they are used more often and that means efficiency.
It’s like adding additional lanes to a bridge because more people travel across it. You’re going to make that bridge stronger because it needs to support more cars.
And that’s the power of a simple message in copywriting.
Ok, so let’s start out by starting out our simplification in the ideation phase of your writing.
How To NOT Find The Simplest Idea
There are a few ways to isolate the simplest idea possible for your sales copy.
First, let’s assume that you already know who your target audience is and what it is you're selling. After all, you shouldn’t be thinking about writing sales copy at all if you don’t know these two things.
Most create lists in some fashion, and more times than not, they start like this:
List out the features of the product and organize them from most important to least.
Then, focus on the most important and list out the benefits from those important features.
Finally, apply those benefits to the people you are trying to sell to. Show how they will benefit from purchasing the product.
Do you see the inherent problem with this model?
It’s putting the product first and trying to make the message fit.
In fact, it’s not even considering the customer until the end of the process.
Not only is the focus in the wrong place, but it creates a great deal of complications for everyone - the marketing team, the copywriters, and especially the audience.
Let’s look at a campaign built this way from the audience’s standpoint…
A product is shown to you in an advertisement that has a great deal of impressive benefits that could apply to you. But what does it really come down to? Cost.
When the product is first, your logic in purchasing comes down to cost. Is the product you see worth the price difference of something else that has the same benefits?
Finding The Simplest Message
As you know, we’ve talked about how you purchase. You make an emotional decision about something and then justify it with logic.
If you want to find the simplest message, find the one that’s focused on the customer.
Which message option places the ownership on the customer?
Think, for a moment, about Tear Free Shampoo.
All shampoos are going to clean a child’s hair, but put yourself in the place of a mother or father of a baby:
Babies cry when they're hungry
Babies cry when they want attention
Babies don’t generally sleep in long spells (which means neither do mom and dad)
Babies get dirty and need baths (and babies don’t generally like baths - especially getting things in their eyes)
So, what if we could eliminate one of the most emotionally and physically draining parts of having a baby and could not only STOP a baby from crying in the bath, but maybe even make it a peaceful experience?
There you go, you have a SIMPLE and POWERFUL message for your sales copy.
The simplest message is the emotionally charged one focused on the customer and their desires.
NOT their needs, their desires.
Your logic will take care of your needs.
And yes, you’ll address those needs to help your audience support their emotional decision. But really, that’s just telling them what they are already justifying themselves.
Before Moving On
The simplest message you can create is the one focused on the desire of the customer.
And that’s it.
The product IS NOT the focus
The product IS NOT the solution
The product IS NOT the center of your campaign
The product IS the vehicle to your customer’s desire
Most want to make things complex and difficult, but that’s not the most successful path. The brain wants simplicity and the buyer’s mind has a strong and well developed path to fulfilling desire.
The simplest message is the one that leads you to desire.