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Does Anyone Actually Want to Buy This?

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These days, when people ask for advice about how to “fix” their sales copy, the first question I usually ask is…

Does anyone actually want to buy this?

Sounds like a jerk question. Some people are offended when I ask it. I’m not trying to be a jerk. But this is THE question.

If people don’t already want the product or the result it produces, there isn’t much point in talking about the copy. There has to be at least a modicum of desire.

The image above is an example from my neighborhood. How does a funeral home sell complimentary bus trips? What copy changes could make this “service” appealing?

Not too long ago, there was a client I really wanted to work with.  The president of the company wanted highly unrealistic promises from the copy.

For a second, I was tempted to say “sure, I can do that.” Just so I could work with this high-profile company. But I knew the probability of success wasn’t good.

I told the president of the company “I can’t work miracles on demand. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’ve got the wrong guy.”

(She offered me the gig, but I ended up turning it down anyway.)

Miracles, by definition, cannot be produced on demand. There are a few copywriters who come close.

Good products — products targeted at specific needs — need fewer miracles. They make copy better almost by default.

Related: One Rarely-Used Strategy to Push Your Sales Copy Over the Top

If your product doesn’t meet the market where it’s at...if no one signs up for the complimentary funeral parlor bus trip… don’t automatically blame the copy.

Find out what people want and make that. Give your copywriter something to work with.

According to Gary Bencivenga, this is the 9-word secret so powerful that it has built more fortunes than any other principle in marketing: “A gifted product is mightier than a gifted pen.

Have a productive day!

P.S. Any creative ideas about how to sell those bus trips???

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