Today on Facebook, a fellow marketer asked,

“if you have multiple products that all should be tapping into the same emotions…how do use the same underlying powerful emotions with different products while making the ad copy unique for each product?”

This is a conundrum that has stumped every marketing writer who is tasked with generating a pile of product descriptions. I recall one catalog writing assignment several years ago. I remember it distinctly because I had to come up with dozens of descriptions of mens’ briefs. To research the products, I was forced to spend days staring at photos of uber-sexy, buff men wearing scraps of fabric that made Speedos look positively modest. (It was fun at first, but trust me, there are only so many ways you can use the word “package” in a sentence before it starts to sound like you’re writing for UPS.)

But that experience taught me a valuable lesson. I write marketing copy — whether it’s for a $20 mesh thong or for a $2 million enterprise inventory system — as though I’m speaking to one person. I go far beyond features. I even go far beyond the superficial benefits that most copywriters focus on. Why? Because the features are the same for everyone. And as my Facebook colleague pointed out, so are the superficial benefits. He used health supplements as an example, so let’s stick with that.

For instance – someone selling health supplements. Maybe you would tap into the emotion of having a better quality of life to spend time with your kids, etc. But all the supplements you sell would essentially be the same emotion, right?

And he’s right. “Better quality of life” is an extremely common and trite benefit that you’ll find in health supplement marketing. Yawn. It applies to pretty much any effective dietary supplement.

To explain a more effective way of approaching this copywriting assignment, I’ll use a made-up example of my own. Let’s say you’re writing marketing copy for a new biotin-based hair/skin/nails supplement that starts to work in just 3 days (If only!) The ingredients and time it takes to work are both features. The benefit is stronger hair and nails. It’s the same features for everyone, and the same superficial benefits for everyone. What’s the deeper benefit for your specific niche audience? That deeper benefit could literally be different for every customer avatar.

For example, let’s say your avatar is hand models. The benefit of this biotin supplement could be a feeling of financial security. What, you say? Financial security? Heck yeah. Hand models are extremely concerned with the appearance of their nails and the skin on their hands. So the benefit of this new biotin supplement could be knowing that her nails are always going to look fantastic so she won’t have to worry about losing jobs to other hand models with better nails.

If you go one step further and ask yourself, “She doesn’t lose out on jobs. So what?” you can probably find an even deeper, more personal benefit than that. The closer you get to a basic human emotion (sex drive, fear, love, maternal instinct) the better your benefit statement is going to be.

In other words, the uniqueness of the benefit statement comes from speaking directly to your your avatar’s deepest hopes, dreams and fears—not speaking about the product, which is, at the end of the day, may offer the same features, and the same general, superficial benefits for everyone. And as we all know from The Go-Giver, and the Law of Influence, the more abundantly you put your avatar’s needs ahead of your own, the more influential you will be when trying to persuade them to buy your product.

Is your marketing copy lying down on the job? Not getting the results you need from your direct mail letter or landing page? Now you can book a Marketing Reality Check with me and get an objective second opinion on your sales copy, targeting and offer.

Kathleen Hanover
Certified Go-Giver Speaker and Copywriting Trainer
Kathleen Hanover helps entrepreneurs tell their story, attract their ideal audiences, and persuasively communicate their value. As a highly-regarded marketing copywriting trainer, she teaches persuasion psychology and the magic words that build rapport and sales. And as Ohio's first Certified Go-Giver Speaker, Kathleen shares the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success from the international best-seller, "The Go-Giver," by Bob Burg and John David Mann, with business and community audiences alike.
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