The most effective and powerful training ground for becoming a savvy, skilled copywriter is working in the “fundraising” world—as nothing requires greater skills of persuasion, emotional connection and hitting the psychological triggers than writing effective fundraising letters.
The sole purpose of a fundraising letter is to connect with the reader and compel them to “do and respond.” Anything less than a “yes” response is considered a failure. There is no gray area, they either donate or they don’t.
While working as a copywriter for a large TV Broadcast Network, I spent much of my time crafting fundraising letters and materials with the goal of garnering more contributors. In writing effective letters and video scripts, I had to quickly determine who I was speaking to, what their heart language was and how to lead them down a path that led to the results I desired.
I knew our target market like the back of my hand. I knew her (notice, it was a woman) and her age, her habits, her race and even what concerned her most. I knew what day and time she seemed to open her emails and, more importantly, how and why she gave donations.
I knew the words she responded to and those she didn’t. With that knowledge – my words written to her where custom made to touch her in a way that nothing else could.
Knowing my target intimately led me to know that she wanted to be part of it, and not just give us the money to do it. She was only inspired by knowing she was part of it. Thus, the letters always mentioned that “together” we would do it.
Business communications are no different. Almost every business has a specific target market … very specific. Once you determine exactly who that person is, you have the incredible power to know, just like the above example, exactly which words motivate that person, what they desire to hear, what keeps them up at night and what causes them to respond.
The biggest mistake most business owners make is believing they have a large market, that everyone will buy their product. When they operate under that belief, their marketing communications are watered down and powerless to emotionally connect with their true target market.
If you try to speak to everyone, then it means nothing to all of them. It is far better to have a smaller market—so when you speak to them, you hit the nail right on the head and get a response.
- Do you know what day of the week and at what time your target customer usually opens emails? Wouldn’t your email campaigns work best if you sent them during that time?
- Do you know what their physiological and emotional triggers are?
- Do you know their age and their sex? Speaking to a woman is much different then speaking to a man. Speaking to a teenager requires a much different technique then speaking to a senior. All of them are motivated by different things.
- Are they motivated by the need to help or are they more motivated by the feeling of being empowered?
- Are they risk takers and early adopters who are motivated by being first and different, or are they one who is conservative and wants to play it safe and wait until a products been out for awhile? Each of these requires a different plan of communication.
- Is your target one who needs a deal or do they see a deal as something cheap and thus, low quality?
The list goes on and on, which means you must your know your market, otherwise you will waist endless time, effort and money speaking to no one in particular—getting no results.
Copyright 2010 by Christine Alexander, WriteStrategy. www.write-strategy.com
Permission granted to post where you desire as long as credits stay intact.
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