Copywriting to generate new business: do you put first things first?

Not everybody is expected to be good at drawing or design. Yet all of us are expected to be good at writing. After all, writing is something that most of us learned at school. However, many of the structures we apply when writing for personal purposes or in the workplace don't work at all in marketing.   

Take for example a marketing email or letter. When marketers need to write to somebody they don't know (a cold prospect) many start by introducing themselves and their organisation. They then go on to explain what they do, how long they've been doing it, and who they do it for by listing their top clients. This is an extremely common and completely fatal mistake. 

The problem is that prospects and customers don't start off interested in you - they start off interested in themselves. They might become interested in you, but only once they know exactly what you can do for them.

Therefore, all your prospecting emails and sales letters should start by explaining exactly what you can do for your customer. If that appeals to them and they can see value in what you offer, they will ask "who are these guys?"  

That's the point, and the only point, at which they will become interested in you.
 
Put your marketing emails or letters to the test...

Here's a simple test to validate your prospecting emails or sales letters. 

First, take two different coloured highlighter pens. Now make a printout of one of your emails or sales letters. Then highlight every sentence that talks about you, your organisation, your experience, your resources and your customer base with one highlighter colour.

These statements are all about your 'credibility and credentials'.  

Now take the second coloured highlighter pen and mark every sentence that talks about your products or services, what they do, how they do it, how they save time, effort or money, and why they're better.

These statements are all about the 'virtue and value' you deliver. 

Now look at the balance of colour. If the colour representing sentences that talk about 'virtue and value' are mostly at the top, that's good. But if the colour representing sentences that talk about your 'credibility and credentials' are at the top, that's really bad. 

When your copy leads with 'virtue and value' you have a high chance of capturing your prospect's attention and interest. Whereas copy that leads with 'credibility and credentials' is doomed to failure. Your customers only care about virtue and value, so make sure you always put that first. 

You can hear more from Paul about persuasive and productive copywriting by attending his one-day Copywriting Masterclass at the IDM in London on 16th February.

Back to blogs

Why do it with the IDM?

Marketers who choose the IDM as their training partner make a real difference to their business, their customers’ lives and their own career.

The IDM is leading the ‘do revolution’

What counts today more than ever is not what you think, or even what you say, but what you can do. IDM qualifications and short marketing courses are designed for marketers who want to do more, faster, better.

Over the last 30 years we’ve trained over 100,000 delegates across 28 countries, from Microsoft to the BBC, John Lewis to Lego.

What will you do next in your digital, direct or data-driven career? Find out about IDM qualifications and training courses or IDM membership.

"The information was pitched at the right level for someone with limited stats knowledge so that I could understand the theory as well as the application"

Martin Radford,
Data Services Manager, CDS Global

Train Your Teams

Upskill your teams marketing capabilities with a tailored IDM training plan that suits your business

T-6a0e2d55-230c-42e8-a31c-10df0377a1f0-1.jpg Corporate Training

Enhance your career with the IDM

Your training partner in filling digital and direct marketing skills gaps, setting you apart as a doer

T-70b2be21-1173-4376-bbda-a80bd2ca6f3d-1.jpg Marketing qualifications

We use cookies to help enhance your experience and improve the functionality of our website.
For more details and help to manage your cookie options read our Privacy & Cookies information.

Close
Report a bug
X