It’s not sexy. It’s not a lot of fun. But few things could be as fundamental.
Research is foundation of everything your copy says. Everything your emails say. Everything your headlines say. Everything your bullets say. Basically everything that you use to reach out to your customers should be the product of research.
You simply cannot get copywriting right, without a good research process.
Some of the most successful copywriters in history spent a significant portion of their time – just on the research phase of writing copy. How significant? Gary Bencivenga spends 40% of his time just on research. The legendary Gene Schwartz would read entire 700 page books before he penned a single word down.
Well research allows you to find extremely interesting details about even the most boring of subjects. It allows you to get excited about what your product or offer actually is, it equips you with passion and excitement that you can then induce in your audience.
Imagine you had to write a piece of copy to sell chocolate. Now imagine the chocolate you’re selling is the finest in the world. You could say “we have the finest chocolate in the world”, which is powerful, but how many of those claims do your customers hear per day? A whole lot of them. How many people will actually believe you have the finest in the world? Not many.
A little research on how your product was discovered would allow you to write
“We sent our experts around the world. To every major farm, in every major chocolate producing country – with one mission: to find the finest Cocoa beans in the world. We devised a long set of complicated experiments using the latest technology available to identify beans with just the perfect DNA. Our experts called this DNA X. After an excruciating process that took years to culminate – far away, in deep rural Ghana, over 1,237 miles from the closest city – one of our experts called in, and confirmed they had finally found a match. The perfect Cocoa bean that would allow us to produce the finest form of chocolate ever made since Adam step foot on Earth. And that is the only type of bean we ever use to produce the finest chocolate in the world”
Far more interesting, right? Gives far more credibility to the claim right?
The secret ingredient?
All the story required was a little research on how they actually started making the finest chocolate in the world. And the conversions would multiply.
It’s about time you take advantage of this powerful tool to reach out to your prospects, so they are completely hooked.
So just how do you do good research?
There are 3 Parts of the Research Process:
- Thoroughly study your product or offer: Whatever you want your prospects to buy, subscribe to or sign up for. Study it complete detail. First make a list of all its features. Exactly what it offers your customers. Then see how these features benefit your customers. How they can change your lives. Then add emotions to those benefits. And finally study everything that went into creating your product – the story behind it. Every product has a great story – it is your job to find it.
- Know Your Prospect: Understand who you are selling to. Who you are speaking to. What are their fears? What is the core pain they are experiencing? What are their most powerful desires? What is their ideal scenario – what would be the ideal they seek to achieve through your product. Appeal to those desires and to those fears while staying within the limits of their beliefs. Use language they would use. Use language they would understand. Speak to their hearts and use logic to justify it to their minds. You must know what their likely objections are. What is keeping them from taking action – address those concerns head on. The customer is smart – so make sure you address their concerns before they become reasons why your product/offer failed.
- Know Your Market/Competition: Like you study your product – you must also understand what the competition has to offer. So you can prove your product is superior. Find that key weakness your competition has but you don’t. And use it to your full advantage. Study the general appeals and promises being made – use that to understand what your customer is responding too. Then make a bigger, more powerful claim by using that extra little strength your product has over the rest. Customers are thorough. They probably have seen more than offer before reading yours – make sure they feel they’re getting a better deal.
That’s about it. Do these three things and you’ve significantly increased your chances of success and have amazing promises, stories and empathy that converts prospects into customers. Slightly interested people into action takers. Boring subjects into fascinating stories. Big claims into believable promises.
That is the power of good research, and luckily for you – most your competition completely overlooks this when writing their copy. So exploit it all you want. The power is yours.