How To Use Digital Marketing Funnels as a Financial Advisor

Digital marketing funnels have quickly evolved as marketing has shifted away from traditional outbound marketing methods to inbound marketing tactics that rely on digital marketing. In particular, digital marketing has dramatically altered the management of marketing & sales funnels for financial advisors and other financial professionals. The effective use of digital marketing tools greatly facilitates making more sales with the utmost efficiency.  

Plenty of financial advisors understandably do not know where to start in the quest to improve their management of digital sales funnels. So, a good starting point is to take a look at the best approaches for financial businesses to employ when using digital marketing to convert contacts into leads, prospects, and revenue-producing clients.

What is a funnel to begin with?

A Funnel is a term to describe the journey a consumer takes from a visitor or someone "browsing for information" to a qualified lead and then a paying client. 

The formula for a high converting funnel is straightforward, but it can often be overlooked. The reason being, with all the new technology & automation tools being introduced, it’s easy to get what’s called shiny object syndrome, and thus, take our eyes off the prize. 

Moreover, thinking macro instead of micro, and considering the big picture, the formula for a funnel goes like this: 

Traffic + Conversions = Money

Whether your sales process takes place on a sales page or involves a call or in-person meeting with the sales team, the formula is still the same. 

If the product or service is sold on the page, then a conversion on the page would be people buying. If the page converts really well, the more traffic you drive to that converting page, the more business you will bring. 

If the sales process requires a phone call, then a conversion might entail somebody scheduling an appointment on the page. In this sense, more appointments should lead to more sales. 

The more traffic you drive, the more appointments you will get, the more sales you get. 

Here’s a visual of what the process looks like:

With this formula in mind, these are the steps to make it work. 

Step 1: Get Traffic to Your Website or funnel

You’ve built a beautiful website or landing page and figuratively turned on the neon “Open for Business” sign, but the traffic to your site is non-existent. Just because you built it does not ensure that people will come. 

Your job is to drive the traffic. That way, they get to see your services exist and can help them get their needs met. 

There are two primary ways to get traffic to your site: 

Paid traffic and Organic traffic.

Paid Traffic

This is just as it sounds. You pay money and, in return, get traffic. The most commonly known examples of paid search traffic are Facebook Ads and Google Ads.

There are many other great ways to pay for traffic, such as Pinterest Ads, Twitter, Snapchat, Native ads, Banner ads, your industry’s niche sites, etc.

For example, a paid search strategy could be a blog all by itself.

It is not uncommon for some brands to use a blog article as a subtle long-form sales letter, with call to actions on it that drive traffic to a checkout page.

Organic Traffic

You want to be on the first page of Google, right?

To get more organic traffic to your site, you must make it elementary for prospects to find you. Above all, when they search for words or phrases specifically relevant to your website.

Getting on the first page of the search engines like Google and Bing is critical to achieving that goal.

So how is that done?

Firstly, to do this, you need a great hosting provider and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

SEO involves implementing tactics such as on-page optimization and link building that will bump your search engine ranking. This could be anything from your site structure to the words you use in your title tags and meta descriptions.

At the same rate, getting quality links from reputable websites pointing back to your website is a critical part of SEO.

Furthermore, SEO can get quite complicated and esoteric, especially because what might work one day could be obsolete the next.

There are several useful tools out there that can save you time and make the process of SEO much easier. One such tool is Yoast. Yoast is the best on-page optimization tool out there. It's also free.

Getting attention and traffic to your website is step one of the Sales Funnel for Financial Advisor journey.

Step 2: Convert that Traffic into Qualified Leads

Now that you started driving traffic to your site, the next step is to make that traffic convert.

When someone comes to your website without buying, that should be the start of a conversation, not the end.

However, to keep the conversation going, you must capture those leads to nurture that relationship.

For example, you can capture visitors’ information (e.g., an email address) by sending them to a high converting landing page or through a pop-up box on your website.

In both instances, we recommend offering something of value and useful in return for their information.

This could be anything from a free ebook on retirement planning, registration for a free webinar (or seminar), or subscribing to your blog (that you update with valuable content regularly).

Here are two ways you can collect a visitor's information. Transitioning them from visitor to lead.

Landing Page

Many times, Financial Advisory businesses will spend all this money on buying traffic to their website.

But they make the mistake of sending that traffic to their website and then failing to tell that traffic what they should do next.

In other words, there is no clear path to value.

Instead, to avoid this, send your traffic to a landing page, which gives them a single directive. This reduces friction as there is less confusion on what action the visitor needs to take.

A landing page is called a landing page because, as its name implies, it's one that visitors “land on." But, they're not mean to navigate or do much once they land on the page.

They are so supposed to land on the page and take one action.

Not two. Not three. Not even one point five.

One action only.

The difference is that it has one clear call to action and prompts people to accomplish it.

In the financial advisor example, the landing page could’ve been a sign-up page for a free consultation or access to a free PDF such as a Retirement Planning Checklist resource.

Pop Up Box

Suppose you're a partner in a Financial Advisory Practice. More often than not, when someone comes to your site, they’re doing research and gathering information.

Therefore, they have no intention of making an appointment (or letting you manage all of their money) today.

Amateur financial advisors let visitors browse through their site like a glossy brochure and then wave bye as they click the back button and go directly to their competitor’s website.

However, that isn't you.

You’re smarter and more skilled.

That's why you know you can use something such as a pop up box that says something like, “Interested in the 5 simple steps in the Retirement Planning Checklist? Download the free Checklist below to help you stay on track and make sure you don’t miss anything.” or “Life happens. Plan today. Protect tomorrow. We’re here to help. Click below to Schedule a Free Consultation.”

Now you have leads. Getting those leads is step two of the funnel for a Financial Advisor.

The next step is nurturing those leads and getting them to know, like, and trust you.

There are many tools out there that can help you can create stunning landing pages and pop-up boxes. One simple tool is Leadpages.

The number of things you can do with Leadpages is magnificent. You can do something simple like sending a lead magnet, registering visitors for webinars, and creating a direct registration page for a live seminar.

Building a page is super easy with their user-friendly drag-n-drop builder, numerous templates, and easy integration with your website. In addition, it integrates seamlessly with various email marketing platforms. The importance of this integration leads us to step 3 of the funnel for financial advisors.

Step 3: Nurture Leads to New Clients with Email Marketing Automation

Email is arguably the best digital marketing tool in existence. Not just one-off emails or having an email newsletter, but all of the creative ways you can leverage this tool. Furthermore, email is compelling from not only a revenue-generating standpoint but an overall profit standpoint. In other words, the bottom line.

This is because the ROI from email marketing is proven year after year to be in the 40x to 50x range. Most recently, Campaign Monitor's annual report, which used data across multiple industries, revealed that the average ROI from email is 44x.

However, this last step of the funnel, qualifying and converting leads into clients, is also the hardest.

We've touched on capturing leads so that you can nurture their buying decision, but what does this actually mean?

More often than not, a prospect doesn’t decide to work with an advisor quickly.

There’s a lot that goes into that decision.

This is why you should be there for almost every stage while also nurturing them to the next.

The typical journey goes like this:

  1. Problem recognition (this means, the individual has recognized they have a problem they need solved. I.e. they want to put a retirement plan into place, but don't know where to start).
  2. Information gathering (now they are doing research to see how they can solve their problem. In other words, they're 'looking for a solution').
  3. Compare and or interview alternatives (here the individual is comparing options based on all the information they have gathered thus far. At this point they may have met with an advior or even a few, as well as, read more information on the web, and information the advisors they met with provided them).
  4. Make a decision based on best fit (This is where they make a decision that they feel is the best option for them based on the options they have).
  5. Evaluate their decision (here, they are waiting and expecting an ROI. Additionally, they want to feel that this was time and money well spent, and was the best decision they have ever made in their lives. This makes them feel good about themselves, and a very satisfied customer).
  6. Refer other clients to the advisor (This is the promise land for the financial advisor! Nothing is more rewarding than when your previous clients become your highest-performing sales reps. Additionally, referrals close at a much higher percentage than virtually any other method as well. This is comparable to having a sales team working hot leads like clock work).

Considering this journey, we can significantly influence it in our favor through email marketing.

For instance, instead of immediately going for the hard sell, you target your leads based on their behavior and then send them relevant content at the right time.

Likewise, if they’re just starting their journey, you can offer something like a “Retirement Planning Checklist.”

If they like this, you can now segment them through your automation to see what else they like.

Based on how they respond, you can now send them more targeted content based on their needs.

In other words, you can give them more of what they want, which is a potent thing to do in marketing, for obvious reasons. This process is known as message mapping.

Furthermore, if a lead is further down the funnel and already knows they want to work with an advisor, a checklist wouldn’t be ‘relevant content. They’re at the point of choosing the best financial advisor for their needs, so perhaps you could offer a free consultation to get to know their needs better.

Ideally, this is what you want as a financial advisor. More appointments mean more business opportunities.

But it all begins with having a proper funnel set up and following the formula, traffic + conversions = money.

5 principles for achieving transformational growth

1. Look past the myths

Since growth transformations present significant challenges, business owners often are deterred from attempting them because of a few persistent myths.

One such myth is that pursuing growth during a crisis is a distraction from the issues at hand. 

However, while businesses need to focus on short-term issues related to a downturn, waiting for the economy to recover could mean missing chances to gain a competitive edge. 

Moreover, there’s no perfect time to embark on a transformational growth journey. Therefore, waiting serves no purpose. 

That’s why a recent analysis by strategy consulting firm McKinsey & Company shows that investing in growth during a downturn delivers the best results for organizations with healthy cash positions and balance sheets.

Another myth is that a growth transformation will take too long and cost too much. Although growth transformations do require investment, the full payoff may not come until year two. Considered, disciplined organizations can quickly unlock significant efficiencies (such as improving the efficiency of direct response channels like paid search) and capturing short-term revenue wins (for example, by adjusting prices).

Additionally, another myth circulating is that growth isn’t something leaders can control; it’s the result of market forces, competitive dynamics, customer preferences, or sheer luck. While this is true, and external factors & good fortune do play their part, it’s also equally true that almost every business can improve its growth position. 

For example, it’s not uncommon for a significant spread in growth performance among companies to take place in almost every sector, further indicating that there is ample room for growth.

2. Cleansheet a bold growth goal

There’s an all-too-familiar approach to setting growth targets that goes like this:

“Taking last year’s figures and adding or subtracting a few percentage points based on experience or gut feeling.”

However, this has always been counterproductive. 

Now, while the global pandemic has rendered year-on-year comparisons meaningless, it is sheer folly. 

The acceleration of the mass migration to digital triggered by COVID-19 requires businesses to cast a skeptical eye on trend lines and historical precedents. Meanwhile, also setting goals that reflect the new landscape’s potential. 

Moreover, a McKinsey analysis confirms a 15-30% jump in consumers who purchase online across 20 different industries. Although, the data is much more impressive in industries such as OTC medicine and groceries, with growth at 44% and 41%, respectively. 

Time and again, businesses use this zero-based approach to set and meet goals 40 percent higher than they previously achieved with their traditional strategies.

A zero-based approach to cost planning is well understood, but how does it work for growth? Elite-performing companies start by breaking down the business into its four primary components: 

  1. Customer journeys
  2. Brands
  3. Product lines
  4. Commercial activities

Afterward, they set a peak-performance goal for each revenue driver along each journey. For example, generating demand, converting demand to sales, retaining customers, and expanding customer relationships over time. 

When setting these goals, they look for examples from top-performing units inside of the organization and gather external benchmarks from market leaders, experts, and innovators in other sectors. 

Now they are guided by curiosity and an open mind while also analyzing how new technologies can support more ambitious goals, challenging institutional norms, and refusing to blame external factors for past performance issues.

Research by Mckinsey & Company involving over 238 companies revealed that, for one large retailer, adopting a zero-based approach to growth helped overturn long-held assumptions that its core brick-and-mortar business could not grow. 

While its stores had endured years of decreasing revenues, its much smaller online business grew at a double-digit pace. Prior forecasts predicted continuing decline for in-store business, along with a gradual slowing of growth in e-commerce. 

But leaders decided to set aside these trend lines, along with their gut feelings about the company’s likely trajectory. Instead, they looked afresh at marketing strategy, sales-team performance, customer loyalty programs, and potential synergies between the physical and virtual sides of the business. 

Armed with this broader perspective, the leaders reset their ambitions: 

a double-digit improvement in the company’s overall growth rate. 

Twelve months later, they achieved it. This newly implemented strategy resulted in the company meeting its goals 40% higher than using their previous strategies. 

It certainly pays to adopt a zero-based approach to cost-planning. 

3. Drive significant impact from multiple moves

Rarely does growth come in one big bang. In most cases, targeting a comprehensive set of modest increments is a better strategy over the long run. 

Companies that regularly drive double-digit impact do so by identifying a few key revenue drivers, applying best practices to each one, and stacking up a series of small wins along the way.

Although “breaking down the opportunity” into smaller wins is more manageable, many business owners are still unsure how to proceed. However, there is a body of empirical evidence on how businesses can drive commercial excellence.

It stems from boosting marketing effectiveness, motivating sales teams, and even testing & scaling pricing innovations. 

The challenge, therefore, is not to invent new ways to improve performance but to take the time to look outside your business for proven methods & emerging solutions and apply them with both discipline and velocity to the key drivers that push the needle for growth.

One example of this is an educational services company that was reviewing its marketing effectiveness. 

The educational-services company found it had neglected brand awareness and overemphasized performance-marketing tactics. 

Drawing upon empirical evidence and bottom-up analysis, the company reset its marketing budget and reallocated investments. This resulted in boosting high-conversion inquiries by 24 percent

Working along the customer journey, the team enhanced the website’s user experience to increase inquiry flow. Moreover, they also intensified coaching and adopted performance-management “nudges” to improve frontline sales. 

Additionally, they introduced multichannel communications and peer-mentorship programs to support student success. 

Collectively, these efforts reversed five years of sales decline, propelling the company to double-digit growth in new sales in less than a year. 

4. Institute a constant flow of growth

Sustained growth comes from both creating and replenishing a pipeline of high-level initiatives that deliver a constant flow of growth over time. 

Successful growth transformations strike a balance between quick wins (within three months), midterm operational improvements (three to nine months), and long-term strategic advantages (up to three years+). 

They also identify a comprehensive set of growth opportunities using the zero-based approach described previously in this article. 

Afterward, these successful growth transformations constantly review, reprioritize, and renew the mix of initiatives as the change progresses and its impact becomes apparent.

Quick wins are crucial in this practice because they can generate savings or revenue that can then be allocated towards the funding of the growth program or even pay for the entire program itself.  

For example, cutting spend on non-working media or low-ROI trade shows could release funding for effective new digital marketing campaigns

In addition, quick wins provide visible proof that the transformation is working, which can boost confidence, motivation, and momentum for longer-term efforts.

For example, one international payments company kickstarted its growth transformation by analyzing price points across multiple products and services. It found room for growth, such as in high principal payments, and quickly lowered prices to gain share.

In the medium term, it used granular geographic analytics to improve yield, reduce prices at locations with competitors nearby, and raise them where competitors were more distant. 

The new pricing model delivered $100 million in incremental revenue as measured against comparable locations using the old model. 

The company is now exploring more radical changes to capture long-term growth, such as moving from transaction fees to subscription-based pricing. 

5. Turn data into a competitive advantage

A military strategist once proclaimed, “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” 

Moreover, no growth transformation ever unfolds precisely as intended. 

Changes in customer sentiment, competitor behavior, or market conditions will inevitably threaten to throw plans off course. 

Therefore, having the means to measure progress systematically and the stomach to act decisively—is a significant asset in your business. 

Such measurement also yields insights that help business owners double down on successes, ditch failures, and adjust implementation for maximum impact.

Measuring growth is no easy task, however. 

Multiple variables are in play, and quantifying the impact of critical growth drivers such as brand building and sales force effectiveness, are notoriously tricky. 

To tackle this challenge, companies can apply new digital metrics, such as share of branded search, to assess the impact of marketing campaigns and apply advanced analytics to compile operational and survey data. 

By doing this, you help link customer experience improvements to hard dollar revenue gains.

Now, having mapped customer decision journeys, identified revenue drivers, and developed initiatives, businesses can determine which metric to track, such as lead volume, win rate, or deal size, to assess the progress of each initiative. 

In particular, one industrial company used account penetration, new product growth, and new-market entry as its key metrics and linked them to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to provide real-time visibility and performance updates for each driver set of initiatives. 

Transformation leaders evaluated data from these systems in monthly progress reviews to decide when and where to reallocate resources. The effort paid off with incremental revenue growth of 4.5 percent in a declining market.

With growth drivers challenging to pin down or slow to change, like brand awareness or customer experience, companies can use new concepts, such as share of branded search, to measure progress. 

Additionally, they can also take advantage of the increasing power of advanced analytics to build predictive models that highlight the relationships between customer behaviors and sales. 

For example, one wellness company calculated how customer lifetime value (LTV) correlated with satisfaction scores, guest services, and interaction with personalized nudges. 

Armed with insights from this analysis, it made changes in its stores and CRM tactics that increased average LTV by more than 8 percent.

One of the thorniest challenges in measuring growth comes in weighing multiple metrics for multiple initiatives. 

Simultaneously, brand building can drive more web traffic that yields more sales, but it can also increase sales conversion rates on performance-marketing channels, such as paid search. 

An accurate way of tracking impact is to compare the results from an integrated package of changes in a given country or customer segment with the results from a control group. 

Namely, one online job-search company decided to run a matched-market experiment to assess the effectiveness of a new marketing campaign—the campaign combined investments in brand media with efforts to optimize performance-marketing channels. 

The test showed a substantial ROI, so substantial that the company decided to launch the campaign nationally.

Advanced measurement techniques helped the business quantify the impact and nurture a collaborative, data-driven culture focused on metrics & test results — not on anecdotes and finger-pointing. 

Because these methods capture the impact of factors that take longer to play out, such as improvements in product or service experience, they also can help businesses balance their set of initiatives to drive sustained growth over the long haul. 

As we can see, transformations are uncertain in the best of times. Moreover, transformations are the most challenging of them all. Although following the five principles outlined above can’t guarantee success, it should help tilt the odds in your favor.

12 tips for better Copywriting

How do you get started with implementing better copy for your business?

It all begins with deep consumer psychology and timeless persuasion principles.

There are three things you must consider before beginning your copywriting process. 

You have to change the way you view your:

  1. Your marketing
  2. Your customer
  3. Your marketplace 

This is why the most essential ingredient in copywriting at the start is research.

When it comes to copywriting, you don’t need to be hypey or clever. You need to have a deep understanding of psychology, specifically what makes people tick and what makes people buy.

Also, break up paragraphs into smaller ones, please 🙂

There should be a maximum of  2-5 lines per paragraph.

With all of this considered, here are the 12 steps that you can begin implementing immediately to help scale your brand. 

1. CALL OUT YOUR AUDIENCE

Customized marketing – Call out your customers by their name. 

Or, if you’re addressing your ideal audience as a group of people, then call out the community or tribe they belong in.

Think about your marketing, who do you sell to?

If you're selling to everybody, you're selling to nobody.

So be very clear and specific about who your audience is. 

Here are some great headline examples:

People usually buy, not because they understand what you sell… 

But because they feel understood. When people feel that you understand their challenges, they will be more open to reading what you have to say. 

Most of the time, if you understand someone deeply, even more than they understand themselves, they automatically think you have the solution to their desires. 

Now that you know your ideal audience and their pain points, offer them help to overcome their issues.

2.  GRAB THEIR ATTENTION WITH YOUR BIG PROMISE HEADLINE

Headlines can be on a webpage, the subject line of an email, or the first sentence on your social media.

The promise headline should go in the email subject line or headline to get a prospect to open and read more of the email. You don't want the prospect to delete or skip the email or ad copy.

Don't waste time. Directly answer the audience’s question:

"What's in it for me?"

Enter their world. Enter the conversation that's going on in their head. What are they going through?

Get out of your ego, and get into your prospect's ego too. Describe their problems better than they could. This is what will make you effective as a copywriter.

Don't talk about how great something is. Address the problem in a story that describes an experience similar to what your reader is going through.

There are three reliable ways you can do this one: 

  1. Me Too: This is when you have the same product as someone else. People would be asking what the difference between you and the competitors is.
  2. Me Better: Your promise is that you are better than your competitors. This could be a good claim in some scenarios.
  3. Me Only: This is the ideal way to differentiate. Your entire promise is entirely different than anyone else, and that makes you stand out in the eye of your competitors and much more desirable to purchase from

Not everything you sell has to be there, but the closer you are to this level, the more power you have in the marketplace.

To differentiate yourself, you must spend some time thinking about: 

"What is something I can promise that other people cannot?"

This is what will make you stand out.

Brainstorm Headlines

Most entrepreneurs and business owners don't know how to do thorough, critical thinking. This means having truly introspective and deep thinking about your marketplace, potential customer, big promise, and headline.

Think about what value you can deliver that other people cannot. 

If you want to write a good headline

Write at least 12-30 headlines. 

Write more than one to compare which words to keep, switch out or combine, then pick the ones that work well.

This is a common practice done by everyone from email copywriters to those producing headlines for YouTube channels. Headlines matter. Period. 

For example, consider FedEx. They have spent time marketing both delivery and speed. Therefore, customers now associate express shipping with their name. Ex: “Let’s FedEx it.”

People are willing to pay more if they want something delivered timely, so this company charges more for it.

What is something that you can promise? What’s the big promise you can use in the headline? 

Good Examples:

Bad Examples:

The bad examples are simply too vague, general, typical, overused, not precise. These are fluff words. People don't know if they are accurate before they buy. They also can't quantify them.

These things are assumed already, so they are not compelling enough to make people buy.

3: CALL OUT YOUR ENEMIES (Or create “common enemies” )

Remember, Us vs. Them.

This is who you are NOT. Show that you are the opposite of your competitors.

Do not explain why you are better. Just show what you are against and what you don't believe in.

For example, the Apple Mac promotes itself as being modern, skinny, cool, and newer. Compared to the PC being not that cool & outdated.

Let's say your competitor is complex, and you're simple.

EMPHASIZE THAT. In fact, our CEO worked for a company that was the leader in their field because of its emphasis on being simple

On the contrary, if the competitor is overly simple, you can position yourself as more thorough and detailed. Instead of only one step, you have ten steps to ensure that the quality is there.

While they’re calling out their enemies who do overly fancy and techy products, you can call out a specific crowd and tell them that they don’t need all of those parts.

The psychology behind Us vs. Them is that you’re not saying you’re “better.” Instead, you’re explaining what you’re against, what you stand for, and what you don’t believe in. 

This works in connecting with an audience that shares the same opinions, so when they see your message, they will say, “I hate that too!”

4: STORIES MOVE THE WORLD

Stories sell like crazy. This is because human beings are ingrained to pay attention to stories from the past when humans bonded with their tribes through storytelling around the campfire.

For example, La Mer Skin Care, a high-end facial brand, their story is about a doctor who extracted the ingredients from the ocean to create products that his wife can safely use.

Think about even some of the highest-grossing movies. They do well simply because people want to experience the exciting emotions from watching them.

People pay to be moved. So you can sell products or a service with your story.

Facts tell. Stories sell. People buy with emotion, then justify it with logic.

Here are two types of stories:

Stories are powerful because we feel like we can be a part of them. People get emotionally involved as we want to put ourselves in the story. Because people don't buy with logic, you need to get prospects emotionally involved.

5: WRITE LIKE YOU TALK

"What's up, Bro? Open that email, fam".

Okay, maybe not that informal. 

Unless it’s your brand’s style, then, by all means, do it. 

Considered, this idea of writing like you talk might be one of our favorites. 

The APA, MLA, and many other style guides will argue against this. However, this is business, and more specifically, marketing. 

Your job is to build an authentic connection with your audience and bring in business, not get an A+ on a thesis paper. 

Furthermore, when you think of real-life persuasion vs. school language, the biggest flaw when you're writing is by being boring.

To avoid this, use a casual tone to make a personal connection.

Think about it, when you open the college textbook or peer-reviewed research journal…

Your brain is in full-blown analytical mode. 

Which, in case you didn't know, is also full-blown “I don’t need this/sales objection/resistance mode.” Moreover, evolutionary speaking, we are hard-wired to analyze against threats when we don’t know much about something. Therefore, when our analytical brain is firing, there is a high percentage that we are looking to pick apart why a method could not work before we begin exploring how it could work. 

Most often, we will think safety first, opportunity second. We will weigh the cons first, then weigh out the pros second in a pros + cons analysis. 

Simply, you will not buy anything when your brain is in this full-blown analytical mode! 

So write like you talk. 

When it comes to copy, you want to be very personal. Imagine talking to your ideal customer one-on-one, in a casual conversation. Don't use very big, technical words. Just speak casually as if you're really trying to talk with them & help them.

Consider this:

How do you want your sales reps talking to your customers? 

Now, scale that back just a little bit. 

Because nobody is there to reply when your customer asks, “could you please say/explain that again?”

It's not about you sounding smart. It’s about connecting with your audience and showing how you can help them get their needs met.

Another important thing is not to write as if you are talking to a group of thousands. 

This is because at any given time, your reader or prospect is typically reading your copy or watching your video by themselves. 

Therefore, you should talk to them on a one-on-one basis to make that connection.

Remember that the purpose of the headline is for them to read the first paragraph. The purpose of the first paragraph is for the reader to continue with the following paragraph.

A big mistake that a lot of copywriters make is using "I" or "We.” 

Use "you" instead because there's typically only one person reading your letter or email.

Copywriting is a one-on-one connection from the writer to the reader.

Readability is also important, so keep everything simple.

To do this, use short sentences and simple words. 

Usually, 1-5 sentences per paragraph works best. 

Remember that one little word can create an entirely different emotion.

Don’t speak to your audience in groups. For example, don’t refer to them as "ladies and gentlemen" because this will feel like you’re not directly addressing the reader, which breaks the personal connection.

Think of your ideal prospect, and just talk to that person as an individual.

Imagine that this person is sitting across the table from you, and you want to write to that person. Transcribe what you say to start, then convert it into writing.

The ideal outcome is always to close. 

Having a casual and conversational tone and sometimes having grammatical errors or typos are not as big of a deal, so long as your copy successfully generates conversions.

6: PAIN OVER PLEASURE

People don't buy their way into something. They buy their way OUT of something.

Find what people are complaining about and use that message to put in front of the audience.

(Short & sweet, we know). 

7: DEMONSTRATE THAT YOU ARE THE EXPERT

Build credibility with testimonials, results, statistics, and research. Always talk to readers as if they are skeptical.

Assume that they don't like you, don't trust you, and don't know you. Because that’s most likely what is true 99% of the time. Therefore, you should give high value. Don’t “say” what you’re good at, instead show the numbers of how much you’ve done.

8: EXPLAIN WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE

Many companies default by differentiating by going cheaper, competing by price, instead of thinking about what really makes them unique.

If customers give you objections, like asking for a discount, it's usually because they can't differentiate you from your competition. So don't be better, be different instead. In other words, Have a Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

Ask yourself why people should do business with you, besides any other option out there.

As far as being unique, here are both some good and bad examples below. 

Bad examples:

Good examples:

9: THE THREE BOXES METHOD

This is the use of contrast pricing. Think about when you are selling and closing. It comes down to an offer. If you provide only one option, the customer will only give you one answer – either yes, I will buy, or no, I will not buy.

If you offer them two options, A or B, now their minds will be focused on saying yes or no to either one of them.

If you give three options – appropriately done – the chances are that the customer will choose the middle option. The three options would be something like, “Basic, Intermediate, Advanced,” or “Small, Medium, Large.”

“Option A, B or C.” Option A, the basic version of your offer, should look as lousy as possible. The biggest one, Option C, should be really expensive. Knowing that most people will not buy either, you are actually positioning the middle, Option B, to be the most compelling one.

In fact, many service companies will show on their website three main subscription types, with #1 obviously being the cheapest and lowest overall value, and #3 being the most value, but also most expensive too. However, they got this guy in the middle called #2, which they show as having the best value for the price, and probably also have some type of sticky ribbon on it proclaiming "Best Offer" or "Best Value.”

You've probably seen that before haven't you?

It's pretty clever, right? If they do this well, usually #2 gets many signups and the company gets more sales.

Another popular way too...

Price aside... is that you position Option A as something that is "meh, not really that exciting"... Then position Option B as something that "COMPLETELY blows Option A out of the water.” Then finally, you position Option C as something ever slightly better than Option A, but still really not that exciting at all.

This makes Option B the clear winner here.

10: UNIQUE GUARANTEES

Use an unusual but effective guarantee. For example:

“Hey _____, as you know, I can't give you all your money back. But what I can guarantee is that if you don't like the place that I am going to move you into, I will work with you to find a new home - absolutely free, commission-free, and I will give you $500 towards moving into your new home. That's how much I believe in my service.”

Offer a creative or fun option and guarantee if the customer doesn't like your service or product. 

The more authority you have in the marketplace, the less you have to use a guarantee.

Make yourself look like a rare commodity.

11: TALK ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES OF NOT BUYING

People don't “not buy” because they don't believe in you. Instead, what often stops them from buying is because they don't believe in themselves. Most people have low self-esteem and don't see themselves changing.

Unfortunately, what this means is that you need to create urgent pain for them. 

Pain that hurts so bad, it will never disappear until they take action and decide to bet on & believe in themselves. 

Make them think about what they’ll miss out on and what the consequences are when they don't buy. What will happen if they don't buy your product? What problem do you solve for them?

As Tony Robbins says, “People make decisions based on inspiration or desperation.”

Tell your unconfident customers what happens if they don't buy NOW. Eventually, when they hit the tipping point, they will make the purchase.

12. SHOW DON'T TELL

Show, don’t tell. Show emotion and paint a vivid picture with decorative storytelling so that readers can picture the story in their heads.

Do not be vague here. 

Imagine these two examples here:

"Imagine no more neck pain keeping you from doing what you want?"

vs.

"Imagine no more neck pain keeping you from playing outside with your family & loved ones?"

Big difference, right?

If you don't get it, here's the difference. In the first example, "Imagine no more neck pain keeping you from doing what you want?"

"...what you want"... whoever is reading that what they want might be to just sit in bed all day long and watch The Office.

Therefore neck pain is not stopping them from doing what they want.

However, in the latter example, neck pain certainly keeps you from “playing outside with your family & loved ones.” So the person experiencing something like that, if they read that copy, it's probably going to hit very deep.

So always be crystal clear. Paint the visual & don't leave the reader guessing what's possible and what could be real.

Show them (don't tell them) what could be real.

This is one of the biggest drivers of effective storytelling. It is one of the most powerful tools you could ever use in copywriting and one of the most difficult to master.

Here are a couple of examples below:  

TELLING: 

“I felt mentally and physically drained.”

Vs.  

“I’ll never forget the way I felt when I made my first online sale. I was so excited.”

SHOWING:

“My legs barely hold up my body as I crawl onto the sofa. I try to cry myself to sleep, but the tears came without asleep.”

Vs.

“It was 2:30 AM and a strange time to be checking my email. But there it is, the notification for my first online sale. I ran upstairs, and I woke my wife – I did it! I did it! She warned me if I didn’t calm down, the noise would wake the kids in the next room. But as far as I was concerned, no one in the family should be sleeping at a time like this. I was now an official Internet Marketer.”

As you can see, there are many different tools and sometimes subtle ways you can make your marketing copy more compelling. It all starts with understanding your audience and putting them first. Moreover, you need to make them feel like they matter and that you’re there to help them get what they want. 

With this considered, hold on to these 12 rules like as if it’s your free complimentary playbook. Refer back to this article often. 

Don’t forget to share it with your coworkers as well. Considered, if the time is right, reach out to us for support as well.