Last month, we looked at why you need a good lead-generation campaign (the short version: because the more leads you have, the more sales you’ll have … which means the more profits you’ll make) and what makes an offer effective. This month, we’ll look at how to write the email or ad to convince your prospects to say yes to your offer and provide you with their contact information so that you can start them down your sales funnel.
There are two written elements you’ll need: the landing page that holds the offer and the email, ad or sales letter that announces the offer. The email or ad or sales letter will direct the prospect to the landing page, which is a targeted page that presents your offer without the distractions of everything else on your website. Visitors are on a landing page for only one purpose: to complete the lead.
The email/ad and landing page really go hand-in-hand, and so when you sit down to conceive them, you should conceive them together.
It’s All About Your Prospects
Writing the email/ad and the landing page starts with the prospect. Learn everything you can about your target audience – teachers, mechanics, CEOs, engineers who work with deep-sea exploration robots. When you pin down who they are, you’ll be able to use your imagination and research to determine what they care about, what concerns cause them to hesitate when making a purchase, and how you can use that to persuade them to click on your offer and give you their contact info.
Once you have an idea of how to persuade them, you write your materials. Logically, it seems like you would want to write the landing page first, since that’s the base of your offer, where the offer actually resides. But the more extensive writing and convincing will take place in the email/ad, so let’s start there.
Grab Their Attention
Before moving on, let me reiterate that the point here is to get prospects to say yes to the offer you’re presenting so that they will give you their contact info. Yes, you want them to buy your product/service/solution. But you’re not there yet, and it’s important to remember that when you’re writing your lead-generation materials. Don’t talk about how your product/service/solution will solve their problems. Talk about how your offer will solve their problems.
Now that we’ve established that, let’s move to drafting your lead-gen materials. Copywriter Bob Bly and Gary Blake, a corporate-writing instructor, created a simple formula for writing lead-generation materials. It’s called “The Motivating Sequence,” and it’s simply: Attention, Problem, Solution, Proof and Action.
It works like this:
You start the email/ad with an attention-grabbing subject line or headline. Don’t get clever or tease the viewer. The best head/subject line clearly communicates the benefits that the prospect will get from the offer. So keep it clear about exactly what the prospect will get out of the offer — “Avoid an IRS audit” or “Craft killer case studies that bring in new business.” Sometimes, you can just use the name of the offer — “The Guide to Creating Case Studies for Your Agency.”
Brainstorm a lot of ideas so that you can move beyond the low-hanging fruit and get something really good that will attract your prospect’s attention. Come up with 20 or 30 ideas. Your head/subject line is so important. You might want a headline for your email.
Feel Their Pain — Then Address It
Then, in the body of the text, start by talking about the prospect’s problem or goal. Show them you feel their pain.
Follow that by offering the solution in the form of your offer. Give them three or four bullet points of how your offer benefits them and helps them address the problems you mentioned at the beginning of your email/ad.
Then, offer some sort of proof that what you’re saying is true — a testimonial, an award, other clients who have benefited from your offer, publicity or a key differentiator, something unique, valuable and special of the particular service. You only need one proof, but you usually* want one. That way, you’re creating credibility in your prospect’s mind.
* You want to keep these emails/ads short. Sometimes, you’ll have to sacrifice the proof to keep it short. And that’s OK. But if you do that, definitely put one on your landing page.
Don’t Be Shy
Then, the ever important call to action. Don’t be shy; tell them what you want them to do: “Click here to get your FREE white paper,” “Download the special report,” or “Send in the attached form.”
Put your call-to-action in a prominent position, so there’s no missing it. Want to put it in two locations on your page? Great!
Make sure your CTA stands out, too — maybe by making it a contrasting color.
And, link your CTA to your landing page so you can continue the offer pitch there.
So, what makes a strong landing page? We’ll look at that next month.
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Photo credit: gajman