Once you’ve nailed the 2 fundamental questions (why we exist and why our product must exist), we’re ready to start crafting our content strategy.
The big idea
Our goal at this point is to create a master document that will house our entire sales pitch. This document must describe the benefits of the product in great detail, address all the pushback a buyer might give, and everything in between.
Imagine a scenario where the buyer has infinite attention. In this infinite attention universe, how would we tell our story? This is what we are exploring in this master document.
Ok, let’s look at the step-by-step process:
— Step 1: read and understand current content
When we start work on a client project, be it dog wheelchairs, gourmet truffle hot sauce, or room air purifiers, we don’t really know their target audience (even if we think we do). So, step 1 is to start there.
Often the client’s current marketing playbook isn’t enough. So you need to zoom out for a better bird’s eye view. For example, if you’re working for a site whose USP is giving instant price quotes for selling a car online, go to Google and search for a term like “car selling quote” and see what paid ads show up. Study these paid landing pages.
What stories are these sites telling? What psychological hooks and angles are they using? Study and note them down.
— Step 2: start noting your thoughts
What ideas come to your mind? What are the gaps you can identify? Is there an aspect of the product description that can be explained better? Is the visualization evoking the emotions and thoughts that the client had hoped they would?
There is no “good” or “bad” idea. If it pops in your head, write it down.
— Step 3: start noting hidden assets.
What are hidden assets? These are items that can help drive sales but aren’t being used properly.
- An image that does a good job demonstrating the product but isn’t super visible.
- Clever hook being used on a competitor site.
- A clever hook that’s buried lower on the page. We know only a small percentage of readers go low on a page. These valuable assets need to be brought higher.
- An important sales angle that’s not even mentioned on the main sale page; it’s hidden away somewhere on the FAQ page.
- While reading customer reviews on Amazon you stumble on review #34 where the buyer describes why they bought the product. It’s really compelling but our main sales pitch on the website makes no mention of this.
These are examples of hidden assets.
— Continue taking notes as you work on the following steps
— Step 4: questions
3 types of questions that we’re making note of:
- questions about the psychology of the target audience
- then, questions about the product and the company, and
- questions about product assets. Examples:
- “do you have a product manual?”
- “do you have prototype sketches?”
- you’re basically trying to get access to stuff that already exists; anything that could help drive your concept further.
We’ve written an article that has an example for questions about the product section above. More about questions before conversions.
— Step 5: get answers to those questions
— Step 6: make guesses about the buyer and their buyer psychology
Described in this post: https://www.frictionless-commerce.com/blog/making-guesses-about-the-buyer/
— Step 7: published research
It’s unlikely that the thing you are working on doesn’t have any references. There would be tons of research about some of the topics you are writing about. Seek them out. For example, I was working on a sales pitch for a car auction site. The biggest competitors for this site are car dealerships. I knew I had to build a case against dealerships. So I Googled to find everything I could. I wasn’t looking for it, but I found a newspaper report about how car dealerships scam older customers. I immediately took a screenshot of this article.
— Step 8: identify the main sales angles to focus on
Attention is a limited resource. You may have 3 hours worth of content to share but your reader may not have that type of time or attention span. What are the main things you want to communicate? Is there something the reader must know before leaving your website? What ideas pack the most punch? Zero in on them.
Example: assume I’m working for a site that allows users to make more money by auctioning off their car versus getting a low ball trade-in offer from the car dealer. Here are the main big ideas I’d want to focus on:
— The dealer is the bad guy. Every story has an enemy. In our story, we’re making the car dealer the enemy.
— Safe and secure. In all likelihood, our hero has never auctioned off their car online before. Their anxiety level is at peak value. If we hope to close the sale we need to laser focus on building trust.
— Not your parent’s car buying experience. Logic: we know many shoppers tend to do what they did previously. By emphasizing the “not your parent’s car buying experience” we’re building a case for helping the hero break an old habit.
— Step 9: write the first draft
All the foundational work has been done. Now we shift gears to crafting the copy. Don’t think too much about the final copy at this time. I like to just free write my ideas. We’re looking for flow. It needs to feel natural. Keep writing until you’ve run out of inspiration.
— Step 10: incubation period
Now let the work marinate in your head. Give it time to breathe. Add a reminder to look at the copy the next day. I like to do it first thing in the morning when my brain is fresh.
Reread the copy and make tweaks.
— Step 11: apply 9 buyer psychology principles
Getting a strolling reader to buy isn’t easy. There is a reason why conversion rates of ecommerce sites are a measly 2.3% (source). Here is the reality: the shopper on your site doesn’t want to part with their hard-earned money. You know that it’s a good trade, meaning they will get more value from the purchase than the price of the item. But the buyer doesn’t know this, they’ve been disappointed too many times. Their entire psyche (buyer psychology) has evolved to protect them from bad decisions. But this isn’t a bad decision. This is good for the buyer. How do we convince and convert them? This is why a deep understanding of 9 core aspects of buyer psychology comes into play. The difference between an average copywriter and an incredibly effective one is simply this: the latter is a master at understanding buyer psychology.
Take our 9 buyer psychology copywriting tactics and apply them to your copy. Remember our goal is to keep the flow natural.
— Step 12: edit
Editing is the most important part of the process. Here is where we chisel away anything that doesn’t add to our copy.
One editing trick is to take a printout of the copy and edit it with a pen. Reading printed copy slightly changes our mental context, which leads to new insights.
To explore the topic of editing read this definitive post: Conversion Copywriting: Let’s Talk Editing.
— Step 13: organize
The sequence for this step is preference driven, some prefer to create an outline first. I prefer to get my thoughts out first, and then organize. You can change the order of this step to suit your style.
You have crafted killer marketing content. Now we need to deploy this content across the buying journey.
A little about us
Thank you for reading this article about the paradox of choice. We are Frictionless Commerce and over the last 11 years, we’ve thought about just one thing: how do we get online shoppers to convert? We’re fascinated by buyer psychology. And once we understand how your site visitor thinks we use our 9 point copywriting process to convince and convert them.
If you’re on LinkedIn much you
can should definitely connect with me. On LinkedIn, I post ecommerce conversion ideas every day, multiple times a day.