By Karon Thackston
Who of us hasn't written advertising copy that we thought was great only to find out it flopped big time? Why? When you wrote it, it seemed very persuasive. You included lots of benefits and even gave a money back guarantee. It got YOU up and moving so why did your customers turn their heads?
The reason is usually quite simple. They are not you. While one thing might motivate you and excite you enough to open your wallet and buy, there are other personality types who respond to different motivational factors. If you know the factors, you hold the key to copywriting success!
There are several names for the different personality or behavioral types. Myers-Briggs labels them with letters (E = extrovert, I = introvert, etc.). Some psychologists label them with types ("A-type" personality, "B-type" personality, etc.). The DISC model (which I find the easiest to follow) labels the different personalities with descriptors (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, etc.) Regardless of what they're called, I encourage you to get to know them. Once you decipher the inner workings of your customers, you can write copy that will motivate each and every time.
Let's look at a few of the descriptors used within the DISC model and I'm sure you'll see what I mean.
The Dominance behavioral style is usually described with the following attributes:
The Influence behavioral style can be described like this:
Those who fall into the Steadiness behavioral style usually are described as:
The last of the four styles is Compliance. These people usually have the following attributes:
As you can see, these simple hints already open new doors for copywriting effectiveness. From what's written above, you are probably getting some good ideas about how to adjust your copy to fit your target audience.
For example, when writing to people with a Dominant behavioral style you'll want to be direct and to the point, focus on the business at hand, show them how this will help them get results and offer a win/win situation.
Influential people will want to allow time for socialization (so include some "chit chat" when possible), to have fun, offer new and innovative ideas, give a way for them to respond quickly and offer praise and strokes for them making a good decision. Steadiness types make up the majority of the population. Over 40% of Americans fall into the Steadiness category. These people need to see a logical approach to your product or service, they need time for thinking before buying, they want to see how your solution will benefit them and they need a sense of security about buying.
This explains why most copywriters will tell you to write long copy that is full of benefits and offers a money back guarantee. However, while this does work for 40% of the population, the other 60% has an issue with it. This is why I continually preach that you should know your target audience! If you are marketing to a group of CEOs (which most definitely fall into the dominance category) you can't provide long copy... they simply won't read it. They are looking for the bottom line and may ask for more details later if they feel they are necessary. If you have lots of information to provide, you'll have to break it up into sections to suit a "dominance" type.
It all boils down to giving the customer what they want. Even in your copywriting techniques. If you don't, you'll lose the sale - plain and simple. As an example, I'll tell you about a real estate agent I once worked with. I was looking for a house and had specific criteria for the exterior and interior. Rather than scheduling an appointment with the realtor every other day to view houses, I wanted to be given the addresses and view the outside at my own pace. If the outside didn't have specific features, there was no need for me to see the inside.
One Realtor emphatically told me, "Mrs. Thackston, that's just not the way I sell." To which I responded, "That's a shame... that's the way I buy!" He wouldn't give me what I wanted and therefore lost the sale.
I encourage you to learn as much as you can about your target audience. Their likes, dislikes, personality traits and behavioral traits. When you do, you'll be able to write motivational copy that creates a desire to buy.
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