Art attracts, enhances, and creates desire, but performance marketing copy sells. And that brings us to several basic concepts of getting ready for direct response copywriting.
Far too many performance marketing managers are mostly concerned with how their products look and will look, what colors will be used and how beautiful their landing page will be, often treating copy and the copywriter’s role as secondary, often providing unreasonable deadlines for writers who want to do a proper selling job.
Copy is king.
Management should accept the fact that the copywriter should be involved in every aspect of performance marketing campaign creation, development, and production, from initial product selection meetings to final web and art blueprints as well as order form and thank you page design.
It is the copywriter’s job to thoroughly study the audience and the product line before promoting the specific items in the email promo, landing page, ecommerce product description, print catalog or Facebook ad.
That study includes:
- Past customer evaluation & analysis. Simply put, you cannot write selling copy unless you know who you are writing to.
- Overall product selection. The copywriter must understand why each product (or service) has been selected for this exact promotional campaign, and she/he should have a voice in suggesting changes in product selection, especially if your copywriter feels that including certain products can destroy an overall “feel” of value and uniqueness for the campaign. Your copywriter should also know why each product “fits” in the line being promoted. This often leads him or her to suggest additional items which can be profitable.
- Audience history. A direct response copywriter approaches lists of customers differently than prospects and tackles different prospect lists differently. It is important to management to make all audience facts known to the copywriter at the outset. If your copywriter must write one version to both customers and prospects, she/he must be attuned to this.
- Investigation. Give all products to the copywriter and let her/him play with them, and with all accessories. Also give supportive literature and documentation on how the product was developed or manufactured. Allow time for your copywriter to “get the feel” of each item and to “feel good” about each item. Your copywriter will write better than if you simply give him a photo of your super widget.
- Field time. Your copywriter should be able to test your products and see how they are used by the very people she/he will write to. The same applies to selling services in your performance marketing campaigns – let your copywriter go with your service people to a few actual jobs… let her/him examine your service contracts and policies… go on sales calls, gauge customer and prospect reactions, learn new benefits about what you promote.
- Question time. Before and during writing, the serious copywriter (and you would not retain copywriters who were not serious) must be able to question YOU, your engineers, producers, marketers, customers, and salespeople. Deny this opportunity at your own peril.
- Thinking time. The good copywriter does not just start writing. She/he thinks, sometimes for a long time before turning on his word processing software. The copy will flow beautifully and be more successful if your copywriter has had a chance to structure it in the mind.
These seven points are ideals and many times deadlines and other business considerations do not allow a performance marketing manager to exercise them all.