The Big 7: 7 Mental Hurdles Your Copy Must Overcome

Think back to the last time you made a big purchase. Not the cheap, impulsive buys we all succumb to, but that big-dollar purchase or commitment that sparked a familiar dilemma: Can I really afford this? Is it worth the investment? Will this thing deliver on its promises? What if it doesn’t? What do past buyers say about this? Do I trust these claims? Where’s the proof? … and on and on. The bigger the price tag or commitment, the more we wrestle with this internal debate. So does your target buyer or reader. In fact, big purchases require buyers to conquer 7 mental hurdles before they will comply with your call-to-action (CTA). The bigger the CTA, the more you have to address these hurdles in your copy. That’s what our questionnaire is designed to do: Uncover those 7 hurdles so you can banish them, clearing the way for prospects to click, sign up, request a quote, or hand over their credit cards (and feel good about it).

TARGET AUDIENCE: You already know this: Everything hinges on your understanding of the target audience. Our job as a copywriter is to get inside the head of those ideal customers and figure out what makes them tick, and what will move them to action. Get pretty darn clear on whose head you’re getting into.

PROBLEM: Your best chance of getting your prospects’ attention is to join the conversation that’s already going on in their heads. If you don’t isolate and highlight the problem they’re battling from the get-go, your message will never get higher priority over all the other stuff competing for their attention. Your copy should open and revolve around your target audience’s greatest frustration.

SOLUTION: Forgive me if you’ve already heard this, but it must be said: Solutions (a.k.a. benefits) aren’t the same thing as Features. Marketers get this wrong all the friggin’ time. If you have a headache, for example, your solution is to be free of pain, not an “advanced capsule that dissolves three times faster and soothes your nervous system with a minty fresh aftertaste.” (Those are great features, but they’re not a solution.) Your solution is the transformation your prospect will experience after responding to your CTA. How will his or her life be different?

OBJECTIONS: Objections will flood your reader’s mind as he/she tries to make a decision; count on it. Effective copy raises those objections and destroys them, showing the reader they’re not worthy of concern.

PROOF: What unbiased source can back up your claims? Proof points reduce the risk or fear in the prospect’s mind. Examples include testimonials, studies, statistics, and success stories.

RISK REVERSAL: Your reader is feeling a lot of pressure when considering your service. He doesn’t want to waste money or look like a fool when something goes wrong. Alleviate this pressure by taking some of the risk away. Common risk reversals are free trials, money-back guarantees, high-value bonuses, satisfaction guarantees, and so on. What can you guarantee to ease or erase that sense of risk?

UNIQUENESS: What makes the product/service/provider different from competitors? What do current customers get from this brand that they wouldn’t get elsewhere? How is their experience better if they buy from your client?

Normally Theresa will interview you for these questions, however, feel free to answer them as needed. We may need to follow up, however.