“Women, aged 40+, who want to lose weight and feel more energetic.”
If that’s all you know (or all your copywriter knows) about your target market, you’re doomed before you start.
Why? Because you’re not the only person selling to your target market. So if you’re making the same generic promises as everyone else, your prospects won’t buy. In fact, they probably won’t even notice you. You’re just more noise during their busy, distracted day.
So for copy that converts, you have to go beyond the demographics. Way beyond.
You have to deeply understand what’s going on in your prospect’s head, so that you can make them sit up, take notice, and take action.
I’m talking about knowing their deepest hopes, fears, and dreams. Things they’d be too embarrassed to admit to publicly.
So how do you get that kind of deep customer research? Well, there are a lot of ways, actually. And I suggest doing all of them and then some.
To share some examples, here are 5 of the steps in my personal customer research process:
- Message boards. Message boards are a gold mine. People typically post under a username, so they’re willing to be more vulnerable than if they were posting under their real name.
- Interview top customers. You’ll be surprised how much someone will share with you when you’re on the phone with them. (Just make sure to get written permission if you’re going to directly quote them.)
- Customer reviews. I’ve written for clients who have hundreds upon hundreds of product reviews, and I read every. single. one. I also highlight the best insights so I can use them in the copy later on.
- Check out the competition. Part of my general research process is to check out everything I can about my client’s direct competitors: their sites, their funnels, etc. But particular to customer research, I also read all of the competition’s testimonials, reviews, and case studies. After all, we’re selling to the same audience. And maybe there’s an opportunity to steal some of the market share. 🙂
- Focus groups. If a client can arrange a focus group for you, that’s great. But you can also just find a few people you know who are in the target market, and run your ideas and sales copy past them. I’ve even used my parents for this!
Once you do REAL customer research, you should have a huge file of hopes, fears, and desires. You should know your audience’s biggest dreams … and what keeps them up at night.
Then, and only then, are you in a position to write copy that converts.
The truth is, if you deeply understand your target audience, you can make sales without hiring the world’s best copywriter. (Though you’ll make even more money if you do!)