The written components of your lead generation campaigns — ie. the words you write on ads and landing pages — are FAR more important than your campaign’s visuals or ‘design execution’.
In online lead generation, the things you write — ie. your messaging — is ultimately what creates the connection between your customers and the value you provide.
Your messaging allows you to demonstrate that you understand your customers’ unwanted problems and desired outcomes. Your messaging allows you to highlight your points of differentiation and articulate irresistible marketing and sales offers. It allows you to showcase social proof and tell a compelling story about the desired end state your brand creates. And deliberate messaging can clearly communicate the unique benefits of working with your brand.
Impactful and persuasive marketing messaging is CRITICAL for any effective lead generation campaign. Weak, misaligned, or non-existent direct-response messaging will provide you with disappointing results… so it’s important to craft your messaging foundations before you create ads, landing pages, and other tactical campaign collateral.
In this article, I want to share with you the four core questions (AKA “keys”) we ask when designing direct-response marketing messaging foundations for our clients… and I’ll also give you some additional questions to help you write sizzling, impactful copy.
Design is important too…
As a quick caveat, please don’t get me wrong regarding design — your campaign’s visuals and ‘look and feel’ are very important too. Design conveys quality. Design contains hidden persuasion strategies. And colour choice, image choice, and design themes can impact the tactical performance of an ad or landing page.
A great rule of thumb is to use the ol’ 80/20 principle: Focus 80% of your efforts on crafting intelligent and structured direct-response copy, and the remaining 20% on your design. An outstanding piece of marketing collateral will have very strong copy and design features.
Introducing the four “Golden Key” questions
The process for creating effective marketing messaging requires a deep-dive into the minds of your customers. You need to know exactly what problems they have but don’t want. And you need to know what outcomes they want but don’t yet have. You also need to convey the unique benefits of the value you provide. By articulating these things, your campaign will cut through your competitors’ campaigns like a hot knife through you-know-what.
Here are the four foundational questions we ask our clients before creating their core marketing messaging:
- What PROBLEMS Is The Buyer Facing?
- What PROBLEMS Do They Have With Alternatives To Your Solution?
- How Does Your Solution BENEFIT Them? (Make Sure You Include Benefits Your Competitors Cannot Claim)
- What OBJECTIONS Do They Have With Doing Business With You?
Here are some example responses to these questions, using our OWN customer type as an example:
1. What PROBLEMS Is The Buyer Facing?
- Having trouble differentiating themselves in hyper-competitive industries
- Google AdWords is far more competitive than ever before
- Customers are more price conscious
- Attracting too many ‘tire-kickers’
- Don’t have enough hours in the day to focus on marketing and the core business
- Their team is under-utilised, which is costing them money
- Not enough sales opportunities coming across their desk
- SEO results were good, but have fallen off the radar recently
2. What PROBLEMS Do They Have With Alternatives To Your Solution?
- They don’t have time to learn the specialist skills required to do really well
- They don’t want to ‘hand hold’ outsourced specialists at all times
- Internal hires are expensive, hard to find, take a long time to train and rarely have all the skills required
- Doing nothing isn’t an option – the business needs new clients / customers to grow
3. How Does Your Solution BENEFIT Them? (Make Sure You Include Benefits Your Competitors Cannot Claim)
- A 100% done-for-you digitial marketing service
- We focus on generating business outcomes (e.g. revenue and profits) rather than ‘fluffy’ metrics
- An easy and affordable way to work with a full team of digital specialists (marketers, designers, copywriters, automation experts, traffic specialists, SEOs, etc.)
- Flexible and strategic approach to achieving your business goals – no ‘cookie cutter’ strategies
- We use a team of digital experts – not graduates clutching a ‘how to’ manual
- Specialists in helping businesses with high-ticket products, complex offerings and long sales processes
4. What OBJECTIONS Do They Have With Doing Business With You?
- “I don’t want strategy – I just want execution”
- “using contractors is cheaper”
- “you don’t know my business, you can’t write copy for me”
- “how do I know you’re going to get results”
Here’s What We Create With This Information
Tactically, we use these four questions to create, for each client:
- Their Unique Value Proposition (One of the first deliverables we create for most of our new clients is their Unique Value Proposition (“UVP”). If you’re not sure what a UVP is, check out this article here.)
- Problem and solution statements, designed to create a connection with readers
- Sizzling call-to-action copy, based on psychological hot buttons and pain points
- Irresistible offers designed to ‘pull’ prospects towards a brand’s sales calls-to-action
- Value-adding content (eg. blog posts or video scripts) designed to nurture prospects through their decision-making process
Break These Down Into Buyer Personas
Breaking your marketing strategy out into different buyer personas is a smart strategy too. This allows you to customise your problem/solution statements even further.
For example, a first home buyer has a different set of problems when compared to an experienced property investor. Yes, they are both going to buy property: but they have different short term problems.
By creating separate landing pages for each persona, you can address their unique short-term problems and position your solution relative to their unique desired outcomes.
Simply ask the above four questions specifically for each of your different customer persona types.
17 Questions To Help You Laser-Focus On Your Customer Personas
Here are 17 more questions to help you craft sizzling, razor-sharp persona pages for your digital marketing:
- What is their basic demographic information? (Age, sex, family status, employment)?
- What burning problems do they have, that they don’t want?
- What proximate benefits are they seeking, specific to your offering? A proximate benefit is a direct benefit resulting from a feature of your offering (eg. reduced marketing costs, higher quality leads)
- What ultimate benefits are they seeking, specific to your offering? An ultimate benefit is the way you improve your customer’s life (e.g. make more money, be happier, more successful, recognition, etc.)
- What objections might they have about engaging you?
- What problems might they have with *alternatives* to your solution?
- Why may *alternative* solutions be better than yours?
- What pre-conceived objections or risk-aggravators might these personas have?
- What are dominant emotional triggers used when conducting their decision making process?
- In other words, which emotion(s) motivates them to act?
- What are the most common questions they’d like to see answered?
- Do they share a common buyer’s language in your industry? Are there words or phrases they uniquely use?
- What pieces of information will solve problems instantly for them (AKA “Painkillers”)?
- What pieces of information will create desired outcomes for them (AKA “Vitamins”)?
- What will ‘make their damn day’ OR create a raving promoter of your business?
- What else do they uniquely like or follow online?
- Where do they hang out online? Facebook? Twitter? Snapchat? Email?
Additional Questions To Level-Up Your Copywriting
Use these 9 additional questions to extract the ‘ore’ required to refine your marketing messaging:
- What VALUE do you offer your customers, for free?
- What VALUE do you offer your customers, in exchange for their money?
- What VALUE do you offer uniquely, that you competitors do not?
- What skills, tools, or attributes (AKA your features) do you or your business have, and what result can they produce for your customers (AKA your benefits)?
- What desired outcomes can you create, and/or what situations can you help avoid?
- What experience do you have, in a quantifiable format? For example, years in business, number of cases completed, etc?
- What social proof (testimonials, reviews, ratings, or other forms of social proof) do you have?
- What accreditations and industry experience do you have?
Need help with your messaging?
The above information is taken directly from our digital strategy workshop process. If your campaign or digital marketing isn’t as effective as you’d like it to be, and you don’t have the time or skills to craft effective marketing messaging, please contact us.
If we’re a fit to work together, you’ll be paired with a digital strategist who’ll (a) conduct a complementary Online Marketing Growth Session and (b) provide a unique and customised set of recommendations designed to help you reach your digital growth goals. Click here to learn more about our Online Marketing Growth Session.