The One Thing You Need To Write Effective Ad Copy That Converts
The lead is the most important part when it comes to writing ad copy that converts
You can have the most amazing offer or product in the world. But if your lead doesn’t grab your audience by their throats and sucks them in, it won’t matter. You’ll end up losing out on massive potential sales.
Before we dive further into this, let’s define what a lead is.
What is the lead?
The lead is the start of a sales message. It’s how you lead into the sale. It’s your headline, your subheadline, and the first few paragraphs of your copy.
I actually got this idea from a book called Great Leads by Michael Masterson and John Forde. So get this book if you want a more in-depth look at leads.
Now we know what a lead is. Why is it the most important part of your copy?
Why is the lead so important?
The lead and how you start your copy is very important because you only have about 8 seconds to grab your reader’s attention and hook them in. Otherwise, you’ve lost them forever.
When you think about it, that’s a really short amount of time to convince someone to listen to you.
You’re competing for people’s time and attention, which is in limited supply these days. With so much information flooding the interwebs, yours could get buried in all that sea of content.
To get noticed, you must stand out. Your lead has to be strong enough to reel your audience in.
It starts with a bold headline. Then once you’ve got them reading past the headline, you have to keep them hooked. You want to get them to the call to action at the end. If your copy is not engaging enough, they’ll become disinterested and click away, never to look back.
The key to writing strong leads
The sole purpose of your copy is to get people to take some sort of immediate positive action. That could be anything like: sign up, buy now, download here, apply here… etc
Getting people to take that kind of action requires two things.
First, you need to tap into their emotions. Your words need to move them into taking action. Second, you need to persuade them intellectually.
So before you even type the first word of your copy, get clear on what emotions you’d like to appeal to. Is it fear? Is it insecurity? Is it lack? Is it shame?
Look at this ad, for example. The headline states:
“Are Your Children Ashamed That You Never Finished High School?”
That headline plays brilliantly on the emotion of shame, embarrassment and insecurity. As a mother who dropped out of high school, this headline would hit you right where it hurts. And as you continue reading, the ad continues to hone in on the feelings of shame and embarrassment.
So focus on the emotion you’d like to tap into with your lead. People make the decision to buy out of an emotional reaction/need. That’s how our brains are wired. We generate an emotional preference first. Then later, try to rationalize the decision.
If you want to hook people with your copy, win over their hearts. The rest becomes easy.
Types of leads
According to The Great Leads book, there are 6 types of leads.
But before we get into that, here’s an important thing to note. These leads, and how you’ll apply them, directly correlates with the market sophistication level of your audience.
How aware are your customers? How aware are they of the market, the problem they face, the products that exist, and the solutions?
Now, if you want to learn more about market sophistication and awareness, there's a book that was written by Eugene Schwartz called Breakthrough Advertising. In it he categorizes the customer awareness into 5 different levels:
1. Most aware
These are the dream customers. They’re your diehard fans. They are emotionally ready. They know you. They know what you do. They know your product. All you need to do is to offer them something new and they’ll buy. Easy as that.
2. Product aware
These are the customers sitting on the fence. They know you. They know what you sell. They just don’t know if it’s right for them. These customers are easy to win over because they’re already educated about your product. What you need to do then is convince them that you’re right for them. You have to earn their trust.
3. Solution aware
These customers know the results they want, they just don’t know where to look. So you first have to convince them that you understand their predicament. Then you educate them about your product and how it will help them get the results they are looking for.
4. Problem aware
These are the most worrisome of the bunch. They have a problem. They just don’t know that there is a solution for it. The key to selling to them? Show them that you feel their pain. You have to sympathize with them before introducing your product and its benefits.
5. Completely unaware
These are the toughest to win over, but potentially the most rewarding once you do. They know nothing, à la Jon Snow of Game of Thrones. They don’t know who you are, what you sell and that products like yours exist. They don’t even know that they have a problem worth solving!
And because of that, they have no reason to listen to your message, let alone trust you. To make the sale with these people, you need tact. You don’t want to come on too strong with a pitch or you’ll scare them away.
And there are two leads designed specifically for the completely unaware audience. Use them and your prospect will never see it coming. By the time they realize it’s a sales message, you’ve already hooked them in.
We’ll talk about these leads in depth in the coming days. They are:
- 1The Offer Lead
- 2The Promise Lead
- 3The Secret Lead
- 4The Problem/Solution Lead
- 5The Proclamation Lead
- 6The Story Lead
So stay tuned for that.
Remember to first survey your audience. Where are they on the customer awareness scale? What do they know?
For the most aware customers, you’d use a direct approach to sell to them. Whereas for the unaware, a more indirect approach would suffice.
This information is important because it will help you choose the best lead to use, and eventually, write copy that will convert like crazy.
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