When it comes to getting attention, we have to first realize we’re living in an increasingly cynical world.
Blame it on “fake news” and the flood of advertising messages we receive on a daily basis. It’s very easy to adopt a jaded view of life.
Reminds me of one of my favorite films, “White Christmas.” Bing Crosby’s character Bob Wallace tells a fellow entertainer, “Everyone’s got an angle.”
So, in other words… if you’re trying to sell anything today, you better strap yourself in, Chief, ‘cause it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.
How to Grab Your Buyer’s Attention
So how do you earn your buyer’s attention?
First, put yourself in his or her shoes.
Think about your perfect buyer. Is it a man or woman? How old are they? What type of job do they have? What does a typical day look like for them?
If you haven’t developed a customer avatar or buyer persona for your business, this is what it looks like. You dive into your buyer’s world and attempt to see things from his or her point of view.
Many marketers and copywriters take a long time when researching their avatars. The general rule is that the more you know about your buyer, the greater the chance you’ll connect with them.
So let’s say your perfect buyer is a C-level executive. And let’s say the executive is a woman, Brenda. She’s 44, married, and has two children who now are in college. Her day is filled with meetings and developing business initiatives.
Her mind is a whirlwind of information that needs to be filtered, delegated, or tossed.
And you’re trying to sell her your solution.
How to Avoid Getting Deleted
The late, great copywriter Gary Halbert famously said, “Most of the people in America sort through their mail while standing over a waste basket.”
And that goes for email or any other marketing message you send to your prospective buyer.
They are essentially standing over a virtual wastebasket and either mentally throwing away your message or deleting your email.
This is exactly why local news channels use the most sensational stories in their promos.
The phrase “if it bleeds, it leads” means that the more shocking or provocative a news item is, the more it’s used to grab the attention of the viewer so they STOP and watch the news channel.
And let me tell you… those STOP Signs aren’t easy to find.
How to Find that STOP Sign to Grab Attention
Let’s go back to Brenda. She’s overwhelmed, overworked, and at times overlooked. She’s working twice as hard as many of her male counterparts but still not getting the respect she believes she deserves.
What kind of a STOP Sign are you going to give her?
If you send her an email or marketing piece that immediately talks about your product or service, there’s a very good chance you’ll lose her.
Why should she care? She doesn’t have the energy to care. She’s usually running on fumes, right?
So you have to first grab her attention and then hold onto it by connecting with her.
Remember, nobody will respond to your marketing message unless they read it. And nobody will read it unless they open it.
And a big way to connect with Brenda is by letting her know you understand her world. You get it. You know she has a crazy-amount of tasks on her plate in addition to putting out fires.
Let her know that you know.
The Key to Grabbing Attention Fast
This is why copywriters spend so much time crafting a sales page’s headline or an email’s subject line. We know that we only have one shot at grabbing the reader’s attention. We must create a compelling hook in order to persuade them to read more.
There are many formulas for writing copy that gets read. One of the more common ones is PAS.
It stands for “Problem, Agitate, Solve.”
You include the problem in your hook (headline or subject line), then you agitate it.
Agitating requires you to essentially pour salt into a wound. You want to remind your reader WHY this particular problem is… well… such a problem. Bring up examples. Paint a picture. Show your reader what life is like being saddled with that problem day in and day out.
Make them feel that annoyance, frustration, resentment and more.
Then, and only then, do you present your solution.
What NOT to Do With Your Marketing Copy
The weakness of many marketing messages out there is that all too often, they lead with the solution.
When a business does this, they are trying to leap past the important phase of building a relationship.
You have to earn trust. And you don’t do that by blasting your solution to your prospective buyer.
Instead, you first let them know that you know what it’s like to be in their shoes.
You want your buyer to say, “Wow… this person gets it. She gets me.”
That is the way to break through buyer cynicism.
It’s certainly not easy. Ask any copywriter or marketer and they’ll tell you. Figuring out what will make someone buy is one of the toughest tasks of any business owner.
But success leaves clues. Check out what type of marketing messages grabs your attention. Why did you read it? Which emotions were triggered and why? Were you compelled to buy? Why?
I know business owners who shy away from anything that sounds too “salesy,” let alone using sensational language.
However, if you keep doing the same thing, you’ll keep getting the same results.
Why not test something new?
If you’re ready to take the plunge, contact me. We’ll identify the problems that your business can solve.