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Revealed: 4 Things Your Customer Cares About

Copywriting expert Eric Moeller reveals the secret to writing effective, irresistable sales copy.

Do you know the secret to sales copywriting success? The good news is that once you know what it is, and apply it, your sales copy will be dramatically more effective.

When you read what this secret is, you may think it seems too simple. But so many businesses find it incredibly difficult to do. Ready for it?

The secret to writing effective sales copy is focusing on your customer’s problems, needs, wants and desires.

You may be thinking this seems too simple, but take a look at the sales copy all around you. On websites, in emails, in magazines and the direct mail you receive. Most of the sales copy either fails to include (or struggles to address) these.

Identifying and writing about the problems and needs of your customer is the proverbial bullseye of sales copywriting. Get it right, and you have a direct hit. The more painful your customer’s problem is, often the easier it becomes to sell them the solution you offer.

But not all products and services solve painful problems. Sometimes your customer has wants and desires which are at a deeper, subconscious level. We first need to thoroughly understand their wants and desires before we can effectively sell our products at this level.

Well written sales copy which focuses on your prospect’s wants and desires can move them to take immediate action. Some call this frictionlessly selling. Perhaps you’re now thinking ‘sounds interesting, but how do I achieve this?’

The challenge many business owners and marketers face when writing about their customer’s problems, needs, wants and desires comes down to one of the following:

  1. Not knowing what their customer’s problems, needs, wants and desires are.
  2. Not knowing how to address the customer’s problems, needs, wants and desires in their sales copy.
  3. Addressing the customer’s problem or need at a superficial level, when it would be more effective to address their deeper want or desire.

You should never write a single line of sales copy until you know what your customer’s problems, needs, wants and desires are. If you don’t know, make it your mission to find these out. Once you have this information it will make the process of writing sales copy dramatically easier, and make the result more effective.

To address your customer’s problems, needs, wants and desires in your sales copy, try writing as though you were trying to solve the problem for a friend. This will keep the tone of the writing informal and familiar. Visualising a friend may also make it easier for you to demonstrate empathy for their needs when you write. You may offer your friend insight on what you’ve seen work for others with the same problem. Writing about their problems, needs, wants and desires gets their attention and shows you understand what they care about.

A final issue to avoid is addressing your customer’s problem or need at a superficial level, when it would be more effective to address their deeper want or desire. Your customer may not need something, but may still want it. It’s important to think of wants and needs differently, as they drive a customer to act in different ways. A customer’s desire goes deeper into their unconscious mind than their wants. And the best position to be in is offering a product or service which can satisfy their desire.

Consider a customer looking to purchase a sports car. One of their needs is for transportation, but obviously they’re looking for much more. They likely don’t need to have a sports car, but they want one. If we look at what they desire, it could be they want a car to convey power, status, to feel younger or to give a sense of belonging to a group they long to be part of. In this instance, writing to the customer’s need for transportation would be the wrong approach.
This example highlights that business owners need to know when to speak to a customer’s needs and problems, versus their wants and desires.

So there you have it, four things you can be certain your customer cares about, which you’ll want to embed into your sales copy. Take a look at your sales copy. Does it speak to your customer’s problems? What about their needs? Does it also address their wants and desires?

Ask yourself these difficult questions, and your sales copy will become more effective at getting to the heart of what your customer wants to read. Know the customer’s problems, needs, wants and desires better than they do, and they won’t be able to resist your sales copy.

About the author: Eric Moeller writes at Copy Dojo, where he shares sales copywriting and marketing insights to help entrepreneurs and small businesses rapidly grow their business. His website features advice from Persuasive Copywriting author Andy Maslen and other notable copywriters. For new ideas to help you sell with less effort and build customer loyalty, join Eric's free newsletter and receive his free Copywriting Planning Guide.

Looking for more copywriting tips? Our new book Persuasive Copywriting is now available for pre-order.