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Where Stellar Messages Come From


Takeaways

  • Copyhackers eBook 1 will help you find and develop your core messages
  • You’ll know how to narrow your market to prospects that will compensate you for your service
  • Use customer research to get the best swipe-worthy copy
  • Use rhetoric devices in your copy to draw attention to your headlines

When it comes to determining where stellar messages come from, the Copyhackers eBook 1 (FREE eBook download) makes one thing very clear:

The job of the copywriter is not to write copy but to know your customers inside out.

“Your job is to know your visitors, customers and prospects so well, you understand the situation they’re in right now, where they’d like to be, and exactly how your solution can and will get them to their ideal self.

Your job is, from that point, to sell your prospect a better version of himself or herself.”

Where Stellar Messages Come From, Copyhackers eBook 1

This can sound daunting. But don’t worry.

Joanna Wiebe, author of Where Stellar Messages Come From, walks you through each step in finding the messages your customers care about.

Copyhackers eBook tips

Before I begin, the tips below are just small segments from the eBook that stood out to me.

You’re going to have to read the eBook to get the most out of the knowledge Jo has to impart.

Tip #1: Narrow your market

Figuring out your target market is simple yet complex.

All you need to do is get out there and talk to people, in-person or online, and see what they’re saying about the problem your solution solves.

But gathering the data on your target market is the first step.

Then you’ll have to sit down and analyze the data.

You’ll need to address questions like:

  • Will the target market you’ve selected use your solution?
  • Like it enough to keep using it?
  • And will they tell their friends about it?
You want customers to tell people they know about you - tip from the Copyhackers ebook. Gilmore girls. Text reads: We'll tell our friends, cause there's only one.
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In the Copyhackers eBook 1, Joanna explains that you’ll first determine your general target market.

Then, you need to narrow that down to one segment to focus the majority of your energy on.

You want to choose the segment that will visit your site with the most frequency and be most likely to compensate you in some way for your service – whether that compensation is actual money paid to you, referrals sent your way, or new users brought into your fold.”

Where Stellar Messages Come From

The market segment you focus on will impact the messages in your copy.

Joanna uses the example of how messaging directed at stay-at-home moms and messaging directed at career-oriented women differ for the same product.

This is because each segment will have its own values and motivations for wanting a problem solved and reasons for using your solution to solve it.

Tip #2: Figure out how aware your prospects are

Once you’ve determined which market segment you’d like to focus on, you need to think about what ‘stage of awareness’ your audience is in.

Stages of Awareness was made popular by Eugene Schwartz.

They’re a framework to help you determine how aware your prospects are about:

  • Their own pains and desires
  • The availability of a solution to their pain. Or a solution that fulfills their desire
  • Your solution – and more importantly, how it’s the best way to solve their problem or satisfy their desire

The graph below was created by Joanna to guide how much copy to write based on the awareness level of your prospects.

Stages of awareness graph from the copyhackers ebook. The graph helps figure out how much copy to use based on the awareness level of your prospect.
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“Understanding how aware your visitors are of their need for your solution can help you better understand not only what’s motivating them… but also how much you need to say to convince them to choose you.”

Where Stellar Messages Come From

In the Copyhackers eBook, Joanna recommends using this question to determine how aware your prospects are:

“What’s happening in your life that brought you here today?”

You can ask this on pop-up surveys or thank you pages.

You can even ask this question when you’re talking to people about your solution (just change the question slightly for in-person: What’s happening in your life that caused you to look for a solution like this?).

Tip #3: Swipe messages from your customers

The best messages don’t come from your head – they come from your customers, visitors and prospects.

Text reads: So tell me what you want, what you really really want.
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Messages from customers are usually unfiltered and written in a natural language. They talk about specific features of your product.

And they may use a tone that influences the rest of your business’ copy.

You can get great messages from:

  • Customer testimonials
  • Support emails
  • Twitter (look at tweets you’ve favorited)
  • Facebook posts
  • Customer interviews
  • Surveys (of customers and website visitors)

In the Copyhackers eBook, Joanna details how to form the survey and interview questions, how to conduct a customer interview, and what to do with the collected responses.

Swiping messages from customers doesn’t mean you must have your own customers to do this effectively.

You can get messages that stand out from:

  • Talking to people in your target market
  • Amazon reviews
  • App store reviews
  • Blog comments
  • Forum posts
  • Usertesting.com sessions
  • Competitor audits

In the eBook, Joanna explains how to do each of these methods – and get the most out of your time spent researching.

Plus, there are a number of templates for you to use to document your findings.

Tip #4: Use literary techniques

There’s a whole section in the Copyhackers eBook dedicated to the types of rhetorical devices you might find useful when writing great headlines.

If you’ve ever been on Apple‘s website, you’ll notice that rhetorical devices are the cornerstones of their copy.

From their tagline Think different to the descriptions of their products, they have found a balance between clear and clever.

In this example, they’ve used rhyming to ensure this phrase sticks in our brains. And reminds us of their product.

Apple uses one of the rhetorical devices mentioned in the copyhackers ebook. Text reads: iPad air. Light. Bright. Full of might.
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According to How Stuff Works, rhyming is a great technique because our brains use these sounds to encode information in our memory.

In this Tutorial Tuesday, Joanna goes through some rhetoric devices and looks at rhyming.

Though she cautions to only use this technique in your headlines and crossheads. Your body copy should be very clear.

Tip #5: Understand the difference between features and benefits

This is a biggie.

And too much information for me to fully go through here – again, read the Copyhackers eBook.

Features are part of your product (ex., a camera on a phone).

Benefits are how having that camera impacts the customer (ex. great quality photos of their new baby).

To start thinking about your features and benefits, Joanna recommends asking yourself these two questions:

1. What value will my user/customer get from using this? (benefit)

2. What part of my product lets the user/customer get that value? (feature)

Of course, sometimes there’s a blur between the two.

So be aware that you could have a lovely feature, but it doesn’t offer the customer much value.

There are templates in this section for documenting all your features and benefits and guiding questions to help you determine the pain it solves for your customers.

This is also where your customer research comes in handy.

Talking to customers will give you a better understanding of what features they find useful and how they benefit from them.

Get the Copyhackers eBook

Now you might be thinking: I’ve read these tips. I don’t need to read the book.

Big mistake. I’ve only scratched the surface here.

There are 75 pages of Copyhackers brilliance and worksheets to get you started on crafting your own stellar message.

Grab the Copyhackers eBook 1, read it, then read it again.

Start using the worksheets in your next copy project. I bet you it’ll make your research go a lot smoother.



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