Everything you need to write effective copy for your campaigns
It has been observed that the consumer profile is not the same as it was a few years ago. When buying a product today, consumers want to satisfy not only basic needs, but also their emotional needs. Therefore, not having a clear awareness of how the customer will perceive our product will cause us to miss the opportunity to sell more .
To advertise your product/service to a potential customer in the best possible way, it is necessary to have an awareness of how the potential customer will perceive and behave when faced with your proposal.
It therefore becomes essential to plan in advance all useful actions to promote your brand, product or service and monitor the results of these actions to understand what works and what can be improved.
Getting to know your customer with the FCB Grid.
The strategy to write effective copy is to study the consumer's buying behavior and identify the appropriate input to provide. In 1980, Richard Vaughn vice president of FCB (communications firm Foote, Cone and Belding) defined a method for understanding where a product or service is positioned in a consumer's mind. With the FCB Grid (or also called the Vaughn Matrix) it is possible:
- interpret consumer buying behavior and its implications;
- identify an appropriate advertising strategy to be adopted.
The matrix is formed by a graph where on the y-axis we find the involvement a buyer may feel in relation to a product and on the x-axis the type of approach, rational and emotional.
The processing of marketing inputs is divided into 4 styles formed by the combination of three basic actions:
- Learn, learn (cognitive outcome, rational type): Copy must provide information, facts.
- Feel, feel (affective outcome, emotional type) : Copy affects feelings and attitudes.
- Do, do (conative result, a practical action) : The copy stimulates a behavior.
Placing a product on the FCB grid can give us an idea of how the product is positioned in the mind by the consumer. We can thus make some assumptions about the type of purchase (rational or emotional) and can distinguish four different quadrants to influence the consumer.
The four quadrants
The quadrants summarize the four main objectives for advertising strategies:
- be informative;
- be affective;
- focus on routine;
- promote self-satisfaction.
Let's look at them in detail:
Quadrant 1: High Involvement - Rationality (Learning)
This quadrant includes those generally expensive products that have a high level of importance to the consumer and whose purchase decision requires in-depth reasoning, statistics and data, expert opinions, etc.
Learn - Feel - Do: The user in the first instance gathers as much information as possible about the product or service (functionality, price, etc..), then feels the need to buy it, and finally takes the purchasing action.
The approach to be used within the texts of your campaigns should be very informative (with very long and detailed copy), data will be presented in contexts in which consumers can have time to assimilate the message and reflect.
To create an effective funnel or marketing strategy, it is essential to understand what actions the potential customer needs to take.
In this quadrant we might find products or services such as: real estate, life insurance, PCs, a car (hatchback), a professional camera, financial advice, retirement investment plans, anti-theft systems.
Quadrant 2: High Engagement - Emotionality(Affectivity)
Feel - Learn - Do: The customer first follows his or her own feeling, develops an emotional connection with the brand or product, then inquires by gathering every useful detail, and finally makes the purchaseThe advertising approach should be evocative, enhancing the brand image and connecting with the consumer's values and aspirations, idealizing lifestyles to emulate and pursue.
In this quadrant we might find products or services such as: wedding dress, jewelry, sports car, perfumes and cosmetics, antiques, branded clothing, vacation packages, starred restaurants.
Quadrant 3: Low Involvement - Rationality(Routine)
Do - Learn - Feel: The consumer buys the product, tests it and gets an idea of its quality and how useful it will prove to them, and finally develops (hopefully) trust in the brand.
The advertising approach should be based on repeated "reminder" messages and reinforcement of buying habits, coupons, in-store promotions, and by the occasional introduction of "new and improved" versions of products to keep them attractive over time and to try to attract new consumers by taking them away from competitors.Slogans and jingles, image-based advertising with short, punchy messages.
In this quadrant we might find products or services such as: toilet paper, bleach, newspapers, kitchen towels, disposable razors, stationery.
Quadrant 4: Low Involvement-Emotionality (Hedonism)
In this quadrant fall those cheap and easily accessible products whose purchase is driven yes by emotions but mostly by personal pleasure, by hedonistic drive.
Do - Feel - Learn: The consumer purchases the product, evaluates the degree of satisfaction received from the experience, and finally acquires information.
In this case, you will need to take a "lots of evocative images and little text message" approach for your campaigns; the tone is light and the campaigns emphasize small personal satisfactions. Product experience is an important part of the communication process. Links are often made between product and lifestyle, for example: if you are young, then this is the drink for you.
In this quadrant we might find products or services such as: ice cream, fast food lunch, cigarettes, coke, pizza, toys.
How to use this method?
The FCB grid helps us understand where a product is in a consumer's mind, but such positioning is not absolute. To give an example: when we write text for a landing page how should we write it? Very detailed or very quick?If the product is low-involvement obviously it will not help to give too much information to the user, who being low-involved wants to have only basic but clear information, not the best seller of our product or service.
Making the site of a store that sells children's items inspired by the Montessori Method we must pay special attention to the color palette we use (they should be delicate and convey confidence), the quality of the photos of the products (they should have filters and colors in line with the brand), the subjects represented in the photos ( being children's items it will be essential to show the child using the product and accompanied by the smiling gaze of the mother, to convey empathy with the target audience) .
The product will probably be in the second quadrant of the FCB table, so in-depth text or data or statistics will not be needed, however, one could leverage the experiences of other customers by including social proof with product comments to help overcome obstacles or frictions that block the user from buying and trying to convey trust.
A good way to use Vaughn's matrix is also to take it as a simple thinking tool that helps us think critically about the product, trying to move away from the emotional involvement that we might have by focusing on the consumer and his or her perception.
Cialdini's persuasive copywriting :
Another landmark in copywriting is undoubtedly Roberto Cialdini. In his text, "The Weapons of Persuasion," he tells us about the effectiveness of persuasive copywriting, a type of writing aimed at informing the reader but, above all, pushing them to take an action by exploiting certain principles that come from psychology. These seven principles, are fundamental to structuring the levers to be implemented within our advertising texts:
- The Principle of Reciprocity - Sample offers, free trial periods and coupons are tools that respond to this psychological leverage. This is because users do not like being in debt and to balance this feeling they feel they must reciprocate.
- The Principle of Commitment and Consistency - When a brand is chosen, we immediately feel that the brand is more "close" and "certain." Indeed, no one would admit to making a mistake, and the user always aims to reconfirm their agreement. This principle should be exploited especially when implementing social campaigns.
- The Principle of Social Reproof - The more people who share a specific idea, the more it will be considered valid. When you do not have a specific role model therefore you follow the majority.
- The Sympathy Principle - This psychological lever can be very powerful when it comes to persuasive copywriting. Elements that inspire sympathy are beauty, success, likeness and compliments. These are positive associations that stimulate consensus and following.
- The Principle of Contrast - To push the client to make a choice Cialdini suggests first presenting him with an option that he will with certainty discard. When subsequent ones come along it will undoubtedly be more favorable.
- The Principle of Authority - When one does not have a strong enough personal idea, one tends to follow the greater authority on the subject. This leverage is exploited in advertisements for example when choosing a famous testimonial, while in copywriting it drives one to cite authoritative and important sources.
- The Scarcity Principle - Time-limited promotions respond to the scarcity principle, making something accessible to a few and consequently giving it greater value. Secrecy and rarity can also be used to make something more desirable, with the presence of a limited number of copies.
Dooley's slide of persuasion
Roger Dooley, internationally renowned author of books and articles on neuromarketing, has researched a novel method for tapping into your potential customer's conscious and unconscious needs. He is known for revolutionizing Vaughn's schematic grid view. In fact, Dooley does not contrast rational involvement with emotional involvement, but rather enhances both.
There are incredible insights from his book "The Persuasion Slide" that every marketer should know about to avoid wasting money on ineffective advertising.
Neuromarketing is the science that studies how most of the decisions are made by the unconscious mind, and therefore marketers should target messages to this part of the mind.
While there are various ways to appeal to the unconscious mind such as cognitive biases, cognitive fluency, and persuasion techniques, Dooley has created a simple framework that will allow any marketer to put his or her advertising skills to work in such a way that the message is communicated to the right side of the brain resulting in successful purchases, satisfied and returning customers, loyal prospects, and excellent ROI.
"A little nudge is enough, which must be followed by an unimpeded path."
This sentence and the illustration below encapsulate the idea behind his method of persuasion, "The Persuasion Slide."
The image above is an illustration of Dooley's suggested framework, a picture of what our conversion path should look like.
The person sitting on the slide is your potential customer. The diagram itself makes it clear that the further steps will all involve only the potential customer. You (company) have a role to play, but you may not be part of the process.
Let's look at the different components of the slide now discussed in Rodger Dooley's book and summarized by him in his CXL Institute lecture.
The first and most important element of the illustration is gravity-a factor over which you have no control. It is the prospect's "initial motivation," that thing that made them seek you out. Whatever brought them to your site contains both conscious and unconscious motivations.
The push is the "nudge" you will give the person sitting on top of the slide to get them down. Basically, it is the trigger that brought them to your offer in the first place. It can be done by getting the customer's attention through various elements such as a sales call, with a post on your blog, a newsletter, a tweet, an apt banner, etc..
The mistake some people make in showing a trigger is not giving it any context. Always remember to indicate the benefits of clicking on your button in the button itself. Don't leave potential customers in the dark about what it is.
The better the angle or rather the slope of the ramp, the smoother the descent on it will be. We can control this factor when we argue in our copy about the advantages, benefits, job-to-be-done, discounts or details that characterize our product.
The biggest nightmare and obstacle in a purchase: friction appears when the potential customer is coming down the slide and stops halfway down.
There are two kinds of friction in the potential customer's mind: 1. Real and 2. Perceived.
Real clutch is when for example there are too many form fields to fill in or when the steps in the checkout process are too many , or the purchase instructions are not clear there is a lot of confusion for which no answer is provided.
Perceived friction is more insidious, for example, can occur with the use of hard-to-read fonts that make the buying process more difficult.
In summary, what we need here is: gravity or customer motivation, subsequently an effective nudge that communicates our message clearly and ideally reduces pain and provides pleasure through the angle or motivation we provide on our site through images, copy and discounts and reduces friction by providing a seamless user experience in our checkout process.
In short, make sure that your customer gets to the bottom of the slide without stopping in the middle, and make sure that once they land, they want to come back again and again.
We have seen three ways of approaching our potential consumer: defining where our product is in the potential consumer's mind and applying persuasive levers to lead them to take the action we want them to take. Reasoning about these three techniques will enable you to get to know your customer better and create effective campaigns targeted to their needs!