When you have a 'great deal' for customers, it can start triggering alarms that it's too good to be true, says expert copywriter Jeff Sexton.
Buyer's unconsciously ask WIIFY ("What's in it for you?) or WIIFM ("What's in it for me?), depending on your point of view. When you have a deal that seems too good to be true, you need to include the opposite of the buyer's interest. Rather, you need to explain: what's in it for the person selling it?
Buyers need to understand how you could possibly afford to give them such a good deal. What's the benefit to the seller?
This approach started with the classic "Frustrated Contractor Letter." The HVAC industry makes most of its money in the summer selling air conditioners. In the winter, they're just trying to break even. The winter, the letter explains, we're frustrated just seeing our installers just sitting around the office drawing a paycheck without any work. That's why we can do this so cheap.
Then the letter ads another explanation: We over-bought during the summer and have X number of units left....
For this to work, the customer has to believe you. Credibility comes when you disclose how you're making money off the deal. Transparency buys a lot of credibility.
You can also introduce an element of urgency that is credible. If I can convince you that I can only offer these units at this price until they're gone - or until spring - then you feel a desire to take advantage of the deal before it's too late. Everybody understands, of course, why Christmas lights are so heavily discounted after Christmas. I don't want to store them!
Jeff Sexton is the writer and community manager for BoostCTR, a crowdsourcing approach to getting the best text ads possible, ads that are guaranteed to beat a company's present ad. This interview was recorded on August 16, 2011 at the SES Conference in San Francisco.