Benefits sell! That’s core to effective copywriting and the power language you need to promote your dental services.
The Sunday edition of my local newspaper featured two ads that got my attention. How they got my attention is what’s important to this post (realize henceforth – I’m more critical than the average reader).
First, it WASN’T the somewhat eye-candy graphics or the positioning on the page (two big deals to most newsprint advertisers). Second, it WASN’T the headline – at least in the way you might be thinking.
The ad’s colors and placement did draw my eye to it. But it was the headline that bothered me.
The ad writer did the common, believed effective, ad naseum, amateur, I-have-a-gazillion-ads-to-write-today-so-I’ll-take-the-easy-way, feature-first headline approach. And perhaps wrapped it up by asking the design department to throw in some cool colors and bold fonts so people notice.
I confess – I read the ad. Was I compelled?
That’s the question your copy must answer – is it compelling?
And copywriting that compels doesn’t lead with features (everyone does that) it leads with benefits.
This brings to mind a recent meeting I was in. Our dental hygiene team was discussing how to promote oral cancer screenings to our patients. Even though the service is undeniably beneficial and has a relatively low cost point (beyond insurance coverage) some patients aren’t compelled.
No doubt it’s a beneficial procedure. But how do you get to the compelling core benefits without dumbing-it-down with feature heavy content and graphics (what I’ve called “est-syndrome” in previous posts.).
Here are 4 words to keep front-of-mind when mining the benefits of your dental products and services.
1) Urgency (Think-if they don’t get this now the world as they know it will end)
Act now! Limited time offer! You must do better than that.
Give your reader a hot-seat reason to jump NOW to get your product or service.
How can you tell the story in the most compelling way? That’s the question.
Urgency isn’t just about prompting a decision. Urgency is about removing the gap as quickly as possible between decision and action.
2) Usefulness (Think – this is so practical…I must show them)
Not all products and services are ultimately useful. So it makes sense that the promotional copy lacks it too.
Do the hard work required to find a product’s or service’s usefulness that’s not obvious. The ultimate task of your copywriting is painting a picture of practical action.
Who’s using the product/service? What’s happened to them? When did they first discover it’s effectiveness? Where are they looking to use it next?
3) Uniqueness (Think – no one has the “angle” we do. And that “angle” is…)
Being unique is overrated. Especially when it’s confused with creative.
How creative your copy is doesn’t necessarily mean it’s unique. You must find a way to tell the story in a way no one’s told it yet.
This may or may not be the most creative. A unique message is about captivating a person’s buying emotion in a way no one has before so the buying decision keeps repeating itself.
4) Ultra-specific (Think – then think again…and again until it’s crystal clear)
The problem with many marketing messages is just that – they contain more than one message. The key to specificity (love that word) is funneling all the possible ideas into one, compelling message.
Too many messages in a single promotion confuses. Compelling copy is about clarity.
It’s the difference in a laser and a light-bulb. One illuminates, the other penetrates.
Certainly, the end result you desire is more than merely illuminating your “market.” Why not penetrate it?
I’ll admit I’m more critical of marketing copy than the average reader. But I know good copywriting when I see it.
And usually it’s because I’m reaching for my wallet.