I will provide you with persuasive and compelling copy. But only if …
I know everything I need to know about you, your market, and your product or service.
Below is a list of questions – not all of which will be applicable to your particular project or situation. But those that are …
I need you to answer with forthright and unswerving abandon.
Do not hold back. Do not be niggardly with your answers. Spew forth, please!
Consider this your opportunity to talk at length about yourself without interruption (and who doesn’t love to talk about themselves).
Now don’t worry about grammar or punctuation. I don’t care how pretty – or not – your words look.
Understand this: The success of the copy I produce for you will be directly proportional to the depth of information I collect from you.
Research is the single most crucial and determining element in effective copywriting.
Note: If you’re not comfortable writing your answers, then please be prepared to answer them over the phone.
ABOUT YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE
Describe the features of your product or service. (Example of a feature: It’s a shiny black desktop computer, one foot tall by 6 inches wide with multiple I/O ports)
Describe the advantages of your product or service. (Example of an advantage: It can process one billion MB of data in one billionth of a nanosecond.)
Describe the benefits of your product or service. (Example of a benefit: Your computations will be completed faster, you’ll have weekends off and your boss will give you a big, fat raise.)
What does your product or service do? Explain it simply, as if you’re talking to a child in the sixth grade.
Tell me your “elevator speech”, i.e., you’re talking to a potential client about your product or service – and all the time you have is the time it takes to ride down to the lobby in the elevator.
What’s the story behind your product or service, why did you create it?
Which unique features and benefits truly define your product or service – which your competition may not possess or highlight?
What is not commonly known about your company, product or service?
How is your product different from your competitor’s? Which features are exclusive? Which are better than the competition’s, and why?
If your product isn’t different, what attributes can be stressed that haven’t been stressed by your competition?
What technologies does your product compete against?
What problems does the product or service solve?
Who and what industries can use your product?
How does your product work?
How long will your product last?
How much does your product cost?
How easy is your product to use and maintain?
What models, sizes are available?
How quick can your product be delivered, and how and where can it be purchased?
What service and support is available?
What is your guarantee?
List the most commonly asked questions about your product or service as well as the answers you give.
List the most common misconceptions customers have about your service or product.
Tell me all the sales steps you take, starting with lead generation to order fulfillment, or from initial meeting to completion of contract.
Provide me with complete bios of you and other principals within your company or organization. Include accomplishments, accreditations, certifications and affiliations.
List in detail your biggest success stories and case histories.
QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR IDEAL CONSUMER
Who’s your audience, your target market?
What are their demographics, i.e., age, gender, employment, income level, etc.?
What are their geographics, i.e., country, region, state, city, etc.?
What are their psychographics, i.e., interests, culture, lifestyle, hobbies, purchase history, associations, etc.?
What are their technographics, i.e., Internet savvy, purchases online, Web sites they visit, uses the web for work, etc.?
What’s important and what motivates the people in this group?
What hasn’t worked for them in the past?
What words or language will get through to them; what will turn their heads and get them to pay attention?
Why do they need the product, and why do they need it now?
What are the customer’s main concerns vis-à-vis this type of product or service? – e.g., price, delivery, performance, reliability, maintenance, quality, availability, efficiency, service.
What’s the theme, the big picture? What angle should the copy exploit?
What tone should the copy take, i.e., light, humorous, hard-hitting, serious, whimsical, official, friendly?
Please provide me with as many testimonials of satisfaction as are available. The best testimonials offer hard numbers, quantifiable information and full identification of the person providing it.
“After using (product or service) for (number of days or weeks) my sales rose by 137.87%. Your (product or service) is fantastic! It took me less than 3 days to get up and running. Other similar products took me 2 months! Thanks so much!”
–John Client, ABC Company, Albany, New York
MATERIALS I REQUIRE
To present you with powerful and effective copy, I need to collect from you as much physical information as is available and applicable.
The following is a comprehensive request-list of material that will aid me to that end, if available:
Company capabilities brochure
Company memos on product
Marketing and advertising plans
Names and phone numbers of key company people to call for further information
Names and phone numbers of customers to get their point of view
Package copy (labels)
Competitor’s ads and literature and Web site URL
Copies of speeches
Customer letters and testimonials
Direct mail packages
Focus group transcripts
Previous ad tear sheets
Product reviews and evaluations
Sales figures and unit volume
Sample of product
Barry A. Densa