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customer experience, Marketing

When customers ask “WIIFM?”

Written by Jason Groom
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Originally published
August 17 2016,
updated
September 14 2019

Customers demand to know “what’s in it for me” and, whatever “it” is, they want it NOW. Here’s our guide to telling them, grabbing their attention and eliciting a response from all of your cross-channel marketing efforts.

1. Don’t make them hunt for it
As a wise old ad man once said, “don’t bury your headline in your copy”. If you’ve got a great offer, or some great news, shout it loud and make it prominent. There’s no room for intrigue or marketing fluff, simply make your most important messages the most obvious.

2. It’s all about ME
It might come as a shock but your customers don’t really care about you. Don’t feel bad or take it personally but what they’re really interested in is themselves. So, avoid talking about you and your business except where it benefits them, and focus instead on their wants and needs. Banish “we” and “our” and substitute “you” and “your” in your copy to automatically spin the focus in their direction.

3. Say, what?
Friendly, open and conversational is the way forward with your tone of voice. Jargon is the enemy of good communication - avoid it like the plague. If you wouldn’t actually say it, don’t write it.

4. Be specific
What is in it for them? Don’t be woolly and vague about what you’re offering. Re-read what you’ve written and see if you could tell. If you can’t, what chance does the recipient have?

5. Make the CTA obvious
How can they respond to your offer and what is the call to action? Whatever it is, whether it’s “click here to register your interest” as a big, bold button on an email or “use the hashtag #IheartABC” on Twitter, it needs to not only stand out but be totally unmissable.

6. Incentives motivate
Think of an incentive simply as encouragement. If you want your customer or prospect to do something, then find a way of nudging them in that direction. 20% off? Better terms? A bigger size? Speedier delivery? Give them a good reason to transact with you.

7. The time is now (or at least pretty darn soon)
Give your offer a limited shelf life. Convey some urgency and a reason to act NOW.

8. Hey good looking!
Great imagery speaks volumes and can convey in an instant what words alone may take much longer to describe. And we’re not just talking here about flat, static images – think animated gifs, caricatures, infographics even animation.

9. Cross the channel
Employing a range of channels will obviously give you the best possible chance of connecting to your audience. They’ll engage with you whichever way THEY choose so what they see and, on whatever device they view it on, it needs to recognisable and consistent.

10. Think different
Don’t describe yourself or your offer in exactly the same way your competitors do. Inject some vavavoom and energy into the messaging to make you stand out from the crowd. Churning out the same old spiel gets people turned off, tuned out and reaching for the unsubscribe option.

11. Feel their pain
Walk a mile in your customer’s shoes (not just so you’re a mile away from them!) to understand their issues and see what really winds ‘em up. For example, if contacting you during office hours is tricky, make it obvious how they can get in touch outside of those times. In short, “empathise and solve”.

12. Who? Me?
You know my name? So what? Peppering the target’s name into our comms no longer cuts it in the personalisation stakes. True 1:1 marketing means adapting our offers and messaging to known preferences, buying history, geographic and demographic information to get the best response rates.

Go on, make ‘em an offer they can’t refuse!

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