"The Customer is Always Right"…About Some Things
If you want to stir up emotion with internet marketers, 5 words are all you need to say: "the customer is always right."
The memory of every customer who ever asked for a refund 10 seconds after downloading the product, of every customer who asked a tech support question that's answered in big bold letters at the top of the README, of every customer who...you get the idea. It all comes flooding back.
Well, there are some things that the customer is always right about.
The 2 Most Important Words in Copywriting
...they are: "So what?"
If your copy provokes that reaction in the reader, you lose.
If the customer doesn't think your copy got the point across, they're right.
You may know how awesome your product is. And you may think that your copy has expressed it's awesomeness perfectly. But if they customer doesn't feel it, well, the customer is right.
So, outside of putting your sales copy out there and seeing what kind of reaction it gets, how do you know whether it passes the "so what" test, and if it doesn't, what can you do about it?
A good first pass would be to ask yourself, "if I tried, could I read this and say 'so what'?" When we read our own copy, it's easy for us to pick out all the little sparks of genius that went into it. But we have to remember that they won't jump out at everyone else like they do at us. Read your copy trying to miss them and see if you can.
Doing this a few days after you've finished writing, when the excitement has worn off a little, can be even more effective.
Next, get an honest friend to read it and watch their reaction. If their face is motionless till they end when they say "sounds good to me," you probably need to put some more work into it.
Ask some probing questions to see whether they understood it, whether your key selling points jumped out at them, what doubts they were left with, etc.
Be sure to ask the right questions. Not, "did you understand it?" but "what would you say was the main message?" Not "did it leave you with any doubts about the product?" but "what doubts did it leave you with about the product?"
Make sure they know you're hoping to get answers rather than validation.
If you're having trouble figuring out how to get past "so what," remember that people aren't interested in your product -- they're interested in the benefits they'll get from it. More specifically, they're interested in end-results.
The FTC has made it more difficult to talk about results without getting into hot water. (I'm not a lawyer, but as I understand it) you either need to know and reveal what your typical customer's results are, or you need to go into detail about how a particular person used the product so that it's clear what outside factors may have influenced their results.
But if you can show real-world results that aren't "so what" results, and that customers can see themselves achieveing, that'll give you a good leg up on passing the "so what" test.