About 99% of the time when you’re creating a piece of content for your business, you’re doing so because you want your prospects to take a specific action.
Examples: You want your prospects to read your sales letter and then buy your product. You want visitors to read your lead page and join your list. You want subscribers to read your email and then purchase your offer.
To that end, each piece of content then needs to accomplish two things:
- Call for attention. Your sales letter, article, lead magnet, or other content needs to engage your reader up front so they read all (or most of) your piece of content. Once they’ve read everything and you’ve built your case for your offer being the solution to their problem, then the second part of this formula comes into play…
- Call for action. Here’s where you tell your reader what they should do next, and why they should take this action now.
Let’s look at these two pieces separately…
Critical Part #1: Call for Attention
As mentioned, the first thing you need to do is engage your readers upfront. If you can’t engage them, they won’t read the rest of your content. And if they don’t read the rest of your content, then you have no hope of converting them. That’s why this piece is so important.
Check out these tips and ideas for getting your reader’s attention…
Start With a Strong Headline
The first thing your prospects are going to see is your sales letter headline, email subject line or other title or headline on your piece of content. That’s why you need to make sure you create a benefit-driven headline.
E.G., “Who Else Wants to Learn The #1 Way To Lose 10 Pounds Fast?”
A good headline grabs attention for a second or two. Now you need to hold their attention. Here’s how:
- Tell a relevant story. This builds rapport and better establishes a connection with you in relation to their problem, goal or interest. For example, if you’re sharing mistakes to avoid, then share one of your biggest mistakes in story form (which is much more engaging than simply stating the mistake).
- Share a startling fact or statistic. For example, if you tell smokers who want to quit how likely it is smoking will kill them if they keep smoking, you’re going to confirm the seriousness of their problem – and you can bet they’ll keep reading (because your offer will help solve that problem).
- Show readers you understand their problem. Many readers feel alone. If you can empathize and demonstrate that you truly understand their pain (from experience), they’ll pay attention to you.
Here’s another way to engage readers…
Focus On The Reader
Too many marketers make the mistake of creating content that’s all about them (the marketer / business owner). They tell stories about themselves. They brag about their accomplishments. Their content is filled with words such as “I,” “me” and “mine.”
What you want to do instead is create reader-oriented content. Make sure your content uses the word “you” generously, and that it focuses on the reader, their feelings, their problems and how you can help them fix those problems. It’s not about you.
Here’s the second piece…
Critical Part #1: Call for Action
If you did a good job of getting your prospect’s attention and engaging them, then they’ll read your entire content – all the way down to your call to action. Your call to action should do two things:
- Tell people exactly what to do next.
- Give them a good reason to do it now.
Let’s look at these two pieces separately…
Tell People What To Do
This is the part of the call to action where you clearly and succinctly tell people what to do next. Be sure the action you want them to take is easy to do (e.g., no hoops or obstacles).
E.G., “Take out your credit card and click here to place your order!”
Now the second part of your call to action…
Give Readers a Reason to Act
Ideally, what you want to do here is generate some sense of importance to get started right away. If your call to action lacks significance, then people are going to procrastinate. And if they procrastinate, then they’re going to forget about your offer and / or buy from someone else instead. That’s why you want them to take action right now to get started using your product to solve their problems, reach their goals, or enjoy their interests.
- One way to create your call to action is by offering a limited-time deal, such as a discount of a special bonus. In other words, you give them an extra incentive to respond quickly to your offer.
E.G., “Take out your credit card and click here to place your order – and do it now, while you can still take advantage of the $50 instant savings.Remember, this offer ends tonight at midnight!”
- A second way to create your call to action is by reminding people that the sooner they get started, the sooner they reach the outcome they desire. Here you pain a “before and after” picture for the reader so they can visualize what it will be like when they solve the problem, reach the goal, or enjoy the interest.
Let’s suppose you’re selling a weight loss program. Your call to action might look something like this: “Take out your credit card and click here to get started – and do it now because the quicker you get started, the quicker you’ll start dropping those pounds, feeling more energized, and enjoying a healthier lifestyle!”
Now let’s wrap things up…
Your assignment for this secret is to answer the following questions about your sales letters, articles and other upcoming content:
- What sort of headline, subject line or title will you use to capture attention?
- How, specifically, will you hold your reader’s attention? (E.G., will you tell stories? How will you connect with your reader / viewer?)
- How will you create a sense of importance to act now with your call to action?
- What will your call to action look like? (Create a draft here.)
Go ahead and ponder these questions, and then I’ll see you in the next secret…