If you don’t know much about copywriting techniques, and you’ve suddenly got to write an ad or web page to sell a service or product – don’t panic! There are little tricks of the trade and WIIFM (what’s in it for me?) – is the easiest and most essential ingredient.
WIIFM simply switches the language of your writing away from you (the seller) to your prospect or customer.
The cold hard brutal truth of the sales world (and actually the entire universe) is encapsulated in these wise words:
People aren’t interested in you, they’re only interested in themselves. -Dale Carnegie
Ouch! “But what about all the wonderful things that we do?” I can hear you say. “Our amazing products that we spent squillions of dollars developing – all the awards and accolades? Isn’t that enough to wow our customers?”
Nope. It might impress them that you’ve won an award, but only in regards to what you can do for them. How you can make them feel.
If you write about your company, then it’s all about you, and not about your customer. Your customer doesn’t care about you or your company – they’re only interested in WIIFM. Numero Uno!
So, how can you change your marketing words easily?
Substitute ‘we’ language for ‘you’. Instead of writing, e.g. “Our company has 300 staff and prides itself on having won every annual dishwashing liquid award since 1905” - change it to something like: “Do you suffer from skin problems or dryness when you use your dishwashing liquid? Silky Sunlight’s award-winning dishwashing liquid is guaranteed not to damage your delicate skin…”
What pain-point can you solve for your customer?
Put yourself in your customers shoes when you’re sitting down to write any advertising, website copy, blogs etc. Write at the top of your page:
Finally, tweak your copy to make it easy to read and conversational
Now read your copy out loud. Is it easy to understand? Is it like a conversation you’d have with a client in a café? If not, tweak it so that it does. Remember to keep up the WIIFM style so that everything is oriented towards your client.
Add some client benefits throughout, especially at the beginning
One other key ingredient that adds value to the WIIFM scenario is to sprinkle lots of benefits throughout the copy, especially at the beginning. You can even add bullet points to simplify. Remember that readers skim, they don’t have time to absorb all the text on a product or sales page (or any other page for that matter!), so make it super easy for the eye to glide like silk over your writing.
And most importantly, keep your sentences and paragraphs short.
Reassure the logical mind with research results or testimonials – reinforce WIIFM!
Emotions can make a potential customer hungry for your product, but emotions are not always enough to ensure that you get a purchase, click or message from your prospect.
So, after the reader is comfortable with your copy, then reassure the rational mind of that reader that he/she is not being sucked in – support your product or service so that it’s rock-solid (not wishy-washy). Add any research results, tests, awards, testimonials, case studies – anything at all that proves the validity and value of your product.
Then relax and get cosy with your reader
Add a comforting money-back guarantee at the end. The WIIFM will continue to echo in your reader’s mind when they are reassured that if they’re not happy there’ll be no hard feelings, they won’t lose anything. They won’t be ripped off!
Avoid using ‘me, our, we’ words in your copywriting. Substitute them for ‘you, yours.’ Remember that your potential customer wants to feel spoken to and understood, not spoken ‘at’. No customer is truly interested in your business, they’re only interested in what’s in it for them. You may be dismayed, but it’s one of the laws of the universe – and it won’t change!
I do hope that this article has been of some use to you. After all – I’ve been writing for YOU, not for me. Because I know that you’re asking: what’s in it for me?
Do share if you feel uplifted! Or comment below (I love to hear from my readers).