Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Win Customers by Filling in the Blanks

image When we don't anticipate our visitors' needs and only present features and benefits on our site were asking them to fill in the blanks about how our solution solves their problem.

Every visitor is trying to solve a problem. Period.

Tell your visitors how they will will solve their problems with your product, and they will turn into buyers.

Your competitors are afraid to do this. In this post were going to explore some new ways of looking at your visitors so that you can speak to their problems.

You Don't Have To Solve All Problems

Businesses are afraid to talk about specific problems because afraid they might miss some. The thinking is, "we can't anticipate every need so we will let the reader figure out."

So, is it your decision to solve nobody's problems because you can't solve them all?

Be Smart About Who You're Targeting

Since you can't solve everybody's problem you've got to be smart about whose problems you are going to address. Here are some questions that will help you select the right customers to target.

  • What is the most common problem your visitors are trying to solve?
  • Who are the most profitable prospects coming to your site?
  • Who are the easiest to close?
  • Which customers have the longest lifetime value?

Every business will have their own definition of the right customer. Of course you should only consider prospects that will be coming to your Web site.

If you can solve their problems, tell them

Now you can dive in and tell your visitors exactly how you're going to solve their problem. Don't ask them to fill in the blanks. Draw a clear line of reasoning between their problem and your solution. It's no longer necessary to simply describe your features and benefits. Tell them how your company is going to give them what they want at a price that is more than fair.

Don't Wimp Out

As you create content that is specific, compelling and invites people to act, you'll inevitably feel that you're being too specific. Don't wimp out. If you start to worry about what your less important visitors will think, you'll find yourself creating the mishmash of ineffective, unfocused content that will give you exactly what you don't want: more traffic for your competitors.

Your bravery in the face of specificity will pay off.

As this series progresses we'll talk about the tools you'll need to uncover your key visitors' stories and identify the content they'll need to feel confident taking action on your site. We'll also talk about how to avoid the organizational pitfalls that can lead to ineffective content.

Don't miss a post.

photo courtesy satty4u via sxc.hu


  1. CJ Romberger11:16 PM

    I like your 4 points for smartly targeting clients.

    I think it's a balance. We need to anticipate their needs, but I also think it's important that we ASK our visitors and prospects what problem they're trying to solve when they call us, instead of just assuming that we know.

    Give them choice, then show them we know.

    Sometimes the problem they're trying to solve is that they simply want to be heard.

  2. CJ,

    I completely agree, as anyone who knows you would.

    How would you "ask?"

    I want to be sure that marketers don't get on the slippery slope of writing too generally. That's the main point of this post.



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