The always-interesting Freakonomics blog in the NY Times recently cited a recent study that confirms the importance of providing lots of product information in your marketing and sales material.
The MediaPost headline says it all: “Majority Of Online Shoppers Check At Least Four Reviews Before Buying.” Take-away point: A solid 68% do their homework before making a purchase.
As a savvy marketer, how do you respond to this knowledge?
- First, make sure you satisfy this hunger by providing all the facts and figures your prospects need to make a buying decision. The more complex — or expensive — your product or service, the more information you need to provide.
- Differentiate yourself. Find something different, unique, special about your widget that nobody else can claim, and emphasize that in your collateral.
- Make your product data available in a variety of formats to please every kind of buyer: Web page, pdf, print (e.g., spec sheets), free samples, etc. Give the people what they want, the way they want it.
- Triple-check your facts. Make sure everything is accurate and complete. Fresh eyes find mistakes that eyes tired miss.
- Add a case study or two. Customer “success stories” demonstrate how you’ve helped other, similar customers in the past. Pretty compelling and persuasive stuff.
Then, of course, you somehow still have to find a way to keep all these facts interesting — better yet, fascinating — to your prospect. After all, you can’t bore someone into buying. A few tips:
- Good copywriting and graphic design are essential. Here’s how it works: An attractive layout catches the eye and encourages further reading. The headline makes you want to read the first sentence. The first sentence makes you want to read the second, then the third, etc.
- Effective copy itself begins by addressing the buyer’s wants, needs, fears, etc. Don’t just start bragging on how great you are. Instead, tell me how my life is going to be better if I make your widget part of my life.
- Balance features and benefits throughout the copy. Don’t just tell me about the advanced anti-lock braking system (feature), for example. Tell me why I should care. Safety, peace of mind, better protection for my loved ones — those are benefits.
And benefits are why people buy.