Can You List the Seven Things Everyone Wants to Save…?
This is part three of a four-part series about what your prospects most want to know right away as they read your copy.
And whether you tell them might decide if they keep on reading (or not).
The answer is, of course,
“What will your product do for me?”
but this time, we're going to take a different angle on the how.
So far, we've covered what your product will help them do, or gain.
This time we’ll look at what you can help your prospect save (with examples!)
Can your product get something your prospects want or need faster?
This is important to most people—we have too much to do and not enough time to do it.
Saving time is a powerful hook for your copy.
Elmer Wheeler used saving time to his client’s great advantage. After meticulous testing, he came up with this headline for Barbasol shaving cream:
“How would you like to cut your shaving time in half?”
According to an article in The New Yorker, those words increased sales of Barbasol by 300%.
Barbasol was, and still is, just a shaving cream—you push a button at the top of a can and you spread the foam on where you’re going to shave your face.
Nothing that would get you excited today.
But when it first came out, a lot of men’s shaving creams still came in a tube—you had to squeeze cream into a bowl, add some water and mix it up with a brush before adding it to your face.
All that took time.
Maybe not a lot of time, but still—five or 10 minutes.
Barbasol cut all those steps out, saving precious time.
If Elmer Wheeler had it correctly, it cut shaving time in half…
... and increased sales by 300%.
What about saving time for writing a blog post?
Undoubtedly, if you hang out on LinkedIn often enough, you would have seen SaaS products competing for customers claiming to make blogging a breeze if only you subscribe to their writing app that’s fueled by artificial intelligence.
Publishing articles and coming up with ideas is hard, as any content marketing manager will agree, and saving time on writing may seem like the perfect solution to your problem.
Slicing, dicing, doing it all
Vegematic and other similar products on infomercials promise to save time by doing everything, but most importantly, doing it faster than a knife on a cutting board.
A note on saving time
If the audience you're going after are teenagers and young adults, saving time might not be a big issue for them—they’re mostly bored or have too much time.
But as soon as you've got kids or you're getting into your fall or winter seasons of life, time becomes valuable, so the promise of a quicker shave or publishing a blog post faster becomes a mouth-watering offer.
Everyone loves to save money.
Rich people do.
Poor people do.
Everyone else in between does, too.
Who doesn’t love the grocery store coupons—it’s one of the most exciting events of the week!
Have you noticed how sometimes you’re bombarded with Facebook ads for a brand you love and purchased from?
Like some bundle deal, that’s 80% off the regular price of things you’ve always wanted but never bought.
Do you need it?
But you want it…?
Will you use it?
Will you buy it?
… Are you kidding? Saving 80%. Of course, you'll buy it.
Showing your prospect how they'll save money is simply one of the best sales techniques around.
Introductory offers, grocery store coupons, buy one get one free, upsell promotions… people happily prop up their average order value with upsells.
Isn’t that like saving time?
It can be, but sometimes it’s different.
Let's talk about chainsaws.
You can cut a lot more wood with a lot less effort when you use one.
Let's say you bought so many books on how to write good copy that you now need a new bookcase.
You could go into the woods with your axe, chop down a tree, put the logs in the back of your F350 and drive to a lumber mill.
Pay the guy to get to the front of the line and have them cut the logs into boards to build your bookcase.
Or you could take your chainsaw on a sawmill frame into the woods... and drive out with the boards ready for your bookcase.
Much less work.
(Of course, you could also go to Home Depot and just buy the board or a furniture store and have a bookcase delivered to your house. But if you're a diehard do it yourself person, the chain saw is the way to go. It will save you so much work compared to an axe.)
So be sure that if any product you sell saves work or has the potential to be used as such is part of your pitch!
People just won’t do things that are the least alluring or hard to do.
But when there's something they need to do, they can’t say no to a labor-saving device that will do exactly that.
It's fair to say a large part of the medical establishment exists simply to eliminate discomfort.
It’s a big selling point.
You go to a doctor for a bad cough, the chiropractor for a bad back, or the physical therapist for muscle pain.
These services excel because they promise to save you from discomfort.
People buy things all the time to head off the discomfort, one way or another.
The key to making this work is to first get into your customer’s heads to know what they're uncomfortable with.
Which discomforts bother them enough so they’ll pay money to get rid of those or at least greatly reduce them?
Now show them how your product can relieve one or more of those and watch your sales plummet.
Parents worry about their kids.
So the electronics industry came up with the nanny cam that keeps a watchful eye on babies when parents are not in the room.
Nanny cams are popular—an online site for parents recently listed the best nanny cams of 2021…
... 30 of them.
So yes, they're popular and address a common worry.
As Elvis Costello said, “Accidents will happen.”
The whole insurance industry is made up of products to ease the worry of financial angst.
Worried about a dent in your car?
Worried about providing for your family after your demise?
Worried about hospital bills?
Worry about what others think
Max Sackheim’s famous (and very successful) headline,
“Do you make these mistakes in English?” plays on people’s insecurities.
At the time it came out, there was a huge market of people who worried about being looked down upon by others as scruffy and uneducated.
And in fact, most study courses still tap into that fear today.
That’s because it sells.
People like certainty, and doubt puts a big dent in it.
Saving someone from doubt can alleviate that dent and bring back the certainty people so desperately want.
Think about a trip to the doctor's or the lawyer's office.
Remember all those diplomas and certifications on the wall?
They’re there to reduce your doubts and instill confidence or certainty.
Another way to do it, as Texaco did back in the 60s, was a jingle for their commercials, which ended this way:
“You entrust your car to the man who wears the star… the big, bright Texaco star”
… almost like they deployed a Texas Ranger to every service station.
If you heard the jingle enough times, how could you ever doubt Texaco again?
When people look for a solution to something, it's because they feel, or they know, they cannot get the result that they want—by themselves.
They're not confident about doing the thing, so they look for confidence in the person providing the solution.
If you can, inside of your messaging, relay or give them that sense of confidence. Show them that by choosing your product they can not only overcome a hurdle but get what they're actually looking for.
Saving personal embarrassment
People hate being embarrassed.
If you can promise your product (say, a deodorant) will save them from embarrassment (body odor), or at least reduce the chance of it, always do it.
Time, money, work, discomfort, worry, doubt, and personal embarrassment.
Your audience matters and it helps to know where they are and which of these things will work on them.
Don’t try to use this one or that one, just because you’ve seen it here. They’re universal, yes, but you still have to pay attention to the conscious, deep thinking and answer this:
What are my prospects trying to save?