We’ve all seen those advertisements for weight loss products, promising to help you lose 20 pounds in a week. Those messages rank so high on the hyperbole scale that only the most gullible of customers would give them any attention.
Afraid of coming across as a snake oil salesman, many business hold back too much in their marketing, says Amy Harrison, host of “Hit Publish,” a podcast about sales copywriting.
“People’s no. 1 fear is sounding over the top, but the no. 1 problem is underselling,” Harrison said during a recent episode.
Harrison sees a lot of businesses describe their products or services as “amazing” or “awesome.” “These terms are both overused and ambiguous,” she said. “What’s amazing to one person can be awful to another.”
A more effective way of describing your business is to build and use a list of “butterfly moments.
“Butterfly moments are vivid, emotionally evocative points in time that crystallize in your customers’ mind that a significant change has taken place, not unlike a caterpillar becoming a butterfly,” Harrison said.
Start by writing down a collection of moments in a customer’s life where they’ve experienced a major change, one that brings them joy (think: graduation, a first date, a new job, a marriage proposal, a positive pregnancy test, a promotion, a book deal, retirement, etc.). Next, imagine how your flowers and service can help them celebrate those moments. Finally, write the scene, so customers can picture themselves experiencing these butterfly moments.
There are four key elements that help you set a scene, Harrison said:
- Where is your customer? What’s the backdrop? Are they at home? At work? Socializing?
- What made them notice something changed? Was it a chance encounter? A special achievement? A demonstration of their skills or knowledge? Media attention? A special moment with a loved one?
- Who is with the customer when they realize the change? We are social creatures and often look for validation outside ourselves. A bride-to-be wants to hear her mother and friends love her prospective wedding gown before she buys it. A high school football player wants his dad in the stands when he runs the ball in for a touchdown.
- What emotions is the customer feeling during the butterfly moment? Pride? Anticipation? Hope?
“The key point here is to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and imagine the situations when they feel like they’re at a great turning point in their lives,” Harrison said. “Think of as many scenarios as possible and keep them on one document so it’s handy when it’s time to write copy.”