Your Customer Journey
Learn how to describe your ideal customer in detail so that you can write copy that makes them feel you’re speaking directly to them.
Before a prospective customer is ready to buy, they will usually have gone on a journey with you.
Let’s have a look at the Customer Lifecycle Marketing model, a simple three-stage model depicting the steps that lead up to the point of purchase and beyond:
This model is a newer way of thinking about the sales process rather than the traditional sales funnel approach. Its goal is to win more customers and keep them for life.
The Three Stages
Stage 1: Attract – Consumers get to know your brand and your offers, and you provide useful content to help them identify their needs.
Stage 2: Motivate – You continue educating and helping prospects to figure out if your offers are right for them. For those who’ve made this decision, you help them buy. You keep contact with those who aren’t ready to buy yet.
Stage 3: Delight – You provide exceptional customer service and support after the purchase to keep customers happy and encourage them to promote your brand.
This marketing model clearly shows the progression towards the sale. Your sales copy falls into the second part of the motivation stage where its purpose is to encourage action.
Revisit Your Ideal Customer Persona
Before you get to the point of purchase, you need to know exactly whom you’re selling to. There can be a disconnect between what you think your prospects are looking to buy and what they’re actually looking for.
The realities of the market change all the time, and so do your customers. That means you can’t necessarily rely on an ideal customer persona you created for a previous project.
You may resist it, but it’s time to refocus on a description of your ideal customer. If you don’t do this, you can’t write copy that speaks to them.
An initial description of your ideal customer is a useful place to start. You’ll add to this as you research.
Let’s recap on the two key elements:
Your Customer's Key Elements
- Demographics (e.g., age, gender, location, income, education, family status, etc.)
- Psychographics (e.g., interests, hobbies, attitudes, lifestyle, aspirations, etc.)
Part of lifestyle is someone’s use of social media and whom they follow. Pinpointing the social media platforms they use will provide you with a vast data source. Go to these platforms to mine for more data if you’re having trouble getting specific enough.
Remember, you’re looking to describe someone you can give a name to with a life you can define. Then you can reflect this persona in your marketing.
Uncover Their Challenges
You want to find out what your ideal customers are asking about, what solutions they’re seeking, and how they’re feeling.
This is a crucial aspect of copywriting. If you aren’t familiar with the issues your prospects face, you won’t be able to write copy that resonates with their challenges. And you won’t be able to offer them a vision of their desired outcome.
Three Key Customer Questions
- What they’re struggling with (their challenges)
- What emotions these challenges are bringing up for them (their pain)
- How they want things to be different (their dreams and aspirations)
Listen to What They’re Saying
You need to discover not just what your audience is saying, but how they’re saying it.
When you’re recording the results from your research, note down the precise words people use. These are words to put in your copy. If you paraphrase, you’ll be using your language and not theirs.
For example, you’re selling a start-up accountancy package to sole traders. You consider these people to be “entrepreneurs” and you intend to use the word in your copy. However, your target customers don’t identify as “entrepreneurs” and therefore they can’t see themselves in your copy. They move on to another ad and buy from someone else.
There are a variety of methods open to you to find the data you need:
Find Out What Your Audience Wants
Speak to your customers regularly. You don’t have to wait until you have a specific offer or launch coming up. You could ask for a 1:1 call with existing customers or even hot leads to discuss their current needs. People like to be asked their opinion so they’re likely to be willing, but make it clear this isn’t a sales call.
Survey them. Devise a quick but thorough survey for those on your list. Give an incentive for them to complete the questions such as a 10% discount voucher. It’s a tried and tested way that works especially if you have lists of engaged followers.
Here are a few examples of questions you can ask:
- What's your number one obstacle to business growth?
- What’s the most frustrating thing about your current situation?
- How would you like things to change?
You’ll need to adapt your questions to your business type and your customers. Make sure each question will give you the data you’re looking for.
Use social listening. As most of your would-be customers are probably on social media, you can tap into data from social channels and discover exactly what they’re asking about and what solutions they’re seeking.
Create a detailed description of your ideal customer persona including name, age, demographics, and psychographics.
Gather data about your ideal customers through interviews, surveys, and on social media by answering these questions:
What challenges are they struggling with?
What emotions are these challenges bringing up for them?
How do they want things to be different?
Delve into the language they use and record words and phrases they use for:
- Their challenges
- Their pain
- Their dreams and aspirations.
From the total data you’ve gathered, identify 3 issues or challenges and 3 wants or aspirations for your ideal customers.