Karl Dennis - Killer Copywriting - 2 Chapter Two

You have their attention. Now it’s time to hit them where it hurts.

If you don’t know the backstory to the pain or desire, they are feeling then you need to do some research on your target reader (aka target audience/market). Once the reader has read your headline and moved on it’s safe to say either they (or someone they know) at least are interested in how you offer to resolve this scenario.

This is where you’re going to be focusing on what is commonly known in the Internet marketing world as “Agitate the problem”. By agitating the problem, you have made the reader re-live the problem not only in their mind but also in their heart. Therefore, this will reinstate how important it is to rid themselves of this problem. This amplifies the solution you’ll be providing later in your offer.

One way of looking at this is in the following story…

You hate your job, it’s a cubicle job, and you move papers for reasons even you barely even know. All you do all day long is type out the forms they give you into a spreadsheet. Your boss yells at you all day long, and it’s not even for something you did wrong. You’re a hard worker. He’s just frustrated and confused, but still, you hate every second of your life when you are inside those four walls.

Then you get a holiday break.

After 10 days pass you are smiling again, you are halfway across the world on a tropic island, and everything you used to worry about seems so silly right now.

You take a sip of the margarita and watch the waves crashing on what feels like your own private beach. You think to yourself.

“What was I letting myself get so wound up about. When I get back, I’ll just stand up for myself more, and I’ll not take things so personally. I’m in control. I work hard. I can be happy there too. Just like this beach.”

When you return to work this feeling fades. Fast. Your boss tells you that “You should’ve finished the Smith file before you left” even though that was never your file. You go to the bathroom and cry. You take out your phone and google pictures of the beach and then sigh and think to yourself “I don’t know if I can live my life this way for 20 more years”.

You go to exit out of the picture of your sandy dream life, and you find yourself greeted by a very well-tanned man on the left of your screen. He’s wearing white expensive clothing standing next to a palm tree with a beach that would put your memory to shame. He looks happy. He looks successful and next to him it says

“How I went from 80 hours a week office job to a 10-hour beach-side business from anywhere in the world in just 2 weeks and no previous experience”.

You wipe the tears from your eyes, and they grow wide. Is there truly hope for you yet?

You read on and realise you’ve found your new saviour. Your inspiration. Your mentor.

For the next week, the only thing that gets you through your days at work is knowing that the book of his you ordered is coming soon, and when it does, your life is going to change.

… Annnnnnnnd scene.

Now, if you’ve ever had a soul-sucking office job, or any job, in general, you know this feeling. It’s terrible.

But my question for you is this… If the reader saw the advertisement on the beach after he’d decided to change things up at work would he still be ordering that book?

Maybe, sure. People do change their minds.

However, what are the chances the reader would want to learn more when they are in their office bathroom stall crying to themselves because they aren’t sure they can physically take another day of this job? Very very high.

I hope my point is clear. There are many different levels of emotion the reader can go through. An entire spectrum and range. If you catch the same person at a different time today than you do tomorrow results may vary. We even these results out by inciting the feelings back into their mind and providing the memories of the heart to flow once again.

TIP: Remember, it’s okay to agitate feelings but as a general rule you don’t want them to feel pissed off at you or hate you. You’re trying to make an impression. For example, I once did some copywriting for a dog walking service in Melbourne Australia when I was first starting. The headline got attention. It read: “Your Dog is Fat!”.

I’m sad to say I still have it. So for the sake of putting my ego aside and helping you- here it is.

Oh, the shame.

Needless to say, the phone was ringing off the hook, but it was not for new customers. Lesson learned. Agitate but don’t aggravate.

Click here to continue learning in Killer Copywriting: Chapter Three.