Recently I was at a friend’s house when I noticed this nifty advertisement on his shelf.
After reading the copy I wanted to share with you some of the copywriting techniques it uses and how you can still use them in your business today.
Specific, audience-focused headline
I love this headline because it speaks directly to the concerns and questions relevant to someone who may turn into a customer of an Apple II computer.
While the subject of the headline wouldn’t be as powerful today because personal computers are no longer new, the principle of dealing with a question or concern head-on still works.
Too often you can trip yourself up trying to think of clever headlines, when a more straight-forward approach would work. I like to warm up the headline writing skills of business owners by having them use the following template:
[Target Market] Interested in [Subject]? Read This Today
It might not make it as the final headline, but it focuses your attention on the interests of your reader.
Social proof: targeting many, speaking to one
With personal computers being relatively new, Apple understood that people find safety in numbers when dealing with a new concept. This is why they explain who else is using them, and list a specific group using language the target buyer can relate to:
“Thousands of people have already discovered the Apple computer – businessmen, students, hobbyists. They’re using their Apples for financial management, complex problem solving – and just plain fun.”
Notice how the advert specifically addresses a range of target buyers, without sounding vague or waffly? This is something you can still do today.
If your sales page or content is targeted to a range of people, don’t lump everyone together in a generic address, rather segment your audience into sections your reader can identify with.
Independent value AND compelling benefits
Whilst this advert is obviously promoting a specific model of computer, it is a useful read to someone interested in buying a personal computer but not knowing where to start.
The advert includes helpful tips (which subtly showcase the benefits of the Apple computer) including:
- You don’t want to be limited by the availability of pre-programmed cartridges. You’ll want a computer, like Apple that you can also program yourself.
- You don’t want to settle for a black and white display
- You’ll want a computer that can grow with you as your skill and expertise with computers grows
Clear call-to-action with free bait
The advert leaves nothing open to interpretation when it comes to the call to action. You are instructed explicitly what to do next.
Not only that, but at this stage you’re not asked to buy anything just yet, providing a very low barrier to people who might be interested.
- Get a free copy of the Consumer Guide to Personal Computing.
- Call 800-538-9696
- Or by writing us
- Then visit your local Apple dealer. We’ll give you his name and address when you call.
Notice how the call to action comprises:
- A reason to take action (the incentive of the free guide)
- What you should do (call or write)
- What happens next (visit the dealer who you will be introduced to)
This is important because it reminds your customer why they should take action, makes it easy for them to do so, and strips away the mystery of taking action. (not knowing what will happen after a call to action can put people off ever getting in touch.
What do you think? do the principles still work today? Let me know in the comments below!