Copywriting for MSPs – Part 12

MSP Copywriting - Part 17

For a quick recap, last time we looked at  :  multiple closes, linear path, suggestive questions and then asking prospects how Serious they are, either directly or indirectly.

Assuming the Sale

When talking, writing or communicating an offer to prospects, it can pay dividends to assume they are going to buy or take action. When you communicate in this an assumptive way, it conveys a feeling of confidence and  is very compelling. So, rather than saying something like “Should you invest in this email protection service you’ll sleep better at night”, you could say When you invest in this email protection service, you’ll sleep better at night”. Admittedly, it’s a small shift but all these small changes add up and compound to give more sales over time.

Don’t Introduce the Price Before The Offer.

The price has no meaning until the value of the offer is understood. Consequently, someone seeing a price prematurely may easily go away (also prematurely) and not be sold because they can’t equate the value.

You may have seen people making this mistake where they offer something like “10% Off” at the top of an advert or something similar. To my mind, it cheapens the copy and more importantly, 10% of anything has no meaning unless you know what 10% represents in the first place and also has no meaning until the prospect has the desire for the product/service in the first place.

Establishing a High Price Value for the Offer 

Unless you are selling a commodity, people are unlikely to know the exact monetary value of your product or service until you tell them. This means you need to build value into your price.

For example, as a managed service provider, you’ll have products and services than can save and/or generate your business clients significant revenue and time, as well as reduced hassle and worry. Your price should reflect that value ideally.

Therefore, when you introduce the price, it should seem small compared to the benefits gained. Very often, people blurt out that they charge £X per user per month, but then they don’t really offer any real explanation of what that entails or the value they’re getting – crazy.

Try and remember that your pricing should ideally reflect the value provided, not the cost to you!
A packet of Paracetamol headache tablets can range from a few pence to a few pounds and the ingredients are pretty much the same. But when you’ve got a painful headache, the price is almost irrelevant and you’ll gladly pay five pounds for some pills where there’s speed or convenience involved.

Wherever possible, add up all the monetary benefits of your product/service so that purchase of it is a no-brainer when it comes to price. Furthermore, try and make your offer different so that you’re not competing simply on price. Bundle other services or points of value so that you’re not simply being compared like for like – otherwise that’d result in a race to the bottom.  Make sure you are comparing apples with pineapples and that your pineapples are more attractive and valuable than the cheaper apples.

Refaming Money

When I used to sell AA breakdown cover back in the mid-nineties for a while after college whilst I was learning to sell before I setup MKLINK, one of the most useful devices I used was reframing the price. 

Instead of presenting the price of the breakdown-cover as £70 or whatever it cost in those days, I used to explain that the prospects would be fully covered and that for just 19 pence per day, whenever they got into a car, they knew they’d be able to get home. 19 pence a day to be able to get home from anywhere in the UK is a lot more bite-sized than £70.

This involves Matching. Because I was involving the prospect in a conversation about their DAILY driving (who drives once a year?), it is appropriate to discuss the investment as an almost negligible daily amount. As an aside, try and remember to use the word investment when describing your services, rather than the word cost – as the saying goes :“the words we use help us win or lose.” Anyway, I digress, In comparison with petrol, insurance, servicing, tyres, batteries, parking, road-tax and everything else, reframing the investment as just 19p a day was a nobrainer to ensure that people had the peace of mind to get home, whatever happened.

Additionally, you can equate the money to something that the prospect wouldn’t think twice about spending money on. In this case, 19p is less than a fifth of a lottery ticket for example. And people instinctively know that getting into a car is a lottery.

If you’ve got something important that equates to a few pounds per day, try equating it to something frivolous like a Starbucks coffee or something else that’s disposable and non-essential. The important thing (e.g. managed services) should be presented as something that’s essential and still less expensive than something frivolous. This is because we can then use the logical part of our decision-making to rationalise the decision to invest in something important that cheaper than something less important.

Refaming Time.

In just the same way that 19p per day is significantly more acceptable than £70 per year, an hour a week is just 8.5 minutes a day.

So if you have some kind of software or platform or process that takes 4 hours per month to use or maintain or manage, that’s an hour a week…or 8.5 minutes a day.  Equate it with something perceived as trivial like making a morning cup of tea or making a sandwich.

Conversely, if your product or service saves time, then this needs to be reframed as something of value to them. Let’s say an AI platform you offer can help them save just 5 minutes a day by intelligently getting rid of spam better than before.

5 minutes a day is 25 minutes per working week or about 1200 minutes a year. That’s 20 hours or two and a half working days. You could reframe this by asking what they’d do with an extra two and a half days holiday – would they have a weekend in Paris or New York for example? Again, the Paris trip which sounds exotic and valuable needs to be contrasted against saving just 5 minutes a day because 5 minutes a day doesn’t sound valuable.

Alternatively, you could equate the time with money. Those 5 minutes a day equate to two and a half days a year which is likely worth hundreds of pounds either saved or gained as the individual will be more productive.

When it comes to making the decision to do something that involves a commitment of resources, remember that all things being equal, business people usually prefer things to ideally be quick, easy,  simple, low-cost and low-risk for high-rewards so these are the dimensions that you’ll need to reframe.

Avoid Words That Suggest Too Much Commitment.

Avoid words and phrases like “Buy Now” and replace them with “Start Using the System Now” or “Confirm Your Reservation”. Again, try not to use “Sign Up” for email registration because it sounds like they’re enlisting in the army – use something more positive. Also, as a quick aside, nobody wants any more spam so saying “Sign Up For Our Newsletter” is likely to be ineffective anyway. Here are some less onerous suggestions :

“Join Our Community”
“Get Updates”
“Stay Informed”
“Be the First to Know”
“Follow Us”
“Connect With Us”
“Access Exclusive Content”

So, just to repeat, don’t make your call to action sentence sounds onerous or hard work.

Make Calls to Action Stand Out.

If you’re using buttons, especially for an online shop, try the colour orange (Amazon have spent a lot of time testing this). You can have something red near (but not on) the button. Try a green mouseover effect  on the button. Try a red and yellow dotted cut-out line, like a coupon – I’ve had good success with this.

We’ll talk more about calls to action next time.


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Mike Knight