MSP Copywriting – Part 11

MSP Copywriting - Part 17

Last time we were rounding off the “Interest and Desire” parts of the AIDA model of a sales letter for MSPs and now I’d like to start looking at the “Action” part of the model.

Multiple closes.

The call to action is where you’re going to be asking your prospect to buy from you (or at least register their interest in some way).

On a web page, this is typically the bit at the bottom where you’ll see all the shiny buttons and often there’s a few testimonials and bonuses sprinkled around. Now, to be clear, there’s no rule that there should only be one call to action at the bottom.  Just as a good salesman asks for the order several times and in several different ways (called ‘pre-closes’), so should your copy.

You can have ‘trial closes’ embedded throughout the copy. Some people don’t want to read all the way to the end, so let them buy (or take some kind of action) sooner if they’re impatient. This, you can have multiple calls-to-action throughout your copy which can appeal to those people that just want to buy (or register) but who can’t be bothered to wade through pages and pages of text.

This could mean that for an online shop (selling laptops for example), you may have several ‘Buy Now’ buttons embedded. Or, if you’re asking people to register for a webinar about cyber-security, you could say “register now” in one place and then “reserve your spot” in another place, further down.

These multiple calls-to-action can look different with different buttons or different colours or different images or they can have the words (of the call to action) say different things. And that’s because each one of these calls to action may trigger your prospect to take that call to action because they responded to that particular wording or button. Also, simply having the call to action multiple times throughout your copy reinforces the point that there is a call to action to be taken!

However, please note that whilst multiple calls-to-action can be different throughout your copy, you should definitely limit the actual choices that your prospects are presented with.

Research on consumer behaviour suggests that too many options can be demotivating. In one experiment, when consumers were given a choice between two packs of gum priced the same, only 46% made a purchase. However, when the packs were priced differently, the purchase rate jumped to over 77%. This indicates that while too many choices can lead to decision paralysis, having distinct options (even with slight variations) can encourage consumers to make a decision. The key takeaway here is that offering options may be beneficial, but they should be distinct enough to facilitate decision-making.

This is nothing new and in fact, you can see the same advice being given nearly a hundred years ago if you’ve ever read “The Robert Collier Letter Book” which is seminal work in this field of human behaviour and persuasion. In short, too many options actually reduce the number of sales, so be careful when offering people choice.

A Note About Creating a Linear Path.

In particular on websites, remove all unnecessary distractions that might get in the way of a sale. That’s things like banners, ads, outbound links and indeed any other navigation that is unnecessary. You might legally have to include a privacy policy or a cookie policy but for landing pages, you should trim everything right back where you can. If you absolutely have to have a link to an external site, make it invoke a new window so that you don’t lose the reader or likely as not they won’t come back! If something needs explaining, use a little hover-text or ALT tag or something so that the explanation is in the same place and the reader doesn’t have to leave the spot. I.e. Keep meta-information ‘inline’.

I think that for similar reasons, when you’re running ads on platforms like Meta or LinkedIn, whenever they’re inline the response rate is usually higher than if you’re trying to take people off the platform to another site. So, in those instances, keep your form registrations native to the platform if all you want are contact details. I appreciate that for selling products you may be forced to go to an external site.

Use the Language of Suggestion

As an aside (I believe I mentioned this in an earlier episode) I’d suggest that you don’t tell people to do things, suggest it to them instead. Ask questions that make them come to their own conclusions. They trust themselves more than they trust you, so let them sell themselves on an idea.  Let’s look at two examples where the MSP is trying to encourage their prospect to try a free email vulnerability scan.

The first example could be something with a direct approach such as  “Protect your business emails from threats with our email security checking service. It’s a straightforward solution for safeguarding against cyber threats.”

This version tells the reader what the service does and what to do next, so it’s not the worst example in the world. But it could be better. Asking a question like “When was the last time you assessed the security of your business emails?” and then following up perhaps by  asking whether they’d consider that using 60 seconds to check their email for free is time well invested,  means that they’ll be thinking in terms of their beliefs and values, rather than being forced to accept yours.

Suggestive Questions.

Using suggestive questions is an extension of the last idea.  Rather than asking a question like “Do you think checking your email security is time well spent?” you could ask “Would you be brave enough to ask for a pay-rise if you saved your company from an email breach” or something similar.

Ask People How Serious They Are, Either Directly or Indirectly.

Once again, using questions helps the prospect think in terms of what they want to do. It’s also useful as part of a qualification process higher up in the sales funnel. Asking someone (earlier on in the sales copy) how serious they are about solving their particular issue requires that they confirm whether they are truly interested and then they’ll hopefully be more likely to commit to it because it’s been declared.

You can do this directly or indirectly. For example :

Directly: During a conversation with a prospect, face to face, a question posed early-on along the lines of “How seriously do you want to protect your company’s emails? ” followed by a pause can work wonders.

An Indirect approach (possibly via statement) could be “Depending on how committed you are securing your emails and how many staff you have, we can offer different levels of service resources to suit”.

To be clear, the point here is to make your prospect cement in their own heads their needs and hopefully declare that they’re engaged and committed.

Obviously promoting any kind of offer means that people will have to invest time and money and resources and so next time we’ll be looking at assuming the sale and reframing time and reframing money and when to introduce time and money into your offer.


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Mike Knight