KarlieRobinson.com

Rural Housewife or Tech Entrepreneur? You Decide

Full Spectrum Copywriting

with 4 comments

I’ve just been hired for what initially was billed as a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) job. The thing is, when I’m done, the website isn’t going to be optimized just for the engines. If I do my job well, the site will also be optimized for sales conversions.

Let me explain…

The company I’ll be working with offers a software suite to enterprise customers. The important part of these transactions is understanding how enterprise level decisions are made.

First off, most sales training makes closing the deal sound as if you simply need to get past the gatekeeper and convince a decision maker. As if the process is a linear game, like Mario trying to rescue the princess.

The reality in enterprise level B2B sales is getting the buying committee to understand how the products and services will benefit their organization. Knowing that each person is going to have a different point of view on how their company will best be served. For some it’s all about the financial commitment and return on investment (ROI). For others it’s integration into an existing systems.

This is where the idea of Full Spectrum Copywriting comes in.

When I’m writing anything that might be technical or only appeal to professionals in a specific industry, I assume the audience has both entry level and expert understanding of the topic.

To keep everything organized, I start with plain language and use more industry jargon as I go.

As someone reads down a page or goes deeper into the site by clicking second and third level links, it’s important they understand what they’re buying into before they get overwhelmed by terminology. By continuing into industry specific jargon, experts in the field should also be satisfied that the company might actually know what they’re talking about.

Just don’t get hung up on on what defines your unique set of technical terms since they’ll vary by the audience. For example, if I’m talking about how a product or service saves money, I’ll be sure to include details only an accountant would love.

This technique also works outside enterprise sales because you’re never quite sure who’s reading your materials. Even consumer items will have quite a broad spectrum of people who will need their questions answers.

One example would be a family contemplating a big ticket purchase. Will your customer’s spouse see the benefits?

We also try to use Full Spectrum Copywriting techniques at On-Disk.com since there’s always a good mix of expert and new users viewing the catalog. I’m fairly certain our customers don’t always run their purchases past a spouse or committee, but it’s really easy to assume the customer knows what you’re talking about or leave out the juicy, technical details advanced users might need to know before they buy.

I’d love it if you’d leave questions for me about Full Spectrum Copywriting in the comments below.

~Karlie

Written by Karlie

January 15th, 2010 at 7:13 am

4 Responses to 'Full Spectrum Copywriting'

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  1. How do you figure out what terms (and phrasings) are at what level of beginner/expertness? How do you learn these terms if you're copywriting for a field you're encountering for the first time (or does that not happen much)?

    Have you ever done an experiment to see how much more effective full-spectrum is (over writing entirely for a novice or an expert audience, over writing with the reverse order – expert terms at the beginning, beginner at the end)? That sort of data would make an incredibly compelling pitch for FSC.

    Mel

    18 Jan 10 at 1:12 AM

  2. Mel, this probably needs a follow-up blog post. I'll do my best to get it posted today. ~Karlie

    Karlie Robinson

    18 Jan 10 at 9:44 AM

  3. http://karlierobinson.com/2010/01/18/full-spectrum-tech-writing-defining-the-process/ has some answers for you. But please post more if you have any.

    Karlie Robinson

    18 Jan 10 at 2:22 PM

  4. [...] let me take Mel’s questions one at a time and see if I can’t clarify [...]

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