In the movie, The Prestige, one of the main characters dissects the elements of a magic trick.
You start by showing the object you’re going to manipulate in some way (i.e. make disappear).
You manipulate the object, in this case you make it disappear.
Then, you bring it back. This is the prestige. It’s not enough to make something disappear. You need to bring it back.
In essence, what he’s talking about is closure. You need to bring closure to whatever you’re doing or it will feel unfinished. This is true for a lot of things in life, including your marketing and copywriting.
How do you do this? Well, let’s look at how people buy. For the most part it looks like this:
* Someone has a problem
* They look for a solution to their problem
* They determine the best source for their solution
So, to give you an example of this, let’s say someone wants to lose weight.
* Their problem — they want to lose weight.
* The solution — they want a diet and exercise program that will work for their specific solution
* The source — they look for the best nutrition/fitness person to give them that solution (whether it’s a book or a home study course, work with someone one-on-one or something else).
If you look at a sales letter, many times it mirrors this process:
* Outlines the problem
* Agitates the problem
* Explains the solution
* Emphasizes that the business writing the sales letter has the best solution
See how this works? Okay, so let’s look at another copywriting example — how you write benefits.
First, what is a benefit? In a nutshell, benefits are what people buy. It’s the “what’s in it for me.” It’s what gets people excited about buying your product or service.
As an example, if we go back to the weight loss example, people aren’t really buying losing weight. What they want is the BENEFITS of losing weight — i.e. they look good, they feel good, their health improves, etc. Think about it, if someone didn’t care what they looked like, how they felt or if they were sick or not, why would losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight be a priority in their life?
They want the benefits of being thin, not so much being thin for thin’s sake.
So, with that in mind, when you write a benefit, you can work in both the problem and the solution. For instance:
Frustrated because the scale has been stuck at the same number for MONTHS no matter WHAT you do? You’ll learn my secret for smashing through that plateau and getting back on the weight loss track.
It’s not enough to simply talk about the problem. People need to know they’re going to get a solution. They already know the problem, they want to know they’re getting a solution. You need to bring it back, show the prestige.
Now, why do you want to go through all of this? Because providing closure feels comfortable to people. And the more comfortable you can make them in the sales process, the more likely they’ll become a customer.