Dream-powered copywriting

sailingWhile vacationing in Michigan a few years ago, I had the opportunity to go sailing for the first time. I was fortunate that our host, a lifetime sailboat enthusiast and racer, was generous enough to let me take the tiller for more than an hour while he showed me the ropes (no pun intended).

There’s an incredible sense of peace and contentment that comes over you out there. Imagine the experience: pure blue water stretching in every direction, the wind filling the sail and ruffling your hair, and all the time in the world to just relax. No wristwatch, no cell phone, no worries. (And yes, mom, I wore sunscreen.)

Got that image in your head?

Even if you’ve never been sailing, or don’t think you’d enjoy it, I’ve just given you a glimpse of a moment of perfect contentment. Your thing may be hiking, sitting on a beach, going to a movie, reading a book, riding roller coasters with your kids, making an heirloom quilt, or just having time to putter around the house. Whatever it is, it has the power to motivate you and your prospects.

Many marketing people today are hooked on the concept of “pain points,” which is the current buzzword for the fears, frustrations, and worries that encourage buyers to try a new product or service. I get notes on drafts like “more pain here” or “let’s slam down harder on the fear and greed pedal.” That’s one way to sell stuff—once—but it rarely seems to satisfy. Opening the door to your reader’s deepest desires, however, gets pulses pounding and creates repeat business.

The next time you need to create marketing copy, think about what the people you’re writing for really want. What’s going to bring them peace, contentment, happiness, and joy? Can you give it to them?

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