In Breakthrough Advertising, my favorite copywriting book—ever—the great Gene Schwartz breaks down prospects in 5 categories:
- The Most Aware
- Product Aware
- Solution Aware
- Problem Aware
- Completely Unaware
It's a more granular and actionable concept than the more usual cold vs hot traffic distinction.
Indeed, it's a very powerful tool I use every time I'm starting a new copy. And I always ask myself: in which of those 5 stages is my prospect?
And I do think everyone trying to write effective copy should do the same.
Let's explore this concept through a practical example.
For the exercise purpose, I will try to sell a copywriting course—but of course my approach will depend on the prospect's level of awareness.
Since it is more natural, I will go from cold to hot degree of awareness.
5. Completely Unaware
At this stage, the prospect has no knowledge about the problem. He may not even have identified the problem. He also has never heard about you. We need to use a lot of curiosity to capture his interest and then convince him that he has a problem, needs to tackle it now and that we're just the solution to his problem.
Headline Example: Read this if you want to double your sales with only half your audience.
Here we don't specify what is "this" but only talking about the benefits of becoming a new copywriter. Note that we don't even mention copywriting in the headline. It will be brought later on in the copy body.
4. Problem Aware
At this stage, the prospect knows he has a problem, but has not yet identified a solution. It is really important to present your solution as the best alternative to solve his problem and why it's better than any other solution out there.
Headline Example: How my business went to 5 figures a month after I learned copywriting.
Here we specify copywriting as a solution to the "earning more money" problem our prospect may have identified at this stage. In the copy body, it will be important to explain why learning copywriting is the best solution to this problem right now.
3. Solution Aware
At this stage, the prospect has identified a solution to solve his problem but may not be aware you exist and you can solve their problem. I would use a lot of authority and social proof elements to immediately be considered as a viable option.
Headline Example: "This guy is probably the best copywriter alive..." says Joe Sugarman
The prospect may have identified he needs to learn copywriting but doesn't know you yet. A great way to break the ice is to have other reputable copywriters to recommend you. What you also can do at this stage is provide free content to provide valuable advice and hope for being considered as an option when they decide to learn copywriting.
2. Product Aware
At this stage, the prospect knows you and your product. But he's not sure yet you are his best option and hesitate between a short list of competitors. Here what you need is proof that you offer the best solution to his problem.
Headline Example: How Kevin—my student—went from 0 to $170,000 a month just by following my copywriting method?
Here we need to differentiate from other copywriting mentors:
- Qualify yourself as a copywriting teacher to be considered by solution aware prospects.
- Bring authority and social proof that we are the best copywriting guru out there thanks to spectacular testimonials.
Then we become an obvious choice for this type of prospect.
1. The Most Aware
At this stage, the prospect knows you and is certain you are the best solution to his problem. For some reason he has not bought your product yet. The most common reason that blocks the sale at this stage is the price.
Headline Example: [Only for the Black Friday] -70% on my Ultimate Copywriter Pack: From Email Marketing to Killer Sales Pages
You can run huge discounted offers 3-4 times a year to close all the guys that already follow you, read all your emails and watch your free content without being a client yet. Such rare discount events will be most of the time enough to convert them to customers. But make sure you add a lot of urgency in your copy.
From now on, I recommend to always wonder which level of awareness your prospect is when you write a new copy or analyse one.
I didn't have time to explain this, but of course, sales objections are different depending on which stage your prospect is.
If you learned something useful, please share this post with your closest copywriter friends.