If you’re in the, say: Widget Alignment business, you can be forgiven for thinking that your lead generation programs should be laser-focused on finding people who need their widgets aligned. From there, it’s a short and intuitive leap to simply asking people if they need their widgets aligned, or whether they’ve considered the benefits of alignment, so you can help ease their pain.
But what of the people who desperately need their widgets aligned but just don’t know they have the problem? Or those that know they need alignment, but don’t consider it a priority?
My point is this: in lead generation, and in email marketing in particular – don’t ask people if they have the problem you can solve. Just tell them how to solve it.
The problem with asking any kind of Yes/No question in an email is that you put the onus on the reader to decide whether he/she should consider reading further. For example, take the email below from payment processing company Cybersource. Fully half the email copy consists of questions posed to the reader:
• Thinking about taking your business global?
• Did you know that 95% of the cards in Brazil can only transact in-country?
Simply put, what if the reader answers “no”? Then you’ve lost him. The much stronger alternative is to flip those questions into action-oriented benefit statements and phrase them in terms of immediate value, for example:
• Now, discover an easy way to take any company global
• Learn how to lift online sales by accepting regional or country-specific payment types
• Download your free report and learn vital information about the most popular payment options worldwide
and so on. Sure, if I’m determined NOT to take my business global, then none of this will be of interest to me regardless. But if I’m on the fence, or if I’ve never considered “expanding globally” per se but could benefit from accepting international payments all the same, then suddenly this is a campaign that resonates.
Remember: don’t ask people whether they need your product or offer. Just tell them what it can do for them.