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Copywriting to Beat Price Resistance With the Cappuccino Effect

Aug 12, 2008
Copywriting presents special challenges when your website visitors arrive with a mindset of, "I can't afford this service." To convert these prospects to clients, you copywriting needs to reframe your prices and fees.

Recently someone sent me an email, saying, "My target market is people who are very smart but who chose fields where they don't make a lot of money. How do I motivate them to buy?"

(1) Emphasize value.

Frugal clients have learned how to spend money wisely. For example, clothes can be compared on "cost per wearing." Demonstrate that your product or service can

--help buyers earn far more than they invest
--help buyers save far more than they invest
--help buyers save time so they can earn (or save) more than they're spending

(2) Show buyers they're getting much more than they realize. Often they're buying one service but gaining additional, unexpected benefits that have real value.

"You're not just getting business information," one coach says. "You are also getting accountability and a sounding board. So you won't just get ideas: you implement them and you gain energy."

"When I walk your dog," says a pet sitter, "you get a whole evening of peace and quiet. Fido is too tired to chew your socks or chase the cat."

(3) Recognize that some website visitors will not be ready to become clients. Help them screen themselves.

I get concerned when someone tells me, "I went thousands of dollars into debt to buy John's program and I haven't been able to work with it." Usually clients least able to afford your services will also have greatest difficulty identifying their own needs.

If John charges the level of dollars that can plunge a client into debt, his process could include

--a self-assessent "is this program right for you;"
--an application or interview where he asks tough questions;
--a detailed description of what's involved in the program; or suggested income and earnings guidelines

(4) Give detailed descriptions of clients who successfully used your service. For example, your success stories might come from

--clients with 5 or more years of business experience; --clients with specific types of experience (such as teaching, managing or coaching); and/or
--clients with a huge network of family and friends

You'll be more likely to attract clients who will benefit from your service. These clients are the ones who write testimonials and refer others.

(5) Break down your service into small daily amounts.

Why do some people spend as much as $200 a month at Starbucks? Because each day they spend two, three or four dollars. Each purchase seems small.

Often your service will seem insignificant when you break down the amounts into weeks or even days.

(6) Introduce the Cappuccino effect.

"Tom" struggles to pay his bills, but I see him carrying a tall cup of cappuccino...mocha, pumpkin or frosted, depending on the season. "Jane" had to borrow last month's rent from a friend, but she just got her nails done.

When presenting your service, copywriters encourage comparisons of "apples to oranges." Today's copywriters tend to compare service to cappuccinos (or some other luxury product).

"About as much as you spend on your cable bill each month..."

"Probably less than you spend each week on lattes..."

Or my own personal favorite: "Less than the cost of a power lunch."

Sometimes I even say, "If you took me out to lunch to pick my brain, you'd pay more than you might pay for this ebook." It's true. And I'm not available for lunch, most days.

(7) Recognize that people make decisions based on attitude, not bank account.

"Michael" once told me, seriously, "I'm earning X dollars a year. Your fees sound high." Michael was actually earning more than most of my clients who comfortably paid for my services.

We all know people who claim to be struggling financially, yet we see them ordering double mocha cappuccinos, eating out, buying expense workout clothes and/or driving cars when they have access to an excellent bus system.

These decisions may be rational. A manicure may give Jane the confidence to head off on a job hunt. Tom's coffee shop visits may have high social and even networking value.

But your goal is to identify clients who can comfortably afford your service and gain real value from working with you. Use creative copywriting and strategic conversion strategies to beat price resistance.
About the Author
To learn more about getting greater results from your website marketing, download The 7 Best-Kept Secrets of Websites That Really Attract Clients. From Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. Copywriting and Website Marketing Success Strategies
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