Get the Right Prospective in Your Copywriting and Keep Your Prospects

by Sarah on December 29, 2015


Copywriting Tip:  The Wrong Assumption in Your Direct Response Marketing Can Push Your Prospect Away, Rather Than Pull Them In


(from HealthyCopyIdeas E-Newsletter December 2008)


What can frozen carrots teach you about copywriting?  Read on and find out . . .  


The below-freezing temperatures of early November put me in a bind.  Lulled into a false sense of security by a late warm spell, I’d left my carrots in the ground instead of harvesting them promptly.  And the icy weather made my attempts at digging them out of the rock-hard frozen earth look ludicrous.


Every day as I went about my morning chores, I grumbled as I passed the garden.


And then my son made me reconsider my perspective. 


One afternoon, instead of tromping up from the bus drop-off to the kitchen door, he bounded off in the opposite direction.  I watched as his orange-coated figure weaved through the trees and headed to the pond.


“It’s frozen solid!” he announced with a grin when he finally burst through the door, cold air wrapping around him.  All he could think about was the ice-skating to come.


Another lesson in perspective:  One person’s nightmare is another person’s boon. 


It’s the same thing with copywriting.


Know your prospect so you can really speak to their perspective. Because just like my son and I when it came to freezing weather, different people have different reactions to the same situation – sometimes even polar opposite ones.


Here are three examples more specific to the health marketplace:


  1. In a sales letter advertising an alternative health book on cancer treatments, the copywriter described the experience of a patient beating cancer at an alternative clinic.  In listing the great results he added  – “and he even lost weight!”


While this may work for some readers, it also raised a red flag to me. So many people dealing with cancer struggle to maintain weight.  It may not be the best benefit to emphasize given the audience.


  1. Statistics tell us that middle-aged women are the primary purchasers of nutritional supplements.  In fact they are often the ones buying for their husbands or fathers as well.  So if you’re selling a supplement for men – a multivitamin or prostate support – consider finding ways to speak directly to this audience.


Write a liftnote, from wife to wife.  Or make an effort to include testimonials from women who purchased the supplement for the men in their life.


  1. With flu season coming on, who wouldn’t want an immune booster? I didn’t give this a second thought until I started writing copy for one of my clients this year. Many of the people on her list suffer from auto-immune disorders.  When you’re battling your own immune system, a gung-ho immune system boost is not necessarily on your wish-list.



To make sure you’re not missing the perspective of your target audience, research your prospect . . .


  • Examine your data cards carefully and check your assumptions.
  • Go to online reviews and forums.  See what people are really talking about and how they talk about it.  I like for reviews and for forum discussions.
  • Ask customer service – maybe even tap into a few conversations and listen intently to what people are saying.
  • Test and look at the results.  Is the headline you thought would work the best, not performing?
  • Eavesdrop discretely in supermarkets, at the gym, waiting for the doctor.


Get to know your prospects well and apply your detailed knowledge to create copy that hits home with them.


Post Script:  Lucky for me, the weather got a bit milder for a day or two.  My ice-loving son and I dug up the carrots, washed them and stowed them away in our root cellar. And as a bonus, the frost had sweetened them up even more.  Now I can truly look forward to ice-skating!

In this economy, getting the right perspective is more important than ever. Find out how to position your health product for today’s consumer mindset with my free report “17 Health Copywriting Tactics for a Tough Economy”.


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