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How to appeal to business buyers: 11 proven copy strategies

To motivate business buyers—especially in digital channels, where you have just a few seconds to catch their interest—it helps to base your message on a powerful, proven copy platform.  A copy platform encapsulates the key benefit to the prospect.  It answers the questions, “Why should I care?” and “What’s in it for me?”  Business people are people, but in their buying roles, they represent their companies.  So marketers must appeal to them in terms that are meaningful to both the individual and the interests of their businesses.   

I’ve been collecting effective B2B copy platforms over the years, from such authoritative sources as Susan K. Jones, Nancy Harhut, and Bob Hacker.  You can use these to kick off your strategic messaging.  They also make the basis of great email headlines and SEM ad copy.  Here’s the list.

  1. Save time. Get to market quicker.
  2. Save money. Sell more. Spend less.
  3. Reduce risk.  Stay out of regulatory trouble.
  4. Grow the business.  Penetrate new markets.
  5. Find new customers.  Sell them more.
  6. Job security.  Help you look good in your job.
  7. Increase efficiency or productivity.  Do more with less.
  8. Exclusivity. Be part of an elite group.
  9. Greed. Make money.  Increase sales.  Increase profits.
  10. Make your job easier. Avoid stress or hardship. Get the help you need.
  11. Fear of the unknown, or regulators, loss, or failure.
Ruth Stevens

Ruth Stevens

Ruth P. Stevens is a senior advisor for Consultants Collective. She consults on customer acquisition and retention, for both consumer and business-to-business clients. Ruth serves on the boards of directors of the HIMMS Media Group, and the Business Information Industry Association. She is a trustee of Princeton-In-Asia, past chair of the Business-to-Business Council of the DMA, and past president of the Direct Marketing Club of New York. Ruth was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing by Crain’s BtoB magazine, and one of 20 Women to Watch by the Sales Lead Management Association. She serves as a mentor to fledgling companies at the ERA business accelerator in New York City. Ruth is a guest blogger at AdAge, HBR.org, and Target Marketing Magazine. Her newest book is B2B Data-Driven Marketing: Sources, Uses, Results. She is also the author of Maximizing Lead Generation: The Complete Guide for B2B Marketers, Trade Show and Event Marketing, and co-author of the white paper series “B-to-B Database Marketing.” Ruth is a sought-after speaker and trainer, and has presented to audiences and business schools in Asia, Australia, and Latin America. She has held senior marketing positions at Time Warner, Ziff-Davis, and IBM. She studied marketing management at Harvard Business School, and holds an MBA from Columbia University. Learn more at www.ruthstevens.com.

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