“What’s in it for me?” may be the most important question in demand gen. Because that’s what your prospects and customers are wondering every single time they hear from you. They’re busy and have their own agenda, so they want your email, search campaigns, phone calls, social posts and website to focus on crystal-clear benefit for them.
WIFM Marketing (What’s In it for Me?) doesn’t mean you can’t sell. It just means selling with the prospect’s needs in mind. Start with setting an objective of what action you want the prospect to take and then communicate why taking that action is going to save them time or money or make their job and life easier.
To help your company shift to prospect benefit marketing, it helps to document those prospect needs. A good way to do this is to develop a story arc for each stage of the buyer’s journey. This exercise will help your company prepare offers and develop meaningful content. (If your company has never done one, let me know and I can share a template).
Once you’ve taken the time to understand what your prospect cares about, then focus your copy on WIFM. Each time you write something, read it over (or even better, have someone who didn’t write it read it over) and then be brutally honest if you’re talking about what the prospect needs. If you’re not sure, look for the examples below. If they’re in your copy, you need to try again:
- Use of the word “we”, “us” or your company name. Any sentence or phrase including those should be reviewed. Things like “We want to” or “We are pleased to announce” or “ABC Company is offering” are definitely not WIFM.
- Company news like press releases, funding announcements, newsletters, etc. Your prospects don’t care about what your company is doing. They care about what your company is doing for THEM. If you really think a company announcement has benefit for the reader, spin it so it demonstrates how your growth translates into growth for their company or if you have a new client, share a case study that shows how your product will work for their company too.
- “Checking in”. The single worst use of email.* Give the reader a reason to engage with you that isn’t just like every single other email they get or that gives the appearance that all you care about is checking the contact off your list. Checking in because they haven’t responded isn’t WIFM. Contacting a prospect because there is a special promotion they can take advantage of or new relevant content where they can learn more about how to solve their problems is useful.
- New product announcements. Unless you know for sure an individual is looking for exactly that product, you’re better off promoting the benefits and how they relate to the prospect and not “we developed something new that we want to sell you”.
- If the recipient isn’t actively engaged and ready to buy, be careful about offers that are too sales oriented. A product sheet or pricing shouldn’t be sent unless someone has asked for them. Use educational offers first.
- Any copy that a prospect can respond to with “So what?” is definitely not WIFM.
- If your copy uses the word “you” a lot, you’re probably good!
Need help with a story arc? Or review of copy? Let me know.
*Except for holiday cards. Don’t even get me started about how those don’t meet prospect benefit.