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Write Content That Drives an Immediate Response [Sponsored]

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Write Content That Drives an Immediate Response [Sponsored]

Provided by Writer

The content landscape gets more complex and competitive every day. That means it’s more important than ever for content marketers to do everything they can to capture their audience’s attention.

Writing effective, attention-capturing content means knowing how to truly engage the reader. Driving that reader to respond to your content clearly shows you’ve achieved that goal. By following the six tips below, you can improve your ability to connect with consumers – and do it in a way that compels them to take action immediately.

It’s no secret that engaging your audience is critical for content marketing success. But, not all engagement is created equal, and your objective should be to elicit a meaningful, timely response – whether that’s by subscribing to your email list, buying a product, or sharing your content with friends.

Why is timely action so important? Here are a few key reasons:

  • It helps you get your content seen by more people. When your audience acts on your content – for example, by sharing it with their friends – it increases your brand’s visibility and helps get your content in front of more consumers. On many content platforms, including search and social media, the speed at which you can get your audience to share or react to your content directly impacts your potential reach.
  • It helps you build stronger audience relationships. When someone responds to your content, they aren’t just consuming it – they’re interacting with it. It creates a connection with your brand that you can measure — and reinforce by sharing additional content that might interest them. This can lead to more consistent engagement and help establish your brand as a trusted voice in your industry.
  • It helps you achieve your content and business goals. Whether you’re looking to increase sales, generate leads, or build brand awareness, driving an immediate response from your audience is key to achieving those goals. For example, your article may compel a prospect to comment, which puts them on your sales team’s radar as a potential lead. Or your thought leadership piece may get shared in a new online community, generating brand awareness among that target vertical.

It’s hard enough to get a reader’s attention once, let alone twice, so don’t let the opportunity go to waste. Capitalize on that moment of attention with copy that encourages readers to act promptly.

What does it take to write that copy? These six tips will point you in the right direction.

Looking to write content that engages your reader and drives them to respond? Check out these 6 tips from @ryanejohnston #sponsored. Click To Tweet

Tip #1: Write a compelling headline

Your headline is the first – and sometimes only – chance you’ll get to grab a reader’s attention. A compelling headline can mean the difference between taking the time to read your piece or quickly moving on to something else.

There are a few key elements that make up a great headline:

  • It should be attention-grabbing. A headline that doesn’t immediately grab the reader’s attention is likely to be passed over in favor of something more interesting. Consider why you created the content and why your audience should care. Are you challenging the status quo? Providing actionable tips? Sharing stories about a well-known brand? Be sure to include these details so your headline stands out.
  • It should be relevant. If your headline doesn’t accurately reflect what’s in the article, you risk losing the reader’s trust once they realize they’ve been misled. Remember, you’re not just looking to get clicks. You also want to drive your readers to take action – something they’ll be less likely to do if they feel like you’ve deliberately misinformed them.
  • It should be clear. A headline that’s unclear or too difficult to understand will likely be passed over in favor of something easier to digest. You want to be specific and concise, removing any unnecessary filler words. If your content includes steps or a list, add clarity by putting a specific number in the title. Another way to add clarity is to use brackets that indicate more about what the reader can expect, such as [infographic] or [interview].
  • It should be length appropriate. A headline that’s too long or too short is less effective than one that’s just right. It’s recommended to stay around 80 characters for your headline, with 100 characters being the maximum.

Tip #2: Write to a specific person

Content should be more like a conversation than a broadcasted message. When you write to a specific person, you create a personal connection that makes readers more likely to listen and respond.

Think about it this way: If you were at a party, and someone started shouting at everyone in the crowd, would you stop to talk to them? Probably not. But if that same person approached you personally and started chatting, you’d be more open to engaging in a conversation with them.

Here are a few tips for writing to a specific person:

  • Picture an actual person. While researching and writing, hold a customer persona or specific member of your community or audience in mind. Would Jordan, a content strategist at an enterprise B2B SaaS company, find this compelling? What about Jesse, a UX writer at a mid-market consumer technology company? Be sure to pick or design a persona based on your goals for the piece.
  • Use personal pronouns. Using personal pronouns (e.g., “I,” “you,” “me,” “we,” “us”) makes your writing more relatable. In particular, the second-person pronoun “you” makes your writing feel more like a conversation between the writer and the reader.
  • Be specific. The more specific you are, the more you’ll be able to connect with your reader. When making a point, support it with specific examples so your reader can better understand how the idea works in theory and practice.

Tip #3: Make it easy to read

It’s important to make your content easy to read if you want to generate an immediate response from your reader. There are a few ways you can do this:

  • Use short sentences and paragraphs. Shorter paragraphs are easier to parse, especially if you limit each paragraph to one idea. Another factor is that content is increasingly consumed on mobile browsers with narrow screens. What looks like a short paragraph on desktop might actually look like a long paragraph on mobile, so aim to have your paragraphs be no more than five lines long and no more than 100 words long.
  • Use bullet points or numbers when possible. If you are conveying a series of related ideas, try formatting them in a bulleted or numbered list. List formatting helps the reader identify key takeaways more easily.
  • Use simple words and language. When you write in clear and simple language, you make it easier for your reader to find the information they need and understand that information when they find it. Additionally, writing in plain language means that your content will be more accessible to less fluent readers.
  • Highlight important information. Use formatting elements, like pull quotes or bold text, to emphasize the most important information for the reader – like your key brand messages or the specific actions you recommend taking.

Tip #4: Use active voice

Writing in an active voice makes your content more engaging and easier to understand. It also helps your brand sound more authoritative, which helps to gain your audience’s attention and trust.

To increase content engagement, try writing in an active voice. Your content will sound more authoritative – thus more worthy of your audience’s attention and trust, says @ryanejohnston #sponsored. Click To Tweet

To encourage your reader to act, you need to make it clear what action you want them to take. Because active voice emphasizes the action a subject performs, it’s better suited to content marketing than passive voice, which emphasizes the recipient of the subject’s actions.

Many of advertising’s most famous slogans, like Nike’s “Just do it,” Apple’s “Think different,” or Burger King’s “Have it your way” all urge the customer to take action. For example, when Nike says, “Just do it,” it puts the decision to act into the customer’s hands.

Active voice is particularly important when writing headlines. In fact, if you look at blog posts from companies like Buffer, HubSpot, and Intercom, you’ll notice that nearly every headline is written in an active voice.

Yet, there are times when passive voice can be used effectively, as well. For example, this CMI article, 4 Metrics Not To Be Missed in Your Next Content Audit, uses the passive voice to emphasize the metrics rather than the potential act of missing the metrics.

Tip #5: Add visual interest

To capture even more attention, consider using images, infographics, and video to add visual interest. These visual elements break up the text while also reinforcing the message you are trying to communicate. This approach also helps to engage visual learners with written content pieces.

Follow these tips to add visual interest in a way that drives an immediate response:

  • Choose images that are relevant and relatable. A well-chosen image can illustrate a point or create an emotional connection that goes beyond what you can accomplish with text alone. A common use case for images would be to show examples of the subject being discussed – for example, including images of actual newsletters in an article about newsletter best practices.
  • Make sure your infographics are clear and easy to understand. An infographic can be highly effective at helping your audience digest any data discussed in your content. Try to use simple charts and graphs, then provide support text to help explain how the reader should interpret the information.
  • Keep videos brief and to the point. To maximize engagement, aim for your videos to be less than 30 seconds in length. You can also break up longer videos into smaller snippets, if necessary. Also, make sure to caption your videos so they’re accessible for everyone, including viewers who may not want to use audio at the time. Don’t forget to add your CTA at the end of the video, as well.

Tip #6: Create a sense of urgency

Driving your reader to take action is only half of the equation – you need the reader to take action now. Otherwise, they might get distracted and forget to return to complete the action.

Creating a sense of urgency is one of the most effective ways to accomplish this. Here are some tips to try:

  • Highlight the consequences of not taking action. For example, you could write about how not taking action could lead to missed opportunities or negative consequences.
  • Use language to imply the time-sensitivity of the action. For example, you could use phrases like “don’t wait to improve your ROI” or “the end of the quarter is quickly approaching.”
  • Offer a limited-time offer. This could be a discount, a freebie, or access to a one-time event that’s happening very soon.

For great content marketing that performs, you need to know how to write to engage your audience. By following the six tips outlined above, you can improve your writing and compel your readers to respond when it matters most.

So, what are you waiting for? Put these tips into practice and see how they can help you drive better results with your content marketing efforts.

About Writer

1660654658 426 Write Content That Drives an Immediate Response SponsoredWriter is the leading AI writing platform for teams. Writer empowers GTM leaders to build a consistent brand across every customer touchpoint. Automated language generation and writing suggestions make it possible for teams to accelerate content, align with their brand, and empower more writers across all types of content and communications.

Writer recently launched CoWrite, which helps you produce high-quality, on-brand first drafts in a fraction of the time, using AI that is custom-trained on your best content. You can learn more about CoWrite on our product page: CoWrite.



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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

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via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

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Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

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So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To
  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

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So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

1716755164 348 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755164 348 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


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