Research Quick Tip …
3 Internet Resources for Getting Inside Your Prospect’s Head … Fast

Knowing your audience is key to the success of any promotion you write. You have to know what gets them excited, what makes them mad, what they dream about, what their hopes are, what makes them laugh. All these things can help you write a promotion that is more personal, more timely, and more likely to get a response.

The way you go about getting this knowledge is through research. As Nick pointed out last week, the days of relying on a client brief are over. With the Internet, you can get a much deeper insight into the minds of the people you’re targeting. Here are three places you should look online to get to know your prospects … and their thoughts about what you’re selling.

User Forums: No matter what market you’re writing for, there are bound to be forums that cater to it. Find those forums and spend some time reading what the people there have to say. You’ll discover all sorts of angles you might not have considered.

For example, if you were writing for Acura, the automobile manufacturer, you’d be remiss not to visit their forum and find out what actual Acura drivers have to say about their cars.

Review Sites: Like forums, there are review sites for everything. Check them out for the product or service you are writing for. If it’s not there, read reviews about similar products or services. You’ll learn a lot.

Amazon.com is a great site to find reviews about everyday items. If you’re writing sales copy about a coffeepot, for example, a quick visit to Amazon can reveal what users love and hate about that particular product. As an added bonus, you can learn about your competition while you’re there.

Check Out Relevant Blogs: A Web log, or blog, is like an online, public diary. Many blogs are narrowly focused on a single topic. Look around for those that relate to your product or service. Again, you are bound to uncover a lot of relevant and useful information about what makes your audience tick.

If you’re writing about a weight-loss supplement, for example, you might get some interesting insights into the motivations of dieters at a blog like be-slim.blogspot.com or weight-loss-story.blogspot.com.

This kind of research helps you know your prospect better – and that can only mean better results from your writing. Try it out for your next promotion.

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Published: March 31, 2008

5 Responses to “Research Quick Tip … 3 Internet Resources for Getting Inside Your Prospect’s Head … Fast”

  1. Great insight for me as I am studing to become an Internet Researcher for copywriters.

    Thanks

    Marcellus GreeneSeptember 3, 2011 at 3:55 pm

  2. Help! I am doing research for a client on the retirement concerns of baby boomers. No problem if you're talking about the U.S., but she now wants to know what concerns people have in other countries. Big problem. Evey search I make goes back to the U.S. or how people in the U.S. are retiring in other countries. I guess other countries have no concerns. Any ideas please?

    Mary CJuly 12, 2012 at 1:39 pm

  3. Hi Mary,

    Here are a couple of things that I found:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31441602/ns/world_news-europe/t/global-downturn-dashes-retirees-dreams/#.T_8oPY49X3Q

    http://www.expatforum.com/articles/health/european-healthcare-is-good-but-pensions-and-retirement-plans-are-a-major-concern-expats-claim.html

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/pensions/9121077/EU-regulatory-reforms-to-cut-retirement-income-20pc.html

    http://www.jarc.net/int/?p=144

    I used the search strings uk retirees main concerns, European retirees main concerns, and Japanese seniors main concerns. Hope this helps.

    Guest (Heather Robson)July 12, 2012 at 3:49 pm

  4. Can I use statements from people on forums, blogs and review sites in my copy without their permission if I am unable to contact them directly?

    Wes FahlenkampDecember 18, 2014 at 7:07 pm


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