Ask Your Clients to Provide You With the Facts!

Welcome back! I hope everyone had a productive week.

We’ve had some interesting discussions over the last few weeks talking about the best ways to identify and motivate your target audience.

This week, we’re going to take a look at some things you need to know from your client in order to do the best job possible for them.

I’ll be the first to admit it: Past projects that haven’t gone as smoothly as I would’ve liked them to was usually the result of me not asking enough questions.

Or at least the right questions.

So, as promised, here is a list of questions that I provide to my clients prior to starting any work. Having them answer these as comprehensively as possible is half the battle in determining whom your target audience is and how to reach them on an emotional level. Honestly, it’s not often I get a client to answer each and every one of these, but I do stress to them that the more they answer, and the more information I’m provided, the better chance I have of crafting compelling copy for them that showcases their product or service and targets prospects with purchase intent.

Here you go:

  •  What is the product/service to be promoted?
  • Describe your unique value proposition (What makes the product or service better than the competition?)
  • Describe your typical customer
  • Describe your preferred customer (Not necessarily the same as a typical customer!)
  • How will a typical customer use your product/service?
  • What “pain point” does your customer normally experience in order to desperately need your product/service?
  • What emotional factors drive your customers to purchase?
  • What are the key features of the product/service?
  • What are the key benefits of the product/service?
  • How is your product/service sold?
  • Can you sell your product/service locally, nationally, globally, or all of the above?
  • What are some common misconceptions about your product/service?
  • What do you think a potential customer would search for online when in need of your product/service? (Please list specific keywords/keyphrases)
  • Describe your sales process
  • List your top online and offline competitors
  • What are your goals and objectives for this project?
  • What is the one-time value of a sale?
  • What is the lifetime value of a sale?
  • What are some specific results you would like to see at the end this project?
  • What are some obstacles you have had with your current Internet marketing strategy?
  • What is the first "action" you would like a viewer to initiate?
  • What is the secondary "call to action”?
  • Please describe whom you would most like to target through this initiative
  • What supporting materials exist for this project?
  • What is the desired “tone” of the writing for this project?
  • Anything else I should know?

And there you have it. Use these questions as a starting point for your next project and I guarantee you’ll find it easier to give your clients exactly what they’re looking for!

Before I sign off for today, I want to switch gears for a moment and bring something to your attention that I read in this morning’s newspaper. This may or may not matter to you, but if you see yourself being dependent on what’s happening with the Internet for the foreseeable future, you should at least be aware of it….

There’s a little known Santa Monica, CA based non-profit group known as ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) that oversees the domain name system that routes web traffic.

Jon Postel, a computer scientist and one of the original architects of the Internet, founded ICANN in 1998.  Apparently, this non-profit organization is the result of the U.S. government turning over what had been a government run research project into a civilian network with the intention being to not lose complete control.

Well, it seems the rest of the world took notice of this and is now crying “foul.” What’s come under scrutiny is the U.S. government’s control over the granting and dispersing of domain names. Now, more than a decade after the United States started to privatize the network, global Internet leaders want that oversight to come to a screeching halt.

At issue is a key contract that remains in effect until 2011, and a second agreement that gives the United States scrutiny over ICANN’s internal operations that comes up for review next month.

At the heart of the matter is the desire of other nations around the world that would like to see ICANN be a truly global organization, and either reduce or eliminate its relationship with the U.S. government over time. The fear is that if the United States doesn’t begin to loosen its grip on ICANN, other countries, notably China or Russia, could develop alternatives to the U.S. controlled domain name system, thereby creating confusion and a possible breakdown in one of the Internet’s core functions.

Will this affect us as Internet marketers?

Good question. Certainly, I’d say, if you are in the business of purchasing domain names. Bottom line though … although the depth of its impact remains to be seen, you can be pretty sure that changes are on the horizon, and it would be wise to keep an eye on how this plays out over time.

Let me know what you think about it, and as always…

Good health and good writing!

(Excerpts taken from The Star Ledger article, “U.S. pressured to loosen hold on ‘net,” written by Tom Abate, August 5, 2009)

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Published: August 5, 2009

1 Response to “Ask Your Clients to Provide You With the Facts!”

  1. The questionnaire is quite practical and useful.

    Jawaharlal Jasthi 36January 21, 2015 at 2:15 pm


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