Master Your Copywriting: The “What’s In It for Me” Approach

Real Humans crave which of the following?

a. Buzzword-heavy copy that doesn’t resonate
b. Actual experience in words they can understand
c. Who cares? Just use ChatGPT. I don’t have the time to write good copy.

If you picked A, keep reading
If you picked C, read this blog first, then come back
If you picked B, Congrats, you’re onto something!

In 2024, you must be authentic – there’s no way around it. This includes copy, especially when encouraging customers to identify the “what’s in it for me” value proposition.

What's the "what's in it for me?" Approach?

What’s in it for me (WIIFM) answers the simple question: “what do I get out of this product or service?” Obviously, if you buy a $7 fancy coffee, you’re getting a $7 fancy coffee, but the WIIFM value prop highlights the feeling or value ascribed by you to enjoy that $7 fancy coffee. Perhaps you need it to transform from a morning gremlin to a human professional. Or you just got to work and are ready to get sh*t done, starting with your emails – in this case, we hope this blog finds you well.

Regardless, your marketing copy should do its best to underscore your product’s value to its customers in a way that applies to them. As consumer habits fluctuate based on age, life experience, and financial situation, good copy should always be there to connect with your ascribed target audiences. Now, each demographic may need different copy styles; Gen Z and Millennials enjoy brand experiences that are bite sized and acknowledge their impact on the planet. Gen X and Boomers aren’t afraid to read. To get the WIIFM point across, we have some standard practices you can use to up your copy game. Let’s get started.

DDL is nothing without our $7 fancy coffee – we even dress like them… sometimes

Stop using big words to sound smart.

There is 100% a place for elevated language in your brand voice, but only if it’s authentic to your brand. Some of us can be guilty of taking the Grammarly advice of replacing the occasional word or two, but technology isn’t always right. No two words are exactly the same; each has a rich, definitive, and contextual meaning, lending itself to evoking particular emotions. That’s literally why etymology is a thing. When honing in on that WIIFM sentiment, picking big or fancy words just because they are big and fancy will confuse some readers and translate as foolish to others. 

The Fix: stick to what you know – you’re the most knowledgeable about your product. 

Conduct a brand voice exercise.

A brand voice tells your story in your own words. Are you a zany brand leaning into hip, trendy slang? Well, slay (believe it or not, Gen Alpha is over “slay”). Or are you a sophisticated boutique handcrafting timeless experiences unbound by convention? The point is: how you weave your words is critical to your brand experience. So, how do you “do” a brand voice exercise?

The Fix: We recommend considering your brand as a person: what do they look like, how do they exist in the world, and who are their friends. These questions help you pick the right brand voice characteristics to inform your brand’s vocabulary. Unsure of where to begin? DDL has forged a brand voice or two in our day, and we’d love to work with you to nail down yours.

Our client The Good Shark is a New England based Apparel company, their voice needed to reflect that.

Meet your audience where they are.

The final and most crucial point is to meet your audience where they are. Considering where your copy will show up is arguably more important than the message itself. Communication scholars have a mantra, “the medium is the message.” Meaning, that the mode of communication has implications for your message. 

Let’s apply that to marketing. For example, let’s use this blog. Our goal with copy: To get a reader to open this blog. Our mediums: an email subject line, a LinkedIn post, and a text message between two millennial marketers. 

The Email: ✒️ Your Voice Matters: Tips on attracting customer attention and keeping it. 

The LinkedIn Post: Good copywriting matters. Keeping your brand relevant and engaged with its target audience requires astute adherence to your brand’s voice. Audiences can’t connect with brands they don’t understand. Our latest blog discusses the importance of developing a brand voice and its role in the “what’s in it for me” value proposition, which is essential to converting prospects into customers.

The Text Message: Yo, send me the link to that brand voice article. Imma need it for my client meeting. They are on the struggle bus with the whole “What’s in it for me” value prop.

Still confused? Here’s another example of the medium being the message – Doug the Pug considers the nuance of every platform when choosing a profile photo. The same can be said for your brand’s copy!

While each text set calibrates to the appropriate medium, the message remains the same. This can be challenging, but it is essential for a brand to develop its voice.

The Fix: Consider who you are speaking to and when in their decision-making process you are speaking to them. All your product-specific jargon is likely better for webinars or videos. Keep it clean and consistent when conveying value to your consumer early on.

There you have it, one $7 fancy coffee later, we’ve covered why WIIFM is essential and how to craft your copy to captivate customers (mostly alliteration-free).  

The Takeaway

Customers want to feel like they can identify with your product. Copy is how that happens. Consider how you sound when speaking to your customers through all their touchpoints with your brand, and you’ll have an easier time winning over new customers.

If you’re still struggling with figuring out your brand voice, it’s one of our favorite things to do. Get in touch, and we’ll run you through our brand voice exercise and have you speaking in your brand’s tongue in no time!