FAQs. Are they an afterthought? Or a vehicle for selling your product or service? If you’re not using FAQs to engage your prospects, you’re missing out on a valuable sales opportunity.
Direct marketing guru Ivan Levison thinks that “… all too often, they’re an afterthought, a throwaway.” I agree. As a copywriter, I’ve been asked to make FAQs sound less cumbersome, which is quite different from transforming them into a sales tool.
Think about the times you’ve visited a website and wanted to get a picture of the product you were interested in. Didn’t you look for the FAQs, perhaps before the solution description? Mr. Levinson notes, “… copy research proves that FAQs get high readership … Prospects go to FAQ pages because they know they’ll get to-the-point information … “
Here are ways to jazz up your FAQs, so they don’t sound like Legal Drafting 101. Thanks to Mr. Levison for these suggestions:
Use a title
That is, don’t just use the header “Frequently Asked Questions” and let it go at that. Mr. Levison suggests adding a subhead to warm things up a bit. For example—and these are my words—how about something like “Here’s what you need to know” or “Why you’ll save money and make your life easier with Product X.”
Or as Mr. Levison would put it, “Use a conversational tone.” He suggests creating a question that the way a prospect would phrase it. For example, “I’m concerned about the way supply costs are escalating. How can your product help me keep them under control?
Use FAQs to deal with doubts
If you know your prospects’ concerns—and you should—here’s the right place to address them. As Mr. Levison points out, you’ve already covered features and benefits elsewhere, so don’t waste your prospects’ time by reiterating them in the FAQs. Mr. Levison might not agree, but I think FAQs are where you can reinforce your credibility and integrity by also talking about why your product or service might not be the best choice for a customer with specific needs.
Don’t go on and on
Or as Mr. Levison says, “Use the right number of FAQs.”
The right number of FAQs will likely vary from one product or service to the next. Mr. Levison thinks that five or six is about right if you’re limiting FAQs to one page. And, of course, you can add questions with links to unique pages. That’s a great idea for handling an extensive library.
Promote your guarantee
If you offer a solid guarantee, definitely mention it in the FAQs.
Now here’s a confession: Before reading this excellent post by Mr. Levison, I tended to treat FAQs as sort of a pro forma. Now, I regard them as an important sales tool, a great way to get in a pitch that sounds (and should be) credible and reassuring.
Adzicnatasa — 123rf.com