At a glance
- Phenomenal book: I’ll share a terrific book with you that vastly improved my marketing skills
- Simple copy framework: Then, I’ll share my modified version of a copywriting framework from that book!
- Four examples: Finally, I’ll share four examples with you to help you get started
The Explanatory Paragraph from Marketing Made Simple
Using Donald Miller’s book Marketing Made Simple, I’ve adapted a framework that helps me generate the a single block of copy that I can then use to inform the rest of the copy for entire sites.
In the book, Miller refers to this block as an explanatory paragraph.
I’ll go over my modified version below, and then provide you with four examples of how I used it on actual client sites!
Why I use the Explanatory Paragraph
Miller asserts that this paragraph helps “create a mental map for your customer”. Essentially, it’s a roadmap for the products/services you offer.
After reading it, Miller says that your customer will “suddenly know what’s been troubling them, how to overcome whatever has been troubling them, and what steps they need to take to move forward.”
Also, I find that I can draw about 80-90% of the copy for the rest of the site from this paragraph!
The Explanatory Paragraph framework
This table will help you craft the Paragraph.
Here’s a short description of each of the columns:
- Text: The boilerplate text that is included by default
- [Blank]: The blanks where you fill in your specific content
- Detail: Further explanation of the [blank] you’re filling in
- Example: An example with both the Text and the [blank]
|At||[company name]||-||At [ACME Dog Walking]|
|We know that you want to be (a/an)||[identity transformation]||Aspirational identity||We know that you want to be a [great dog owner.]|
|To do that, you need||[customer want]||As it relates to your product/service, what does the customer want?||To do that, [your pet needs lots of love and attention.]|
|The problem is||[external problem]||What problem is holding them back?||The problem is [you have to work all day]|
|which makes you feel||[internal problem]||How does the problem make them feel?||which makes you feel [guilt about spending so much time away from your pup.]|
|We believe||[philosophical problem — should/shouldn't statement]||Why is it wrong that they have to deal with the problem?||We believe [that even though you have to work, you shouldn't have to be separated from your dog.]|
|We understand||[empathy]||Show you understand how they feel||We understand [how frustrating it is to have to leave your dog behind each day]|
|That's why we||[demonstrate competency]||How will you solve their problem?||That's why we [can walk your dog and have them come visit your office!]|
|Here's how we do it:||-||-||Here's how we do it:|
|1.||[step 1]||The first step for using your product/service||1. [Pick up: We'll pick up your pup from your home]|
|2.||[step 2]||The second step for using your product/service||2. [Walk: We'll go for an extra long walk!]|
|3.||[step 3]||The third step for using your product/service||3. [Visit: Then, we'll stop by your office so you can visit with your furry friend!]|
|So,||[direct call to action]||What's your primary call to action?||So, [call us today]|
|so you can stop||[negative thing]||What negative thing will happen if they don't buy?||so you can stop [feeling guilty about leaving your pup behind]|
|and start||[positive thing]||How will things be different if they do buy?||and start [spending more time with your dog, even while you're at work!]|
Tips for using the Paragraph
- If you work solo, feel free to update the paragraph to use ‘I’ instead of ‘we’
- Fill in the blanks first. During that first pass, don’t worry about how it’ll all fit together!
- Then, once you have all of the pieces, massage the language into a draft that flows naturally.
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Any thoughts or questions? Anything with which you disagree? Anything I missed?