When writing ads, or things that are expected to function like ads such as a landing page for your adwords campaign or a direct mail piece or a call to action, you should think like your readers.
You shouldn’t always think like your readers. If nothing else, your readers sometimes want to read something different from what they’re already thinking about.
Not with ads.
If I’m ready to buy, or at least to make a decision about what I want to buy, then I’m not thinking about my subject in an abstract way. I’m not contemplating the topic philosophically, or seeking greater knowledge.
On some other occasion, sure, your visitors might just be thinking about the thing you’re writing about. Dragons, for example.
On some occasions, your visitors might care to examine the various intriguing suggestions writers have proposed for how dragons might in fact be able to fly. They might want to speculate on the origins of the markedly cross-cultural dragon stories. They might be looking for cool pictures of dragons.
If they are, at that moment, about to be eaten by a dragon, then they don’t give a flip about any of that stuff. They want a dragonslayer.
If you are indeed a dragonslayer, then they don’t care about your mission statement, your educational background, or your features. They want to know right off that you are a dragonslayer and prepared to come right over and slay their dragon.
Let’s move away from dragons. I’m feeling sorry for the dragon in the picture right now, even though it’s strictly metaphorical.
Put very simply, people reading your ads or ad-like content are thinking about themselves, not about you or your product. Speak to them about their current needs and wants.
A client of mine sells software. They want a great headline for a page people will visit when they search for the term “mirror server.” If someone is searching for “mirror server” and clicks on a software company’s website, then they want secure data management. That’s what we need to offer them. We have a lot more to say, and we can say it somewhere else. On that page, we want to give the purchase-ready visitors what they want. The others can look around, and come back to that page when they’re ready.
The damsel in the picture, once she’s feeling less distressed, may be in the mood to hear all kinds of fascinating tidbits about dragons or about the knight’s experiences. Right now, she’s just looking for a hero.