Day 16: Scrivener

DISCLAIMER (READ THIS FIRST):

THIS IS NOT A LEGITIMATE ADVERTISEMENT, NOR SHOULD IT BE TAKEN AS SUCH. I AM NOT AFFILIATED WITH THE COMPANY IN ANY WAY. DO NOT MAKE A PURCHASE DECISION BASED ON THE INFORMATION YOU SEE ON THIS PAGE.


I’m learning that how smoothly each letter goes depends on how much research I do the night before.

No research = A lot of pain the next day

A lot of research = Very little pain the next day

Product

Today, I wrote about a writing tool called Scrivener. I’d worked on a blog post about Scrivener for a client before, so I was pretty familiar with it before starting the research last night, but it was fun to dig into customer reviews and learn more about the selling propositions of Scrivener instead of just its functionality.

Who is the Customer?

The customer is an aspiring author; in this case, a novelist. The customer isn’t a novice writer. They know their creative process works, and they’ve been writing long enough to know that they don’t exactly love conventional word processors.

When I was looking through Amazon reviews of Scrivener, I looked at the other reviews a few people had written (besides their Scrivener reviews), which was very helpful.

When writing about a product, I think there’s a tendency to overplay its importance in someone’s life and present whatever problem it solves as the only problem they’re experiencing, which isn’t always the case.

It was good to realize that these people were indeed 3-dimensional. They don’t just care about writing. They have other hobbies and passions, too.

Customer Level of Awareness & Sophistication

This customer is either unaware or problem-aware. I think the letter could potentially work in both cases.

For the unaware customer, it brings attention to the problem solved by Scrivener.

For the problem-aware customer, it validates that there is actually a problem and presents the solution.

Big Idea + Rationale

The big idea is that the creative process is messy and that conventional word processors aren’t designed to accommodate the messiness of creativity.

Big Promise + Rationale

The big promise is that Scrivener was created specifically to take the jumble of ideas in the customer’s brain and help organize them in a way that will actually lead to progress on their writing project.

Lessons Learned

Toward the end, most sales letter templates call for a description of “the consequences of not taking action” or something similar.

Today, I realized that I have a tough time doing that tactfully. It’s a tough thing to do without coming off as “preachy.”

I haven’t identified a perfect answer yet, but when I do, I’ll let you know.

On that note, presenting the consequences on inaction seems like an odd thing to do for a software product sales page. In general, they focus heavily on features, so getting into an emotional narrative feels a bit unnatural.

I’m sure there’s a way to do it tactfully, but again, I haven’t found that answer yet.

Additionally, I think there’s something I need to be asking myself more when I write these:

Am I convinced? Would I buy this?

Because Scrivener is a product that would absolutely be beneficial for me. I almost downloaded it last night after reading customer reviews. But I’m not sure the letter I wrote today would take me from “I’m interested” to “Sign me up!”

Robert Lucas