A while ago, I posted about how copy was all about taking your prospect on a journey, so it was important to understand where you want them to go.

There’s another side to that, of course. You’ve got to understand where they are now.

Whenever I’m talking students through creating a sales page, I’ll have them create a customer avatar, as detailed as it can be.

Essentially I’ll have them create an imaginary friend, someone in the target market for their letter. Now, when they come to put words on a page, they’ve got a single person in their head that they’re writing to.

I do it. If you’re writing a sales letter, so should you.

Here’s a few questions you can ask, though there are a load more:

What’s their name?
Where do they live?
How old are they?
Do they have a job?
What is it?
What do they do after work?
What do they want to do after work?
What do they do at the weekend?
Do they have any kids?
How many?
What kind of income do they have?
Is it enough?
What are their plans for the future?
What do they do on holiday?
Do they even have holidays?

Not all of this stuff will end up being directly relevant to the letter, but all of it will help you understand the customer more, and let you throw in the details that make them think ‘hey, this guy is really speaking to me!’

And that’s what makes the sale.