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The B2B Copywriter's Guide to Closing Deals

Gene Schwartz's Unveiled Secrets for B2B Copywriting Success

In the advertising and marketing world, almost every person has heard or read the name David Ogilvy. 

However, there is another name, less famous but more influential, more persuasive with his writing, and especially renowned for his mastery and his ability to generate substantial B2B results for his clients.

The B2B Copywriter's Guide to Closing Deals

That name is Gene Schwartz. 

He penned the advertisement that marked the inception of Boardroom Reports, a direct response company that would go on to become one of the most prosperous in history. His headline for this copy resonated powerfully:

"Read 300 Business Magazines in 30 Minutes."

This ad changed the history of a modest $3,500 company into a company that achieved annual sales exceeding $50 million.

To make a simple comparison, the Famous David Ogilvy's book "On Advertisement" can be purchased for $23. Gene Schwartz's book "Breakthrough Advertising." costs $399. That is the power of Gene Schwartz

In this blog post, you will learn his secrets and how to use them in your copywriting to get more B2B clients and deals. 

Table of Contents

Schwartz B2B Copywriting Secrets

The B2B Copywriter's Guide to Closing Deals

Schwartz's success as a B2B copywriter can be attributed to several key factors. 

First and foremost, he had an innate understanding of human psychology and consumer behavior. 

This allowed him to craft messages that not only resonated with the target audience but also triggered the desired response— which is crucial for B2B. 

Schwartz was a keen observer of people and recognized that effective copywriting goes beyond the product or service itself; it delves into the audience's emotions, desires, and motivations. 

Schwartz believed a deep understanding of the target market was essential for creating a compelling and persuasive copy. 

He spent extensive time studying his audience, their needs, pain points, and the nuances of the market before sending proposals. 

This dedication to research allowed him to create copy that felt personalized and resonated with the specific concerns of his B2B clients.

Additionally, Schwartz was a master of storytelling. He understood that stories have a unique power to captivate and engage an audience. 

His copy often incorporated narratives that showcased the features of a product or service and illustrated how it could solve real-world problems for the businesses he was targeting. 

This storytelling approach made his copy more relatable and memorable, contributing to its effectiveness.

Furthermore, Schwartz was a proponent of clarity and simplicity in communication. 

He believed the messaging should be clear, concise, and easy to understand, even in B2B marketing, where the subject matter might be complex. 

This approach helped break down technical jargon and made the benefits of the products or services he was promoting accessible to a broader audience.

Finally, Gene Schwartz's success was closely tied to his commitment to testing and refining his copy. 

He pioneered split testing and meticulously tracked the performance of different headlines, hooks, and copy elements. 

This data-driven approach allowed him to continually optimize his work, ensuring that his copy delivered impressive results for his clients.

In summary, Gene Schwartz's success as a B2B copywriter can be attributed to his deep understanding of human psychology, commitment to thorough research, mastery of storytelling, emphasis on clarity, and dedication to testing and optimization

Let's break down his secrets into B2B copywriting action.

Research Before Writing

The B2B Copywriter's Guide to Closing Deals

Gene Schwartz was known for his meticulous approach to research, which played a pivotal role in his success as a copywriter. Before putting pen to paper, Schwartz understood his target audience and the product or service he was promoting.

Gene attributed 80% of success to the research process. When Schwartz had to create a copy for a doctor about to publish a medicine book, he said, "I want to know the book as well as or even better than the author! This is what makes marketing success!" 

He used this method to research:

Immerse in the Product or Service:

Schwartz believed in genuinely understanding the product or service he was tasked to promote. This involved studying product features, benefits, and unique selling propositions.

He often went beyond the information provided by clients, conducting interviews with engineers, product developers, and experts to gain an in-depth understanding.

As mentioned before, in the realm of B2B, you need to understand the desires, goals, pain points, and perspectives of every person involved in the sales process. Knowing how they see the world will prepare you to create copy that resonates with them. 

Read industry publications, attend conferences, and immerse yourself in the target audience's culture.

Competitor Analysis:

Rarely will you be the only one offering a solution to your desired client. Schwartz thoroughly examined competing products or services to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

By understanding what else was available in the market, he could position his copy to highlight the unique advantages of the product he was promoting and how to exploit the weak points of his competitors.

Imagination and Empathy:

Schwartz recognized the power of empathy in effective copywriting. He would put himself in the consumer's shoes, imagining their concerns and desires.

He was known for going to workplaces to see how people worked, standing in line for hours, eating where his audience ate, and visiting hospitals to experience what his future customers were experiencing.

This imaginative empathy helped him create copy that resonated emotionally with the audience because he knew their day-to-day life.

Testing and Optimization:

Schwartz engaged in continuous testing during the writing process. He would test different headlines, hooks, and angles to see what resonated best with the audience. He wasn't afraid of rewriting and editing. 

This iterative approach allowed him to refine and optimize his copy based on real-world feedback.

By profoundly immersing himself in the world of the product and its audience, he created copy that addressed the practical aspects and resonated emotionally with his readers.

Master Storytelling

Gene Schwartz was a masterful storyteller, and he recognized the compelling influence stories could have in engaging an audience and driving them to take action. 

What made him a great storyteller was his ability to make the reader identify himself with the person in his story.

Here are several ways Gene Schwartz utilized storytelling in his ads:

Humanizing the Message:

Schwartz often started his ads with relatable, human stories. He could use fake names to protect identities but was telling real stories

Authenticity was crucial, and using real people and their experiences added credibility to the narrative.

He made the message more personal and emotionally resonant by introducing a character or situation that the audience could empathize with. Someone that looked just like them. 

Problem-Solution Narratives:

The B2B Copywriter's Guide to Closing Deals

He frequently employed a problem-solution framework in his storytelling.

Schwartz would articulate a relatable problem that the audience might face, intensifying their emotional connection. If he was talking about a dying person in a hospital, he would describe their pains, their loneliness, and how little doctors checked on them.

Then, “I seamlessly transitioned into presenting the product or service as the ideal solution, an escape from the cold bedroom into warm, personalized attention that led to sanity.”

Illustrating Benefits through Scenarios:

Rather than listing features, as most B2B copywriters do, Schwartz conveyed the benefits of a product or service through vivid scenarios and narratives. 

He painted pictures of the positive outcomes and transformations that could result from using the advertised solution.

Wanting to grab the attention of busy CEO's he wrote: 

"For the executive who wants to know every important new development the specialist knows... and wants to know in seconds, exactly what each means to him!

Just one recent example- do you know the simple change in accounting procedure that virtually destroyed one of the greatest growth industries? It was first hinted at in a specialized journal for CPAs... and only a handful of executives in the industry itself realized its devastating impact till months later."

That is the power of illustrating.

Creating a Journey:

Schwartz often took his audience on a journey. Whether it was a character's journey or the journey from a problem to a solution, this narrative structure helped build anticipation and kept the audience engaged.

This is the classic Hero journey that we see in all the movies we love.

Using Analogies and Metaphors:

Analogies and metaphors were recurring elements in Schwartz's storytelling. 

These literary devices helped simplify complex concepts, making them more accessible and relatable to a broader audience.

Building Suspense and Curiosity:

Schwartz understood the power of suspense and curiosity. He crafted his stories to gradually reveal information, keeping the audience intrigued and invested in the narrative until the final call to action.

In one of his ads, he wrote:

"Do you know, for example, that telephone company executives knew the turndown was coming, months before anyone else. The indicator flashed loud and clear, to them alone. But what did they do with this information?"

Creating a Memorable Hook:

Schwartz was a master of crafting memorable hooks. His headlines often served as the opening line of a story, immediately grabbing the reader's attention and inviting them to delve deeper into the narrative.

For example, his famous ad:

"Read 300 business magazines in 30 minutes! 

And get the guts of every one of their most valuable ideas - in super condensation form you just can't forget!"

By infusing storytelling into his ads, Gene Schwartz transformed dry, informational content into engaging narratives that captivated the audience. 

His storytelling prowess made his ads effective in conveying messages and left a lasting impact on the minds of consumers, contributing to the success of the products and services he promoted.

B2B Copywriting Musts Template

1. Your first presentation of your claims – Schwartz says to "first present the product or the satisfaction it gives directly – bluntly – by a thorough, completely detailed description of its appearance or the results it gives."

In other words, it presents the final result and its benefit, not the product of its features. 

Amateur B2B copywriters may create a detailed description of the product's appearance and features, and that's where they fail instead of focusing on what your product does for them.

2. Put the claims in action – Your next task is to expand the image. Schwartz says that "one of the most effective ways to do this is to put the product in action for your reader. To show, not only how the product looks, and what benefits it gives the reader, but exactly how it does this for them."

3. Bring in the reader – making it real for your reader. Help the reader to visualize how his work will benefit or improve by using your product.

4. Show him how to test your claims – Schwartz says, "Let your reader visualize himself proving the performance of your product – gaining its benefits immediately – in the most specific and dramatic way possible."

beehiiv gives us a great example of how to bring the reader into the picture with this description of its referral program

"Set up and ready to go in just a few minutes. No code. No integrations. No third parties. No copy and pasting. Just add your rewards and milestones, and you're good to go."

5. Stretch out your benefits in time – Schwartz reminds us to show the product at work, not just for an hour or day but for weeks and months so your reader can visualize a continuous flow of benefits.

Again, quoting beehiiv and its benefits for automation

"No matter how fast your subscriber base grows, automations can handle communications, making it easier for you to scale your operations."

6. Bring in an audience – This is a powerful way to bring social proof into the game. 

This can be accomplished in various ways – such as survey results, statistics, success stories, celebrity endorsements, or case studies.

7. Show experts approving – Schwartz reminds us not only to use celebrities and "ordinary people" but to use "experts in the field – professionals – the sophisticated, the discriminating, the blasé" to register their reactions.

8. Compare, contrast, and prove superiority – Schwartz reminds us to highlight the disadvantages of the old product or service side by side with the advantages of the new.

Your mission is to contrast why the new methods (with your product) are much better than the old out-of-date practices (without your product).

The B2B Copywriter's Guide to Closing Deals

For example, check this article to see why beehiiv is changing the newsletter game and how to use it as your competitive advantage.

9. Picture the black side, too – Eugene calls it the "Heaven-or-Hell" approach. 

He suggests pointing out the problems and making the reader uncomfortable. After that, you offer the solution that makes things better.

10. Show how easy it is to get these benefits – Whenever the product touches your prospect's life (think of who will be your reader), highlight the ease of use, the money they will save, the new sales they will make, or how far they will be ahead of the competitors. 

Here is where calls to action can show that they can get the benefits as soon as they decide to move forward in the sales process. 

Talking about benefits, you can get beehiiv for free right now for 14 days!

11. Use metaphor, analogy, and imagination – Schwartz says that while always being truthful, you don't have to stick with raw facts to convey your points. 

The B2B Copywriter's Guide to Closing Deals

Gene says, "infinite opportunities for the use of imagination to represent those facts in more dramatic form, outside of the rigidly realistic approach."

Seth Godin nailed this point when he created the concept of the "Purple Cow." 

12. Before finishing, summarize – There are many ways of translating. You can list bullet points of how the product you're promoting will improve your reader's life. But as a personal touch, I prefer to go back to point number one and highlight the final result the client will get by getting my services. 

13. Put your guarantee to work – Schwartz says to "turn that guarantee into the climax of your ad – the last brief summary of your product's performance – reinforced at every stop by the positive reassertion of that guarantee."

99% of lazy copywriters write, "Guaranteed for 30 days. If you're not happy, we'll give you your money back."

Aware Owner, a public adjuster company based in Arizona, has a fantastic promise for its customers: "We only get paid if you win."

Use the guarantee to hit your prospect again with the benefits they will derive from the product you're promoting.

Conclusion

Incorporating Gene Schwartz's research-driven insights, compelling storytelling, and persuasive copywriting into B2B strategies empowers copywriters to resonate deeply with their audience. 

This trifecta sets them apart from the competition and cultivates authentic connections, elevating the potential for securing deals and fostering enduring client relationships in the competitive B2B landscape.

Now that you are ready to create copy that generates business, make sure to be part of the world's largest B2B email marketing community. Join beehiiv now!

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