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Why You Need an Impact Table to Write Better Copy (Waaay Faster)

Why You Need an Impact Table to Write Better Copy (Waaay Faster)

I’m so pleased to have Amy Harrison back on the pages of Big Brand System. Today, Amy shares a powerful secret for creating persuasive  copy that resonates with your prospects. And, she’s sharing a free, downloadable worksheet you can use every time you need to write copy that’s compelling and convincing … and that converts. Find your free worksheet at the bottom of this post. –Pamela


As a smart marketer, you know there’s no such thing as a magic button for creating mesmerizing copy, right?

Compelling content that attracts, engages and converts only comes after shedding blood, sweat, tears, and a handful of hair surely?

Well, not quite.

In fact, there are a few quick steps you can take today to create your own personalized shortcut to killer copy.

Whether you’re writing web content, social media updates, sales pages or just a short summary about your product, you’ll never want to do it again without an impact table in hand.

Three steps to writing powerful copy (while keeping your sanity)

I often meet business owners who find themselves in a bit of a bind when it comes to writing marketing copy. See if you can relate:

  • I want to write copy that stands out and gets the attention of my perfect customer
  • I’m pretty (read: insanely) busy

That’s why one of the tools I strongly recommend to busy business owners (is there any other kind of business owner?) is the Impact Table.

The impact table: your magic tool for writing bold, believable copy

Once completed, your Impact Table shows you ‘at-a-glance’ the transformation your offer will have on your customer’s life, and how it will happen.

This means you can quickly and easily communicate the value of what you do without making a hyped-up promise.

Ready to build one?

It goes a little like this… (a one, a two, a one, two, three four… wait, where’s the band?).

1. List your features

Features are the hard facts of what your product or service is or does. For example, here are the kind of things that fall under ‘features’ of a product:

  • Its physical description
  • How you use it
  • How it’s accessed
  • The subjects covered (if it’s a course or book)
  • How it’s delivered

Take a piece of paper and split it into three columns. Your list of features goes in the first column. List as many as you can think of.

Let’s say we are promoting a business marketing and strategy course. Some of the features may include:

  • Customers receive a clear business plan at the end
  • 1:1 mentoring with a business expert is available
  • Customers learn how to expand their business

2. Write down the impact or result of each feature

Once you have your list of features, move on to the second column. Here you want to write the impact or result that occurs as a result of the feature.

In other words:

Why should the customer care about these features?

When trying to pin down a positive impact the following questions can help:

  • How does this help solve their problem?
  • How can this make the service more enjoyable, easy or fun?
  • How can this help them eliminate any negative emotions?
  • How can this help them achieve any positive emotions?
  • How can this help them save time or money?

In the above example, it might look like this:

Features and Impact table
3. Dig in to the emotions

The final part of the exercise is to add in any emotions your customer might associate with the results of each feature and impact.

In our example, some emotions might include:

Features and Impact table
Using your impact table

When it comes to writing marketing materials, most businesses focus on the first column: they list the features and mention in great depth all of the things the product has or can do.

The Impact Table outlines the stepping-stones between how what you have is going to make your customer happy. It basically states:

  1. This is what I have (Features: Column 1)
  2. This is how it will affect you (Results or Impact: Column 2)
  3. This is the positive change you’re going to feel (Emotions: Column 3)

While the first column is important to prove how you’re going to make your customer happy, the middle column gets attention. Compare this statement:

By the end of this course you will have a clear business plan.

With:

By the end of this course you will have a clearer vision of your business, and you’ll know exactly where to focus your efforts to get the best results.

Once you have this completed table, you will already have a number of key phrases that you can plug right in to your writing. Including details from all three columns creates an attractive promise with credibility.

For example:

You’ll leave the course with a completed business plan tailored to you (feature). This cuts through the overwhelm (emotion) and gives you a much clearer vision and direction for the business (impact or result). You’ll know what you should be working on and when, and what efforts will bring you the best results including more sales and increased income (impact or result). This alone can help capture the excitement and enthusiasm you felt (emotion) when you first started out.

This combination of features, impact and emotions is key.

  • If you only focus on emotion, your writing will sound too wishy-washy
  • If you only focus on results, you can draw skepticism from customers who think “sounds great, but how can they possibly achieve that?”
  • If you only focus on features, your writing will sound dry and struggle to make an emotional connection with your customers

Using the impact table lets you combine all three to achieve the Goldilocks level of “just right.”

impact-table-3DDownload a free impact table worksheet

Why wait? Start using impact tables today with this free downloadable worksheet, courtesy of Write With Influence and Big Brand System.

Just click the image at right, and download your reusable, editable impact table worksheet.

Save the original, and create a new version of the PDF every time you need to write convincing copy. Use it to create powerful, persuasive copy for your business.

It’s a gift to you from Write With Influence and Big Brand System: enjoy!

Pamela Wilson

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9 thoughts on “Why You Need an Impact Table to Write Better Copy (Waaay Faster)”

  1. This looks like an outstanding tool that will not only help push through writer’s block but also cover the most important points we need to make in persuasive writing. I can’t wait to try it. Thank you!

  2. Hi Amy!

    Thank you for this outstanding post! I’d read several times about the importance of converting features into benefits, but your idea of putting it all together in a table really brought it home for me.

    I recently had to put together a sales page for a launch. I quickly created a three column table in Evernote and started jotting down ideas off the top of my head, moving them into the appropriate column. Once all of my ideas were out (about 50 rows by the time I was done), I simply filled the empty cells for each row.

    You wouldn’t believe how fast I put together the copy for that sales page once I had this master grid! And it was probably the best copy I’d written so far. No filler whatsoever.

    Coupled with the Thrive Themes Content Builder plugin, your impact table tool allows product creators to put together outstanding sales pages in a cinch.

    Thank you again!

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