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But engineers don't read at Grade-9 level. They name their dog Archimedes. They want substance, not oversimplification. Your letter must speak their language, their jargon, their lexicon. Learn lingo by reading industry journals and technical literature that your prospects read. Watch for acronyms, abbreviations, initialisms and jargon that are commonplace but never defined. Write accordingly.
Lots of copy, thank you Your high-tech prospects are information-seekers who will read a lot of copy. They hunt for information that helps them do a better job, and knowledge that makes them more marketable. They want facts. The more better.
That's why, with this audience, self-mailers don't pull as well as packages with a letter, brochure and business reply device. One exception is seminars, where innovative self-mailers still grab attention and fill seats. Engineers welcome long copy when your message is interesting, important and relevant.
Stress features, not benefits In consumer direct response, features are subordinate to benefits. What a product does is never as important as what it does for consumer. In high-tech direct response, opposite is true. Semiconductor design engineers, for example, want specs. Saving money is beneficial to them, of course. So is saving time. But what they want more than benefits is hard data. They want I/O word widths, data transfer rates, frame buffer bandwidths–every relevant fact that helps them make an informed buying decision.
Don't ask for order A senior vice-president of manufacturing doesn't order a $1.5-million network upgrade by dropping a business reply card in mail. Instead, first step in process is usually a request for more information. Followed by a sales meeting. Then a demonstration. Then a trial. Then a contract.
That's why direct-mail pieces to high-tech prospects must contain multiple calls to action. Your response device, for example, might look like this: "(Choose one) 1. Send me your brochure by mail. 2. Have a salesperson phone me. 3. Not interested, but add me to your mailing list."
Writing persuasive direct-mail copy for high-tech products is different from pitching credit cards or magazine subscriptions. It takes a unique set of skills to translate technospeak into hard-hitting sales copy. Enjoy challenge.
Alan Sharpe is a business-to-business direct mail copywriter and lead generation consultant who helps high-tech firms attract new clients using creative, cost-effective direct mail. Subscribe to "Sharpe & Direct," his weekly newsletter, at www.sharpecopy.com