How to Use the 5 Questions Approach in Marketing

We all know that in marketing it isn’t enough just to present the facts. 

You have to create a story around the facts.

One that appeals to the “heart” of what you are asking a prospect to do.  And, in marketing, we are, of course asking the prospect to do something… to buy… whatever it is we are selling.

There needs to be a certain flow to the story.  It must keep the reader interested.  Once you have their interest, it’s important to “immerse” them in the story…the story that gets them to say “Yes, that’s what I think” ..or “that’s exactly how I feel“. 

Then of course, answering the questions before they’re asked [in your visitor’s mind] is the next phase, followed by leading to an action step…the “buy” button.

When setting up a story in marketing there is a five-question format that is designed to help move the visitor from the beginning…the story line… to the end…the “I want it, I can’t survive without it” buy button.

It is the “what, why, how, when,  and how much” format…just a little variation from the what, why, when, where, and how you remember from journalism or other writing classes. 

“What….is it, [Prospect/Visitor], that I can offer you to solve your problem(s)?”  There is, of course, an underlying assumption that, consciously or unconciously, the visitor has a problem that they wish solved… otherwise, why would they be at your website? 

Example: [What]  “Are you tired of telling your family “No, we can’t do that…it costs too much …every month?”  Are you sick and tired of being broke…month in…month out

 If so“………..

this is where you, the writer,  inject your idea, your strategy, your solution.

Why… would you like things to be different?”  

 “Here are the most often cited reasons people site for wanting to have more money…….”

here you can describe the rationale, or the “business” reasons for your visitor to act or buy… to affect the change they desire.  Include both tangible and intangible benefits.

“How.. important is it [Visitor] that your money problems be solved

To see your child’s eyes light up when you tell them you can afford to take them to Disneyland, or take your spouse to dinner and the theatre…the things that some people take for granted…and so could you.”  

Followed by an explanation of how your solution can be accomplished.  An explanation of the tactics, what will be required of them and why.

When you….[opt in/select the buy button/review the available options below,etc.etc.] you will have completed the first step toward the life you know you’re entitled to…and want to provide for your family.”

This is the section where you provide the timetable…the “Do [this] now to receive . . . . . . . . .” along with the sense of urgency…”Don’t miss out on this ONE opportunity to change your life forever…. You’ll never see this price again… ” to remind them that the timetable for change begins with one action…the first step…and it begins now.

How much… could be “how much longer can you stand the pain,” …. or “how much are you willing to pay for your and your family’s happiness?”  

Or, any variation. Now comes the actual cost of making the proposed change:  “How much does it cost?  Not anywhere close to what you may think. ”  Include in this section the return on investment, your ideas on how long it will take to recoup their expediture, and the REAL value they will derive… feel better about themselves, receive the loving attention of appreciative family members, etc.

By creating a story that is woven around the Five Questions for your website visitor, you are persuading them to take action..now.  You are enticing them to try your product or service rather than whatever other alternatives are available.  You are reaching your visitor at their core in a way that makes absolute sense to them.  It gets them to do what you want them to do…full of desire to capture the “what”s in it for me.”

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