Next time you’re writing sales copy, consider this when you’re marketing to women or men, specifically …

As a marketing professional you obviously know your product well, so you’ll know that the needs of your men clients are different to those of your women clients. And salespeople, you’ll know that when you’re selling in a face-to-face situation you’ll highlight certain features to women and other features of the product to men – that goes with the territory.

You’ll probably know too that the same goes when you write sales copy …to focus on the buying motives of both sexes (if your audience is evenly split) and focus on the benefits that appeal to both sexes.

For instance, when buying a car women are generally more interested in the colour, how safe is it for the kids. When guys look at a car they’re more interested in the engine size, how fast it goes and how good it makes them look. Yes?

So – to start with, if your buyers are evenly split between men and women, first make sure you address the most important hot buttons for both sexes.

But there’s something else that’s very important to consider …

It’s the writing style.

Are you writing in a masculine or feminine way?

Write too “macho” and you’ll  make women cringe. But write too fluffy and feminine and you’ll bore the pants off a guy.

I regularly cringe when I read online sales letters focusing on money making opportunities. Time and time again I’ll see sales letters with headlines that say things like:

“The Sure-Fire, No B.S. Way To Suck Money Out Of Your Customers Wallets As Fast As A Rat Up A Drainpipe”

Yew, ikk, cringe, YUK!!!! Makes my skin crawl!

Apart from the moral issues involved with sucking money out of your customers’ wallets, this headline has a very masculine focus to it. And while many opportunity seekers are men, there are a large number who are women as well. And the way in which women relate to money making opportunities, and the words that appeal to  them are slightly different.

Here’s a great TV commercial that illustrates the difference between the sexes when it comes to the art of persuasion.

Remember, the Carlton mid-strength commercial where a man and a woman are argueing in their kitchen, and the guy’s best mate walks in and says to the woman in a softly spoken voice …

“Hi, Karen -I’m Dave – part of Mitch’s support network”. “You know, Mitch loves you but he feels he needs some time out with special friends – to invigorate his soul, so he can love you even more.”
Love that! It’s a brilliant example of how men and women think differently. And brilliant example too of the tone of voice and the style of words used to appeal to women, as well.

What’s the difference?

Masculine words have a harder edge to them, words have fewer syllables, and sentences are shorter and more jarring to listen to.

Feminine words and copy is more romantic to read with sentences that are more flowing and words that sound softer when spoken.

Here’s a great example of how to write for the different sexes …

Headlines featured in Ralph Magazine and FHM magazine (young males):

  • Best Primate contest
  • Chug down a feed that weighs more than his head
  • Planet Woman. The weird words our ladies utter …
  • High street honeys uncut

Headlines that have featured in Marie Claire magazine (25 – 34 yo women):

  • Our bevy of beauty tips and picks will leave you looking and feeling fabulous this party season.
  • Is the stress of life giving you a headache? Perhaps you need a change of lifestyle.
  • Sex Life Stalled? Then reignite the passion with these steamy suggestions.

So – before you sign off on your next piece of sales copy, see how it fairs in the Mars/Venus persuasion test. If you’d like some help with that, we’d love to hear from you.