Whether you’re copywriting for your Facebook ads, lead capture page, or webinar, making this mistake is going to cost you TONS of time, money, and energy.

If you find that you’re not getting good results, you may be copywriting at a level that is either too advanced or too simple for your audiences.

If you start at a level that’s too advanced, your prospects will be confused and scared.

If you start at a level that’s too simple, they’ll be impatient and bored.

Either way, you won’t be able to grab and hold their attention.

And if you can’t get their attention, you can’t convert them to leads, and without leads, you won’t be able to get appointments, and without appointments, there’s no sale!

In order to understand at what level to speak to your prospects, it helps to know the concept of customer awareness.

According to Eugene Schwartz, one of the best copywriters in the world, there are 5 levels of customer awareness.

They are:

  • Unaware
  • Problem aware
  • Solution aware
  • Product aware
  • Most aware

In any market, there are people at all levels of awareness.

However, depending on what industry you’re in, the majority of your prospects will be concentrated on just one level.

When you do copywriting, you should start at the level that the majority of your prospects are in.

Level of Awareness Explained


These are prospects who either don’t know that they have a problem, or they can’t imagine how their problem can be fixed by your solution even if they’re staring right at it.

An example of a product in this market is Squatty Potty, a special device that you install on your toilet bowl to make pooping healthier.

Squatty Potty is in a market where the majority of the prospects are unaware of the problem they have.

Someone who’s new to Squatty Potty can’t tell why they need it just by looking at the product.

In this case, their copywriting would have to start off by explaining why it isn’t healthy to poop while seated.

In fact, they even made an expensive video to educate the public in a simple and funny way.

Squatty Potty’s simple, funny, and expensive video is a viral success.

This caught the attention of the producers of Shark Tank, and the rest is history.
Problem Aware
These prospects know they have a problem, though they may not clearly understand it.

They could have heard about your solution, but even so, they only have a vague idea of how it can solve their problem.

Examples of professionals in problem aware markets are real estate agents, financial consultants, and network marketers.

If you’re in an industry where the majority of your prospects are problem aware, your job when you do copywriting is to grab their attention by starting with their problems, helping them understand it, and lightly touching on your solution.

If you wish to go deeper into your solution, it’s better to do so during a one-to-one appointment.

Since most of you are closing sales through 1-to-1 appointments, I’ll touch more about copywriting for problem aware audiences in a later section.

Solution Aware

Prospects on this level know immediately what your solution is and what problem it solves.

For example, if you own a gym or a fitness studio, most of your prospects would have already been solution aware.

In this case, you can still grab their attention by touching on their pains and desires, but there’s no need to elaborate too much.

Once you get their attention, you can immediately introduce your offer.

Product Aware

These are prospects who not only know about your solution, but they can immediately tell what your product does.

Most Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) in supermarkets fall under this category.

If you’re in this market, you can simply start off with product benefits (though in this case the packaging is probably more important than the copywriting itself).

Most Aware

These are people who have already bought from you.

If you’re in a market where people are most aware, you probably own a huge market share.

A simple example is Coca Cola.

Copywriting for Problem Aware Audiences (1-to-1 Appointments)

If you are closing through 1-to-1 appointments, you’re probably in a market where the majority of your prospects are problem aware.

When you do copywriting for cold prospects in such a market, you should start off with their pains and desires before helping them understand their problems better.

Whatever you do, avoid using jargons or introducing concepts that might confuse or scare off your prospects.

Leave those things till during the appointment itself.
Example: Real Estate Agents
For example, if you’re a property consultant, if you start off by throwing out terms like asset progression, quantum, arbitrage, MSR, TDSR, etc, your copywriting won’t be attractive to the majority of your audiences.

In fact, when you do that, your copywriting will be more “attractive” to CEA than the average HDB owner.

Instead, you should start off by talking about the pains they are facing, such as not being able to afford a comfortable retirement in the most expensive city in the world, Singapore.

Alternatively you can start off with their desires, such as being able to upgrade their HDB to condo or even owning multiple properties without paying additional taxes.

You’ll also need to elaborate more by helping them understand WHY property investment is their best bet at a comfortable retirement, or WHY they don’t need to pay additional taxes to own multiple properties.

As for HOW to actually do it, leave it till during the appointment itself.
Example: Financial Consultants
If you’re an insurance agent, if you should avoid starting off with policies such as life plan, term plan, critical illness plan, health plan, investment plan, savings plan, etc.

Not only will this leave you with little or no response from your audience, if you’re not careful, you may get in trouble with MAS over compliance issues.

Instead, you should talk about the pains they’re facing, such as not being able to take care of their family in case something bad happens to them.

Or you can talk about their desires, such as being able to pay for their children’s university fees when they grow up.

You can then go on and elaborate on WHY financial planning is the only way to avoid bankruptcy during a crisis, or WHY it’s the only way they’re going to achieve their goals.

Like property agents, you should leave the HOW to during your appointment.
Example: Network Marketers
If you’re a network marketer in the health and wellness niche, you may be tempted to start with your weight management program or products.

If you do that, not only will you turn off a lot of people, your upline or company may come after you for breaking the rules.

What you should do instead is touch on their pains such as not being able to lose weight despite trying various methods.

Or you can talk about their desires such as losing weight and fitting into nice clothes.

Next, you can elaborate on WHY most weight loss efforts fail, or WHY they don’t have to starve themselves in order to lose weight.

As for HOW your program or products actually help them to lose weight, leave it till the appointment itself.

Summary (TLDR version)

In summary, there are 5 levels of customer awareness: unaware, problem aware, solution aware, product aware, and most aware.

The majority of your prospects will be in one of the 5 levels of awareness, depending on your industry.

If you are selling through appointments, it is most likely that your market is mostly problem aware.

In these markets, speaking in jargons or introducing industry-specific concepts too fast or too soon will confuse and alienate the majority of your prospects.

What you should do instead is speak in terms of their pains and desires, and helping them understand their problems better.

Leave deeper stuff till during your appointment itself.