In support of my wife, Sylvie Fortin, and her ongoing battle, I am very excited to tell you that I am participating in “Bust a Move for Breast Health”, an all-day fitness-and-dance-a-thon against breast cancer, on February 22, 2014, benefiting the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.
The Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation is working to promote breast health and breast health awareness right here in our community through initiatives geared towards reducing wait times, increasing access to research and new therapies, providing world class care close to home, and improving quality of life for those affected by cancer.
My goal is to raise at least $1,000 in support of Bust a Move, but I can’t do it without your help. By supporting Bust a Move, YOU are helping making an impact for thousands of cancer survivors and their families. (Including mine.)
I took a professional speaking course where the instructor told us of a specific tactic I later realized I often used in copywriting. He called it the “Triple-Tell” formula.
When you’re making an important point in the copy that you want the reader to grasp and remember, and to which they’ll assign greater value, construct a series of paragraphs in which you:
Tell the prospect what you’re going to tell them,
Tell them (what it is you want to tell them), and
Tell them what you told them.
For example, “Did you know that have a home security alarm actually increases the value of your property?” (You’re telling them what you’re going to tell them.)
Then, you follow with: “In a recent study put together by 107 insurance companies, homes with an alarm system are 80% more likely to have higher property values than those without one.” (You tell them.)
After that, “So not only do home alarm systems protect your family and reduce insurance rates, they also significantly bump up your property value!” (You tell them what you told them.)
With every claim you make in your copy, you need to back it up. “We’re #1,” “rated top in the industry,” or “highest quality” appear spurious if left as is.
By whose standards? In which publication? For which market?
Justify the claim to give it meaning.
But even justified claims are not enough. You need to link them to the reader somehow or else your claim, no matter how much you explain it, will seem self-serving and arrogant.
So turn the claim into a benefit.
“We are the highest quality because we use lab-tested materials and skilled workmanship that help prevent your widget from breaking down when you need it the most! That’s why we offer the longest warranty in the business.”
If you need to credentialize a product, service, author, provider, or retailer, turn each credential into a meaningful, concrete benefit to the reader.
Testimonials are important in copywriting. Problem is, they’re so overused and sugar-coated that they seem as if they’re made up by a marketer.
Sure, testimonials are fantastic. But to readers, fantastic testimonials are fantasy.
Rather than grouping testimonials together in your copy and using flowery prose that sounds like a tween raving about last night’s Justin Bieber concert, write story-based testimonials that help you overcome objections.
In other words, make your testimonials read more like case studies.
Include background or contextual information about the person giving the testimonial, perhaps prior to buying your product or service, and then use the testimonial as a way to let them explain what happened later while enjoying the benefits.
This is especially effective when your introduction includes some kind of objection that the reader might be experiencing. This way, the testimonial answers the objection rather than you and therefore appears less self-serving.
When people are asked to do something, especially if it means to give up something else (like their attention, email, or money), there will always be some resistance.
There’s no real way of removing that natural inclination as it is part of human nature. But there are plenty of ways to reduce it or control it.
One way is to minimize the commitment or risk.
For instance, if the action requested seems long or people typically assume that it is, add copy that gives them an idea of how much of a commitment you’re asking of them.
Say something like: “Read more for complete details (it only takes 3-4 minutes).” Or “fill out this short form (only 5 easy questions).”
If you offer a free trial, and let’s say you only need their email address (or some other contact information) but no payment information, then put near the call-to-action button something like “no credit card required.”
In short, if it seems like a lot of work, even when it’s not, it already is. So make it easier on your reader by telling them instead. Don’t let them assume the worst.