In the minds of our customers (and many of our colleagues and clients) ‘selling’ has become synonymous with ‘hype’ and that’s not a great place to be for a marketer or copywriter.
Hype is rampant in the websites and marketing all around the Web. You know the hype words: consistently, superior, cost-effective, best-in-class, easiest, quickest, top, best, number one.
Why customers stopped believing us
Our customers are exposed to hundreds of hyped-up marketing messages every single day. They have been burned more than once by the hype and they feel misled and mistreated by the lofty platitudes of old-school marketers and copywriters.
The result of this is that no one believes what you say on your website or your advertising. They begin their relationship with your business in scepticism and they look for evidence, corroboration and proof at every turn.
Here are a few ways to avoid hype and help your customers to believe what you say.
Substantive facts over subjective ‘ad-words’
Your customers carry on a conversation in their heads with your copywriting. They ask questions and they respond consciously and unconsciously to the statements you make.
- You won’t find a better offer “Yeah, right…watch me”
- Blankety-blank company is a top provider of… “Says who?”
- With years of experience in blankety-blank…“How many exactly?”
Instead of allowing your reader and potential customer to second-guess you, provide them with the facts rather than platitudes.
- Offered at XX for XX “That sounds like a pretty good offer.”
- BlankReview Magazine rated us in their Top 3 providers of… “I trust their opinion”
- In 25 years in blankety-blank, we have patented XX blanketies and solved XX blankety-blanks “Wow, that’s a lot of experience.”
Facts speak for themselves and are believable. As a copywriter, you want your reader to believe what you write, because that leads to trust. And trust leads to sales.
Unique and verifiable over ‘me too’
In a niche market segment where very little variation between competing offers is present (I’m thinking of most software and many service businesses here) you need to tell your prospect what specifically makes your offer different.
If you offer accounting services, for instance, in all likelihood you are just like everyone else in your niche in the eyes of your prospects. You need to speak to your differences to the others rather than your similarities. This isn’t hype, it is differentiation. Just make sure what you say is immediately verifiable for the prospect, or he won’t believe it either.
“Unlike other accountants that wait until year-end to talk about your taxes, we offer a 15-minute phone consultation every month to help keep you on-track.”
The first part of this statement is believable because it is how most prospects will perceive the tax accounting world. But what they want is on-going help. That’s why we point out the relevant offer of on-going consultation by phone. It is what makes this business unique and it is verifiable because they can test it immediately by speaking to you.
Avoiding hype in your sales copy will make a huge difference to how you are perceived and it will give your prospects real reasons to trust what you say and become customers.