Claims are tricky things. You know it when you see it. Copywriting that has amazing claims or a headline that makes an incredible promise, but after reading the rest of the copy, you’re saying, “Seriously?”
This is what we refer to as “hypey” copy and I’ve coined a term for those who write such copy: “Hype-writers.” (I couldn’t resist…)
Copywriting is basically putting a sales pitch into words. Just as a salesperson needs to demonstrate the superiority of her product, so must the copy on your web page or document demonstrate it. Every piece of copywriting should have claims and a promise. However, it is one of the most delicate areas of creating copy.
Claim Your Miracle!
We all know the image of the “snake oil salesman.” This person makes big promises but then fails to deliver. I’m working with a client now who has an amazing product, but because a few competitors have made the same promises and then ended up conning people out of their money, there is a lack of trust. Not good.
This is what you’re up against when you sell anything. There are many who came before you, promising the prospect the moon but failing to deliver. Often, shoddy products were peddled and the buyer vowed to never be “taken in” again.
Make Me Believe
Credibility is the foundation of solid copywriting. If your claims sound too-good-to-be-true, chances are your prospect won’t believe you. If you introduce even one dubious claim, your reader will reject the entire copy.
David Ogilvy had this to say about promises:
A promise is a benefit for the consumer. It pays to promise a benefit which is unique and competitive, and the product must deliver the benefit your promise. Most advertising promises nothing.
Make your promise but then back it up in your copy with proof. Quantifiable proof. Numbers (the more specific, the better). Testimonials (Video testimonials are especially powerful). The more you can show that your product or service will do what you claim, the better.
This is why copywriters will tell you why you need to be careful when making a promise in your headline. If you do make a promise (“Whiter teeth,” “Longer lasting”), then you need to make sure that the rest of your copy justifies that claim. Include photos of whiter teeth, or data on how a product lasts longer.
We Live In A Skeptical World
Because people have been lied to, manipulated, and conned, they are increasingly skeptical of whatever claims you make. Additionally, they can now go online and read of other people’s dissatisfaction with a particular product or service. And they’ll often make quick judgements on whether to listen to you, based on those reviews.
Respect your prospect by taking the lead in answering well all potential questions in your copy. Your prospect is looking for anything to eliminate you from the “Buy Me” race.
Don’t let your copy do it for them.