Your potential buyer is not waiting breathlessly for your pitch. So when you do swoop in with an ad or sales letter, one of the initial thoughts a buyer will have is the question: Why should I believe you?
Every piece of copywriting should have claims and a promise. However, it is one of the most delicate areas of creating copy.
You have to earn the attention of your prospect. He certainly has better things to do than read your latest promotion. It’s why having a strong, compelling headline is the first way to grab his attention.
However, after that, he’s looking to be convinced that you have his best interests at heart. He’s looking for proof to trust you. And if he senses for one moment that you’re trying to pull a fast one, he’s gone.
“Step right up, folks… You’ve heard about it, you’ve read about it, and for years you’ve looked forward to it – that ancient remedy from Ireland, the wonder of which I smuggled into this country at great personal risk to meself. And now, for the first time in Cheyenne… Dr. Foy’s Blue Nectar!” – Dr. Michael Foy, The Cheyenne Social Club
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 made the same promises and then conned people out of their money, there is a lack of trust. Not good.
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 you promise. Most advertising promises nothing.
Make your promise but then back it up in your copy with 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.
Your prospect is looking for anything to eliminate you from the “Buy Me” race. Don’t let your copy do it for them.