Crafting Unquestionable Proof to Seal Your Sale, Part 2

Last week, we discussed the first three easy steps to take in order to craft convincing proof in your sale letter – the three things you should do before you even sit down to write. Today, let's look at the final four steps to making your proof believable …and profitable.

  1. Focus on solutions, not ingredients or components.

    Let's say you're selling a health product for men that contains ingredients for boosting immune response along with several other ingredients, including "Shimona," for sexual energy. You've decided that your big promise is renewed sexual stamina – and your USP is that your product is the only one that has Shimona.

    Many copywriters start the proof by discussing the features or components of the product. They establish a list of ingredients and tell what each one does. But this is not usually the best way to do it.

    If you start your proof by discussing Shimona (or any other feature of your product), your prospect is going to lose focus – just when you want him to be completely involved in what your product is going to do for him.

    Instead, start by reestablishing your big promise – in the case of our example, that he will enjoy increased sexual energy.

    Next, you tell him about Shimona, a recent discovery from the Andes that the native Indians have been using for centuries. And then, you tell him about the other ingredients in your product that improve sexual performance.

    Take the same approach with your next promise – reestablishing the fact that your product will also improve your prospect's immune response and then telling him about the individual ingredients that are involved.

    If you're working with a product that has many features and benefits, you might worry that you'll wind up with a huge, boring proof section. But this won't be a problem if you follow our next step.

  2. Prove the most important things first.

    With a complex product, there are often many claims and many components to deal with in the proof. Handle them with the "inverted-pyramid" approach.

    Start with your most important promise and give it the most proof. Spend slightly less time on your second promise. Then reduce the emphasis and details for each subsequent promise. If you're writing about a health-care product, for example, you can pretty quickly drop most details involving clinical studies.

  3. Provide two levels of proof.

    Your proof needs to be strong enough to convince your prospect that you know what you're talking about …and that you're telling him the truth. This requires you to approach your proof on two levels.

    Level one is to prove the credibility of your claims based on the features of the product itself. In our example, you would point out that the product contains a potent amount of Shimona – and, as you've already shown, Shimona has been used for centuries as a sex booster in the Andes.

    Level two is to go on to tell your prospect that Shimona has been CLINICALLY proven – perhaps in 53 studies, including tests at Stamford University as cited in the January 2002 issue of "The Journal of Reproduction."

    Be sure your science, financial, or technical information is impeccably accurate. Nothing blows your credibility like incorrect information.

    And, of course, testimonials from happy users of the products, experts in the industry, or other credible sources are invaluable way of showing (not telling!) your prospect that the product works.

  4. Speak personally to your prospect.

    It's easy to forget that you're talking to your prospect in your proof section. Don't. As with every other part of your sales letter, pretend you're chatting with a friend over coffee about your product. Develop the same excited, intimate tone. Be natural. Don't let your use of "you" become artificial.

Next week I share with you one more secret for building the proof sections of our efforts – “Glow by Association.”

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: May 31, 2004

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