It's Not All About Benefits …

John Wood here, focusing on writing techniques you can use to make yourself a stronger, more effective writer.

Today, I'd like to talk about one of the most important things you can do in your copy, whether you're writing a sales letter, email, article, or web page.

Make a list of the reasons someone might not respond to your message or believe what you’ve written … and then address them directly in your copy.

In sales copy, if the reader does not get all his objections answered, often he will not purchase the product or service you are promoting – if it's email copy, it could prevent him from clicking on a link.

Here are three examples of what I mean as it pertains to sales copy:

  • Doubt that your product will work as promised – Let's say you are tasked with promoting a diet pill. It's critical that you make a list of why someone might not be open to trying the pill plan you're promoting.

    One reason might be that they are unsure you can really lose weight just by taking a pill. To put that belief to rest, you could say something like:

    "Now, you may have heard that diet pills don't work and the only way to lose weight is through exercise and reducing your food intake. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here's why, our ABC pills actually suppress your appetite … "

    Another reason they might be reluctant to buy is that they have tried something similar previously and it didn't work for them. To combat that perception, you could say something like this:

    "Now, there are many pills on the market that claim to suppress appetite, but they all fall short. Frankly, they have given our industry a bad name. The reason they produce unsatisfactory results is they don't use ingredient XYZ. We do. We have exclusive rights to the purest form of XYZ that for centuries has been harvested by restless natives from the darkest caves in southern New Zealand. Studies have shown it … "
  • Skepticism about how their money will be used – If you're writing for a nonprofit or charity, one reason that people might be hesitant to donate to a cause is they might be worried that too much of their money will be spent on administration costs. They fear that not enough of their donation will be spent on finding a cure, comforting the afflicted, or raising awareness.

    So it's very important you address this directly in your copy. Let the reader know that only a small portion of your donation goes to administration (obviously, what you say has to be true).

  • Fear of restrictive cancellation terms – One reason I'm very hesitant to sign up with any monthly membership clubs (other than Professional Writers' Alliance, Barefoot Writer, and the Wealthy Web Writer, which have extremely easy and flexible cancellation terms) is that I'm very wary of restrictive cancellation terms.

    When I checked the terms and conditions of a membership site I was considering joining, they said that I could only cancel at a particular time during the month.

    I couldn't help but think that if they're this picky about when I cancel, they must not have much faith in the content of their site and that they must make most of their money off of people not following their cancellation procedure to a T.

    So if you're selling a membership service, it's a good idea to address this concern head on. What you say has to be true, of course, but let your readers know that they can cancel any time and there will be "no questions asked." If those aren't the terms offered, you might consider talking to your customer and seeing if they would be willing to make their cancellation policy more flexible.

Next time you write something of a persuasive nature, make sure you map out all possible reasons your readers might not take you up on your offer. Often, their concerns are due to a false perception or a bad experience they've had in the past.

By addressing each one, you start to break down your readers' resistance, so by the time they reach the end of your sales letter, they have no reasons left for not purchasing your product or service.

Have you had any experience using this technique that you'd like to share? If so, you can post a comment here.

Another important copywriting strategy that plays a key role in boosting your sales letter conversion rate is "risk reversal."

Copywriting legend Jay Abraham writes that you give yourself a huge competitive edge when you take away "the financial, psychological, or emotional risk factors that are always attached to virtually any decision-making proposition you ever ask a client to make."

He adds that when you "remove the risk for anyone deciding to do business with you, it results in a powerful advantage in your business and financial success."

You can read more about how to boost the effectiveness of your sales offers with risk reversal in my article "Skyrocket Response by Eliminating Your Prospect's Risk."

On top of applying risk reversal to your copy, one of the most effective ways to help your client achieve more sales is by writing interesting, click-inducing emails.

And Jay White's Autoresponder Apprentice program does just that. Jay takes you step by step through his email writing process that will make your client sit back and say, "Wow, is this good!" And Writing these simple emails are without a doubt, the fastest way to earn a living as a writer. You could very realistically earn $250 – $500 to write a short, 200-500 word email.

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: December 22, 2011

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