Almost everyone in the world, in every field of human endeavor, is desperately searching for someone to believe in. Be that person and you can write your own ticket. Belief is today’s most overlooked yet most powerful key to boosting response to any ad, in any medium. Harness it and you unleash the core atomic power for exploding response.
Most prospects want to believe the claims you make in a landing page, yet the claims challenge their world-view and the status quo. You need proof, ideally proof that resonates emotionally, in order to get them to take action.
A landing page, or a salesletter, is like a one-to-one conversation between you and the prospect. You put various things on the landing page, designed to instill a particular reaction in the reader’s mind.
A good landing page is written in a conversational tone. Short words, short sentences, short paragraphs. In fact, you can read it out loud to ensure that the text “flows” well.
Imagine it as a phone conversation with a friend. They call you. They bring up a problem they’re struggling with. You say something surprising. You empathize with their pain. You talk about an approach you’ve used in the past or a product you can recommend to address it, as you know it will help them out. At the end, you help them buy the product or implement a solution in their lives. Empathize with your reader in the same way you’d empathize with that friend on the other end of the line.
Direct response progenitor Eugene Schwartz puts it well:
It is the facts that the prospect believes in and accepts, and the way that he passes that acceptance along from one fact to another, that determines the ad’s development, the arrangement of your claims and your images and your proofs, so that there is a step-by-step strengthening, not only of your prospect’s desire but of his conviction that the satisfaction of that desire will come true through your product.
You are building up the emotional weight of your argument as much as you can. You want the solution to become increasingly real in the prospect’s mind.
When you are making claims about the benefits your product has, your prospect is likely to not believe a claim that you make. It’s that natural “yeah, right” knee-jerk response.
Proof counters that pushback. It’s your job, as a product creator or founder, to provide strong counter-arguments to this type of objection. In other words, your copy should explicitly address the prospect’s objections about how your solution can solve his problem. Or hers.
Well, the best type of proof is a poignant detail that knocks out a line of questioning or thinking. Direct response copy that sells is very clear.
If you want to know what types of proof you can use, I’ve got your back. Launch Tomorrow includes 38 different types of proof you can include on your landing page.
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I'm not going to shock you when I say that landing pages live and die by how well they persuade. And bullets form the foundation of any persuasive message you put out there. They're specific points which you expect will persuade the reader or listener.
Truth is, though, that your reader comes across thousands of marketing messages per day. You need to have a way of persuading them, without invoking an automatic "yeah, right" type of response. If you do it the right way, you can talk about getting rich quick, body part enlargement, or any other product idea and still be convincing.
First and foremost, be clear on the benefits you're providing. Ted Levitt of Harvard noted that "People buying a 1/4 inch drill bit don't want a 1/4 inch drill bit, they want a 1/4 inch hole." Focus as much as you can on the benefits of your solution, not on the features. Nobody cares about the drill or how it works. They are willing to pay for the result. You will always be most persuasive by looking through the customer's eyes.
It's a common mistake to see lists of features next to products, written from the product creator's perspective, disregarding the user's needs. Not seeing your product in terms of the benefits it provides is a common problem, even for established businesses. Find out what benefits are important to your customer. Conduct customer interviews. Then test with advertising.
You will always be safe in the world of your customer's (or prospect's) worldview. If your don't frame benefits from the customer's point of view, or you forget to include them, you rapidly become a pest.
The real challenge nowadays lies in pitching your product's benefits without sounding full of hype.
Well, I've learned there's always a balance between hype and proof. You can't have too much of one or the other. Too much hype, and you're not credible. Too much proof, and you'll have the charisma of a spreadsheet.
There's a few decent techniques you can use to counterbalance sounding too hypey.