1. Make it believable.
Face it – we are just smarter nowadays than we were several decades ago. In fact, we’re jaded. We’ve seen it all. Bought the miracle pills (and felt stupid for believing the charlatans). We all know it’s impossible to lose 25 pounds overnight. So why even go there? Once you lose credibility, you’ve lost your prospect’s attention, too. Respect your prospect with honesty and you have a much better chance of doing business together.
(Psst. A great way to build trust is to actually reveal a flaw in your product. We all know nothing is perfect – so show us where it’s not and we believe in you.)
2. Easy on the adjectives.
Great copy is “verb-heavy,” not laden with adjectives. In fact ad man great, Leo Burnet (of Green Giant ad fame, among others) wanted to discover why 62 of his ads failed. So he had his staff analyze them.
Here’s what he found – of the 12,758 words in the 62 failed ads, 24.1% were verbs. His conclusion – if the failed ads had more verbs, they probably would have done better. Take my advice. If you haven’t already, go to Amazon and buy Richard Bayan’s copywriting thesaurus, Words that Sell. And keep it by your desk when writing.
3. Write in your prospect’s language.
Make sure you understand their particular jargon. For example, in general, chiropractors have a bit of a rivalry with medical doctors. But chiropractors are “real” doctors. If you slip up and say otherwise, you have alienated them. But you would only know that by deeply studying your target market.
4. Write to one person with the “tarketing” technique.
To really sound sincere and empathetic, do what I call “tarketing”. That’s taking your target market’s demographics down so far that you’re actually referring to just one person. (See, a target market is a mob or plural while a “tarket” is ONE PERSON or singular.)
Corporations take this approach all the time. For example, Volvo’s tarket is a 35 year old mother of two. (Does that mean men don’t buy Volvo’s? Of course not!) When you use the tarketing technique, not only is your writing more concise, but your reader connects with you on a very deep level. After all, you’re talking directly to him or her.
5. Think from the prospect’s point of view.
You have to do your due diligence if you want to avoid the hype. This is where summoning up a little creativity goes a long way. Once you’ve got your targeting technique in place, really drill it down.
Get deep inside your prospect’s head and ask yourself some of these questions:
What magazines does he or she read?
What restaurants does he or she go to?
Does your prospect take vacations?
Who did your prospect vote for for president?
How would your prospect describe his or her life if they ran into a childhood friend they haven’t seen for 10 years?
Are you beginning to see just how deep you can start to go? The more you think about who your target market is and what this person is like, the more you are able to get into your prospect’s head.
The best way to avoid hype is to genuinely connect with your prospect through prewriting research AND respect. You’ll be rewarded with customer loyalty and many more sales.
Author Resource -> Copywriting guru Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero has been helping entrepreneurs and copywriters get their marketing messages razor sharp since 1999.