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As If, Yeah Right

When we write we are talking to our reader. While your reader is going through your content they will be responding.

They might think “Interesting, I didn’t know that”, or they might think “So? What’s in it for me?” and they might think “So what?“.

One response I don’t think many marketing copywriters are prepared for is the response we have to headlines like  “Make a million dollars while you sleep”.

It’s the “Yeah, right” response.

If you get that kind of reaction then any credibility and trust you have built starts to show cracks.

Always make sure you can back up any headline promises. As the saying goes

“Extraordinary Claims Need Extraordinary Evidence”

This is where split testing comes in handy. You might find that a more toned down version of your headline, while pulling fewer clicks, works better overall. In fact I have found more “realistic” headlines tend to get a greater click count as they are not dismissed off hand.

Next time you are reading some marketing material or a website landing page, take careful note of the responses that spring up in your head. It could be some of the best copywriting education you can give yourself.

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Comments

  1. You’re right. When I visit other websites I’m already making mental notes and critiquing the content of the post and the site in general. What I fail to remember sometimes is that people are engaging in the same critique when reading my own site.

    You give us all a timely reminder here. And for me, this is where using the “draft” feature and editing your work becomes important.

  2. You’re right. When I visit other websites I’m already making mental notes and critiquing the content of the post and the site in general. What I fail to remember sometimes is that people are engaging in the same critique when reading my own site.

    You give us all a timely reminder here. And for me, this is where using the “draft” feature and editing your work becomes important.

  3. Hmm, “Extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence” — do you have anything to back that up?

    Seriously though, I’m all for the straightforward, facts-before-hype approach. Sometimes I have to catch myself when I start talking too much “marketing-speak”.

    But how do explain long-letters? I’ve never understood quite how they work, though people like Michael Fortin seem to swear by them. If their stats are right, they are one of the most effective marketing approaches. Yet they are full of shock and hyperbole — and I’ve seen several that actually advertise you will make money as you sleep!

    Why is this the exception?

    ~Graham

  4. Hmm, “Extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence” — do you have anything to back that up?

    Seriously though, I’m all for the straightforward, facts-before-hype approach. Sometimes I have to catch myself when I start talking too much “marketing-speak”.

    But how do explain long-letters? I’ve never understood quite how they work, though people like Michael Fortin seem to swear by them. If their stats are right, they are one of the most effective marketing approaches. Yet they are full of shock and hyperbole — and I’ve seen several that actually advertise you will make money as you sleep!

    Why is this the exception?

    ~Graham

  5. You are so right Chris, I often think about this when I write and double check everything, to make sure I got my facts straight!
    Thanks,
    JR

  6. You are so right Chris, I often think about this when I write and double check everything, to make sure I got my facts straight!
    Thanks,
    JR

  7. I loathe hype.

    I think the long sales letters are promoted because they work short term. These are the results that are quoted.

    I hope, long term, that blogging and internet marketing, don’t come to be regarded as the used car salesman of the 21st century. But I doubt those who promote long sales letters think or care about this.

  8. I loathe hype.

    I think the long sales letters are promoted because they work short term. These are the results that are quoted.

    I hope, long term, that blogging and internet marketing, don’t come to be regarded as the used car salesman of the 21st century. But I doubt those who promote long sales letters think or care about this.

  9. Hi Chris, I completely agree no article should make promises the author can’t keep. I know this since college, but it sometimes seems even mainstream journalists (I refer to Romania mainly here) forget it. And if it’s understandable for tabloids, when you run into it in financial and business newspapers it starts to strike a nerve.

    When it comes to bloggers, I guess we are so focused on getting people to read our posts after seeing the headline that we overlook how it relates to the article itself. Yours is a great advice, one each blogger should read before choosing a headline 🙂

  10. Hi Chris, I completely agree no article should make promises the author can’t keep. I know this since college, but it sometimes seems even mainstream journalists (I refer to Romania mainly here) forget it. And if it’s understandable for tabloids, when you run into it in financial and business newspapers it starts to strike a nerve.

    When it comes to bloggers, I guess we are so focused on getting people to read our posts after seeing the headline that we overlook how it relates to the article itself. Yours is a great advice, one each blogger should read before choosing a headline 🙂

  11. Hey Chris,

    That’s so true! People will most likely click on a simple headline than compared to those complicated, SEO blah,blahs.. I came here to your blog because of this simple headline.

    Nice work! 🙂

  12. Hey Chris,

    That’s so true! People will most likely click on a simple headline than compared to those complicated, SEO blah,blahs.. I came here to your blog because of this simple headline.

    Nice work! 🙂

  13. For me the most irritating is the sales with the bold red type of full sentences, italics or use of multiple crazy colors as text colors.

    It’s like ding, ding, ding… Look how bad they want my attention, must be a scam! The other one is ALL CAPS shouting at me.

    If someone has 2500 characters of remarkable content highlighted and screaming at me, then it must not be remarkable enough for it’s content that I would just want to read it. So reminds me of Infomercials.

    Vicky H

  14. For me the most irritating is the sales with the bold red type of full sentences, italics or use of multiple crazy colors as text colors.

    It’s like ding, ding, ding… Look how bad they want my attention, must be a scam! The other one is ALL CAPS shouting at me.

    If someone has 2500 characters of remarkable content highlighted and screaming at me, then it must not be remarkable enough for it’s content that I would just want to read it. So reminds me of Infomercials.

    Vicky H