Creative Ad Copy Secrets to Help Sell Your Services!
Step Five: Prove Your Benefits
By Marlon Sanders
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Show people why they should believe you will deliver the benefits you offer.
The online market tends to be a sophisticated, educated and highly skeptical audience. That means you have to prove your claims. Instead of just stating a claim or promise, you need to present evidence that it’s true.
The most powerful way to create credibility is by using testimonials. You can’t have too many strong testimonials in your sales letter or sales presentation. I send out a survey two weeks after people buy my product requesting an evaluation. At the end of the survey, I asked permission to use the comments in my advertising. This is how I get testimonials. Here are a few tips on what you want to have (ideally) for the content of your testimonials.
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State specific results. “I used X product and I solved these problems or I got these results.”
Target common objections. Let someone else answer common objections for you through a testimonial.
Avoid “pat-on-back” verbiage. People care about results and benefits, not how great the creator of the product is.
Provide full name, city, state, occupation, and photo, if possible. To obtain good testimonials, you can interview your customers, record the conversation, transcribe it, boil it down to a testimonial, then obtain written permission to use it.
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Other important techniques for building credibility include:
Tell why prospects should believe you are a credible source. Support statements with logic and proof. If you need additional help in this area, read the book My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins. It is inexpensive and will give you numerous examples.
Another book I highly recommend is How to Write a Good Advertisement by Victor O. Schwab. This book is a classic on how to put together outstanding direct response advertising. In chapter 3 Schwab goes into detail on how to prove your claims and promises. He points out that there are 4 basic types of evidence. I’m going to give you a quick and dirty distillation of that information using my own examples. Of course, for an in-depth discussion, I highly recommend you buy and read the book.
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First, I want to talk about the 4 types of evidence in general.
One, you have construction evidence. That is, how is your product or service constructed? What goes into it?
Two, you have performance evidence. That is, how can you support your case by citing actual performance results of your product?
Three, social proof. What do others say about your product?
Four, test evidence. How much confidence do you have in your own product?
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Let’s look at each of these in further detail.
- Construction Evidence.
What facts about your product support your claims and promises?
These facts could include:
- The reputation of a business and years in existence
- The management, production and customer service personnel
- The quality of materials and design
- Patents, machinery, and special processes
- Speed of delivery
- Design of the container or packaging that supports claims
- Performance Evidence
How does the product perform? You can show this in a variety of ways:
- Achievements of product, including dramatic results obtained in unusually harsh or difficult circumstances. I call this the “Timex” principle. Remember how you used to see the Timex watches take a licking but keep on ticking?
- Expert or well-known users. For example, if you’re selling a program that makes 3D headlines for websites and you have a survey that proves 79% of all webmasters use the product, then you have proof from expert users.
- Popularity. If more and more people are using your product, this is social proof of its effectiveness.
- Demonstration. If you have some demonstration that proves your product works, this is a form of proof. Thus, you have all the shareware programs online you can download and try out. Just be sure to explain thoroughly all the key features and benefits of your product before you offer the demonstration. Here’s another example: Our company can get you listed at the top of the search engines. As proof, check out these URL’s.
- Social Proof: Research shows 70% of people can’t make a decision on their own. They look to the opinions of others when making decisions or purchases.
- If you have letters from satisfied users, these constitute social proof.
- Endorsements from experts is another form of social proof
- Stating awards and contests won are another way to validate claims.
- Discriminating dealers, websites or outlets that sell your product
- Test Evidence: How much confidence in the product does the company itself have?
- Your guarantee shows your conviction about the product’s ability to perform
- Free samples: If you’re willing to provide a free sample or trial, this shows you’re confident in your product.
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“Here are other points to help you build credibility” continued in the next blog post…
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