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Web Site Marketing Starts With The Right Kind Of Powerful Claim

Nov 16, 2007
Recently I was browsing through my emails when I ran across this comment:

"I want to make a really powerful claim -- the kind that makes readers sit up and reach for their wallets. How about, 'We have the secret formula to take your life to the next level.' Or, "You'll feel magically transformed after a single session.'"

I must admit I was not surprised. Clients often expect to see these kinds of statements in their copy, whether they write their own or ask me to do the job. But are these claims really powerful when it comes to converting lookers to buyers? Or will readers shrug off your message as pure hype?

To tell the difference, experienced copywriters will ask you for the story behind the claim. Readers will be convinced when they understand the "why" as well as the "what." They want specifics, not generalities.

For example, a life coach can make extremely powerful claims when she refers to herself as a unique resource: someone who invested years and thousands of dollars to learn from experts and experience her own growth.

Or she could back up her claim with numbers. For example, she could point to a specific percentage of her own clients who experienced significant life changes within 90 days of starting her program.

Another powerful claim is, "You would have a hard time doing this yourself." In a recent promotion, one marketer emphasized that she and her staff put dozens of hours into her newest information product.

Powerful copy doesn't come from words like "magic," "instant," or "big." It comes from a really compelling word: "because."

Three takeaways on claims:

(1) Back up your claims with accurate, demonstrable facts.

If you say you've invested 6 months doing research, readers will expect to see results, such as dozens of links to websites, interviews with clients, and references to published articles. Proud of your training? Your bio should include names of mentors, programs and degrees.

Recently I was asked to review an ebook on (let's say) financial success. The author claimed he had been researching the topic for 20 years, through his consulting and coaching practices. But his ebook did not make reference to a single outside source - not even via affiliate links. He reported just one interview with an "expert."

As I advised the author, this claim will backfire. He would actually come across as more credible if he simply omitted mention of research. Alternatively, he could add some of the resources he uncovered while working with clients and researching his book.

(2) Decide what you can claim before promoting your product.

Before hiring a copywriter (or sitting down to write your own copy), submitting your book proposal, or announcing your next ebook, decide what makes your offering unique. What promises can you deliver? What evidence can you produce?

Readers can challenge your claims two ways. They shrug you off with a "been there, done that." Or they can shake their heads in disbelief as they click away to another site.

(3) Go on a treasure hunt for truly powerful claims.

Focus on facts, outcomes, accomplishments and numbers. Wait a few days or even weeks and then review your notes with fresh eyes. You can also ask your clients how they benefited from your service. And, of course, your copywriter or marketing coach will help you discover what I call hidden treasure: powerful claims that reach your prospects' minds and hearts.
About the Author
FREE 7 Best-Kept Secrets of Websites That Really Attract Clients: My Special Report gives you insider tips to convert tire-kickers to buyers and earn money while you sleep. From Cathy Goodwin, The Content Strategist, at Website Marketing Strategies
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