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Hype-free Copywriting Made Simple

Dec 27, 2007
A lot of online copy is filled with hype that turns readers off, turns clients off and, frankly, turns other copywriters off! Yet a lot of copywriters are guilty of writing hype-filled copy. I must admit, I've been guilty of it myself (probably more than once)! How do we avoid the trap of writing copy that sounds "hype-y"?

For a great resource on fine-tuning your copy for maximum impact, check out this site: http://thecopydoctoronline.com - The Copy Doctor.

Here are three simple methods to eliminate hype from your copy:

Talk about the reader's pain. The pain you're trying to relieve, through your product or service, is the focal point of your reader's awareness. Write about their pain, focus on it, and use language that lets the reader know you empathize with their pain, you understand it, and that you possibly have a solution to it. That will result in your copy not sounding hype-y, even if it makes extraordinary claims. Your reader won't necessarily perceive extraordinary claims as hype, if the copy is relevant to their life and their problems. Focusing on their pain is one of the ways you allow that perception to grow.

Tell relevant stories. Don't just make your copy academic facts and hyperbole about your product or service. Tell stories. Have you noticed how politicians always have a story to tell? They may be asked a pointed question about how they voted on a particular issue, and they often respond with something like, "Well, you know, I'm glad you asked that question. Just the other day, I was talking with Agnes Mooreson, who is an 83-year-old widow living on Social Security, and she told me" Then they launch into a story that's relevant to the point. We know they rehearsed it! We know they were waiting for this question and had this story prepared! But it's very disarming, because it draws you into the story (whether you're willing to be drawn in or not) and takes a lot of the air out of the argument against their position.

Use detail, not description. Make sure you don't use too many adverbs and adjectives when describing a feature or benefit of your product. That just sounds like hype. Check out the difference between this: "We have the industry's very best CEO, who runs our company in an exemplary way!", versus this: "Our CEO, Bob Smith, is a graduate of the Harvard School of Business. He has been awarded numerous industry awards and has increased the profitability of our company by 20% every year for the last twenty years." Notice how the first example sounds full of hype, while the second example is full of simple, factual details about Bob Smith's education and accomplishments but hype-free!
About the Author
For an inside look at the techniques of a top direct response copywriter, visit the site of Copywriter Ray Edwards. Claim your free podcasts, marketing tips, videos and free copywriting advice.
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