15 "Conversion Boosters" You Should Be Using

32 replies
Hey Warrior,

Over the last few months I've been focusing on selling my own products - and I've come away from the experience with a lot more first-hand knowledge than I had before.

I've decided to share some of my "Conversion Boosters" here for free. No opt-in, no payments, but a click on the Thanks button would do (if you like this post that is...)

Let's go.

(In no order of importance.)
  1. Use a belcher button.
  2. Use "Involvers". I.E. forms that can be filled out but not submitted where a user can answer questions you ask them
  3. Use less than five words in your first paragraph
  4. Kill "Dear Friend" with a cleaver
  5. Add a signature to the end of your letter
  6. Have three P.S.'s that focus on the benefits, limited availability, and your guarantee
  7. Explain why the price is such a great deal. Compare your product to something more expensive, or use the "$X per day" technique
  8. Have some sort of money-back guarantee
  9. Capture all visitors email addresses
  10. Keep your headline short
  11. Buy the books, "Phrases that sell" and "Words that Sell"
  12. Stuff as many bullets in your copy as you can
  13. Use some well written testimonials all through your copy
  14. Write at least 30 headlines before you choose the one you're going to use
  15. Step away for 24 hours or more and come back to edit once the first draft is finished

There's a lot more you can do, but this list is absolutely going to increase the money you're making from your sales letter.

If you have any questions about anything on this list, please don't hesitate to ask here or via PM - I'm sure somebody else will have the same question.
#conversion boosters
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    • Profile picture of the author Josh Krenzke
      Thank you so much! I have been looking for great info like this.
      Signature

      Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.
      -Napoleon Hill

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    • Profile picture of the author shamoonak1
      Great info! Really helpful, thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author forumwarrior
    Great tips, thank you.
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  • Profile picture of the author ImportEyedea
    Originally Posted by Chris Ramsey View Post

    1. Step away for 24 hours or more and come back to edit once the first draft is finished
    Quite possibly the single most important piece of advice I ever got regarding the writing process and still the only one I'm religious about.

    Its vital to both the grammar, presentation and content that you WAIT before you edit.

    Also extremely helpful to have someone else read it to you, so you can hear how your copy flows in the minds (and voices) of others.

    Great post all around!
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    • Profile picture of the author LindseyRainwater
      See, information like this is why I joined Warrior Forum.

      Thanks for the tips. I think I'll print them out and file them with my "how not to screw up your sales page" stuff. (Yes, I really do have a file like that.)
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  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Banned
    Yes, good tips Chris. Except I don't agree with #12. Stuff as many bullets in your copy as you can

    That just leads to eye-strain. Instead be judicious with the use of bullets and don't use more than 7 in a block. And Odd numbers have tested better than Even. So 3/5/7. A whole bunch of bullets one after the other don't get read.

    And thank God you said Kill "Dear Friend". Gary Halbert was fond of that but these days it just sounds hokey - don't you think? Along with "Dear Frustrated Marketer".

    Personally I was always a fan of The Rich Jerk's "Dear Loser".
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  • Profile picture of the author ExaltedGFX
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    • Profile picture of the author Aussie_Al
      Originally Posted by Traffic-Bug View Post

      Thanks for the tips, all reasonable and I can see how they might possibly improve conversion from the sales page. I am also not in agreement with the point that says 'have as many bullet points as you can'. I would say, Use bullet points judiciiously where applicable and bold some words in each bullet point for easier reading.
      I was always taught have more bullet points for bigger ticket items

      $19.95 ebooks and what not keep the bullet points more selective
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  • Profile picture of the author Jag82
    Like your tips, Chris. Especially point 15.

    But on these points:

    Originally Posted by Chris Ramsey View Post

    1. Use less than five words in your first paragraph
    2. Kill "Dear Friend" with a cleaver
    3. Keep your headline short
    ...I'm just not too sure if these are universally true for
    all niches/audience/products.

    The overly beaten cliche - test it - still applies.

    Jag
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    • Profile picture of the author Chris Ramsey
      Originally Posted by Jag82 View Post

      Like your tips, Chris. Especially point 15.

      But on these points:

      Use less than five words in your first paragraph
      Kill "Dear Friend" with a cleaver
      Keep your headline short
      ...I'm just not too sure if these are universally true for
      all niches/audience/products.

      The overly beaten cliche - test it - still applies.

      Jag
      Hey Jag,

      You're absolutely right - test, test, test.

      However, I'd say a good 90% of the time, these rules are going to apply - let me explain why. I'll try not to keep accidentally rhyming as well...

      1. Less than 5 words in the first paragraph - The first thing you want to do with your sales letter is get the reader to keep reading. That means using SHORT sentences and powerful words.

      This is why you'll see most top copywriters using phrases like "It's ironic" or "Oh God..." in their first line. I've gone so far as to say "This sucks!" and it's pulled readers right into my copy.

      2. Kill Dear Friend - Boy do I ever hate seeing "friend" written in a sales letter. I'm not the friend of whoever wrote it... so don't call me that. If you're writing in the IM market, kill this - but if you do choose to use it elsewhere, please test it like Jag said.

      3. Keep your headline short - This is universal, no matter the niche. Using 40 word headlines that focus on four different benefits doesn't work well. Stick with just one.

      I used to do this a lot, until a thread here on the forums prompted me not to. I can't find it... but it was a thread that compared a new copywriter's headlines to an experts. The new copywriter would write headlines like "Discover why a simple berry can increase your lifespan, make you grow taller, catch Bin Laden, and a whole host of other ..." Yeah, you get it. But the expert would take the time to figure out EXACTLY what it was the reader wanted, and give it to them... "Here's the secret to adding years to your life."

      Maybe somebody else can find the thread... it was a good one.
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  • Profile picture of the author lacraiger
    great tips. first time i heard a couple of these and will try them out.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Sanchez
    I took your advice and put "Dear Notmyfriend"
    ...

    Conversion rates have gone up through the roof

    :p

    Seriously I love the tips. Dear friend or anything that people get accustomed to hearing starts to make the mind go..."Blah"

    In fact I bet for a gutsy persona and copy writer a 'Dear probably not my friend but possibly if you keep reading." would work better than ""Dear Friend".
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    • Profile picture of the author Matt James
      Keep your headline short - This is universal, no matter the niche
      I agree with a lot of your points Chris but c'mon... is this a bad headline?

      "The Amazing Money-Making Secrets of a 28-year-old
      Convicted Felon Who Earns More Money Per Year Than The CEOs of FedEx ...
      eBay ... Amazon.com ... Time Warner ... Apple Computer ... McDonalds ... Microsoft ...
      Nike ... Yahoo ... Ford Motor Company ... General Motors ... and Goodyear COMBINED!"

      It only seems too long if it's badly written, wouldn't you say?
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      • Profile picture of the author Chris Ramsey
        Originally Posted by Matt James View Post

        I agree with a lot of your points Chris but c'mon... is this a bad headline?

        "The Amazing Money-Making Secrets of a 28-year-old
        Convicted Felon Who Earns More Money Per Year Than The CEOs of FedEx ...
        eBay ... Amazon.com ... Time Warner ... Apple Computer ... McDonalds ... Microsoft ...
        Nike ... Yahoo ... Ford Motor Company ... General Motors ... and Goodyear COMBINED!"

        It only seems too long if it's badly written, wouldn't you say?
        The only real way to tell is by testing. The headline you posted is hard for me to read, but may not be for everybody. Test it against a shorter headline that makes the same point and see what works better. I'd bet that the shorter headline would.
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  • Profile picture of the author davemiz
    short headlines? thats bs.... really big bs..... and that headline by halbert is classic.

    oh and 30 headlines? lol dude thats it?

    we write over 100... and then start testing them to see the winner... we don't just pick one we like as you suggested.
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    • Profile picture of the author Chris Ramsey
      Originally Posted by davemiz View Post

      short headlines? thats bs.... really big bs..... and that headline by halbert is classic.

      oh and 30 headlines? lol dude thats it?

      we write over 100... and then start testing them to see the winner... we don't just pick one we like as you suggested.
      Feel better now? :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrew Gould
    You're not telling these people 'Lies, Lies, Lies' about short headlines are you?
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    Andrew Gould

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  • Profile picture of the author dtendrich
    Hey,

    Good list. Not too keen on #9 though - I don't want to distract people from buying by having them opt-in for something that they think could solve their problem for free.

    Also, I find that "Dear Friend" still works... As long as you actually write to the person like they're you're friend. It's when you say "Dear Friend" then talk at someone lecture-style that it falls apart.

    David
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    Copywriting Tips, internet marketing jargon, thoughts, and rants by me.

    Atlanta Copywriter, serving clients worldwide.

    Write your life.
    David Tendrich
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  • Profile picture of the author terenceyang
    HI Chris,

    Thank you so much for sharing such valuable information. I have them saved in my computer for rehashing. Look forward to more tips from you.

    Terence
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    JoinSingapore.com...Singapore's First Multilingual Neighbourhood Social Network!
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  • Profile picture of the author Reeveso
    VERY good post, however a few things need to be cleared up.

    #1 - Use less than five words in your first paragraph - This is absolutely not true. I understand the point of keeping it short, but if you found that you need 5 or less, you might look at whether or not you're saying something interesting enough to the prospect.

    #2 - Kill "Dear Friend" with a cleaver - This depends on the niche/product, etc. I know Halbert used to be a huge fan and did extensive testing on it, but that was also years ago. I could or could not work - always test.

    #3 - Keep your headline short - Once again, if you've found that only short headlines work, you should be working on coming up with more interesting things to say. I'll agree that in probably 70% of the time, short headlines are better. However, it's DEFINITELY not a universal truth.

    #4 - Stuff as many bullets in your copy as you can - Having too many bullets actually detracts sometimes. I would slightly change to the following:

    WRITE as many bullets as you can, but then take out the ones that aren't amazing.

    #5 - Write at least 30 headlines before you choose the one you're going to use - Good start, but make it 100

    Again I'm not saying these things were "wrong" - it was a VERY good post... I think they just needed to be expanded on a bit more.

    Great stuff!

    P.S. In case anybody is wondering, yes, I've tested these things personally. I'm a freelance copywriter and have my own projects with partners, so I have a lot of "tests" under my belt
    Signature

    Jeremy Reeves is a 6-figure sales copywriter who has made his clients MILLIONS of dollars in EXTRA profit with advanced marketing strategies and ninja-like conversion tricks.

    He puts most of his time and energy into what he's found to be the most profitable secret he's ever discovered.

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    • Profile picture of the author maraj
      Hey Chris... thanks so much for starting this informative thread.

      Good stuff!
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  • Profile picture of the author innitmedia
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  • Profile picture of the author Mrs S
    Thanks for taking the time to share this list - I'm going to put that belcher button to use ASAP!
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    • Profile picture of the author Chris Ramsey
      Originally Posted by Andrew Gould View Post

      You're not telling these people 'Lies, Lies, Lies' about short headlines are you?
      Haha, no - but I do see "You've been lied to" or "Stop believing the lie" a bit too much.

      The way I see it, the first couple lines are ONLY for getting the reader involved in your copy. If you can get them to read the first few lines, you've already won a big part of the battle for their attention.

      Yes, it does need to fit with your copy.
      Yes, it does need to be interesting.
      No, it shouldn't be just filler.

      But if you can keep the reader's attention for even just the first three paragraphs, you're doing a good job towards getting them to read the whole way through.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kevin Rogers
        Originally Posted by Chris Ramsey View Post

        Yes, it does need to fit with your copy.
        Yes, it does need to be interesting.
        No, it shouldn't be just filler.
        Thanks for clarifying that point, Chris.

        This is one of the most abused and misguided trends I've seen in the past year or so. Short "filler" copy bent on abiding the "short opening" rule is WAY more repulsive to your reader than a full paragraph of relevant info.

        Goes back to the lesson of those headline examples from a previous thread: Know what your prospect is ultimately after.

        The effectiveness of headlines, bullets, openers has less to do with long or short, or too many or not enough... than with URGENCY. How urgent is the information you have to share?

        Research is what separates the rooks from the pros.

        Halbert obsessed on his topics relentlessly for weeks. He'd have his friends and family (usually his son, Bond) drive him around for hours just so he could ponder the appeal. After hours of silent thought, he'd pop up and start spewing almost perfect copy verbatim.

        Bencivenga would take up to 6 weeks do dissect his prospect, deconstruct control ads (and failed ads) and talk to as many customers and employees as possible before writing a single word.

        Carlton once interviewed a client who'd created a golf instruction product for a full 45 minutes (getting lousy one word answers out of him), before the guy loosely referenced learning the technique from a one-legged golfer. Eureka! (The guy had told the story so many times, he thought it was old news by the time John got to him.)

        Who said it? Good writing is good research.

        If you're ever stuck on where to begin a sales letter, that's your brain telling you to do more research. Conversely, when you've done your research well, you'll be dying to sit down and write the stuff bubbling inside your head.

        Learn to love the research and the writing becomes the fun part.
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        • Profile picture of the author wordwizard
          Originally Posted by Metronicity View Post

          Yes, good tips Chris. Except I don't agree with #12. Stuff as many bullets in your copy as you can

          That just leads to eye-strain. Instead be judicious with the use of bullets and don't use more than 7 in a block. And Odd numbers have tested better than Even. So 3/5/7. A whole bunch of bullets one after the other don't get read.

          And thank God you said Kill "Dear Friend". Gary Halbert was fond of that but these days it just sounds hokey - don't you think? Along with "Dear Frustrated Marketer".

          Personally I was always a fan of The Rich Jerk's "Dear Loser".
          Are you saying we should do away with the direct addess/greeting altogether?

          I rather like Dear Frustrated Marketer.


          Originally Posted by Chris Ramsey View Post

          Hey Warrior,

          Over the last few months I've been focusing on selling my own products - and I've come away from the experience with a lot more first-hand knowledge than I had before.

          I've decided to share some of my "Conversion Boosters" here for free. No opt-in, no payments, but a click on the Thanks button would do (if you like this post that is...)

          Let's go.

          (In no order of importance.)
          1. Use a belcher button.
          2. Use "Involvers". I.E. forms that can be filled out but not submitted where a user can answer questions you ask them
          3. Use less than five words in your first paragraph
          4. Kill "Dear Friend" with a cleaver
          5. Add a signature to the end of your letter
          6. Have three P.S.'s that focus on the benefits, limited availability, and your guarantee
          7. Explain why the price is such a great deal. Compare your product to something more expensive, or use the " per day" technique
          8. Have some sort of money-back guarantee
          9. Capture all visitors email addresses
          10. Keep your headline short
          11. Buy the books, "Phrases that sell" and "Words that Sell"
          12. Stuff as many bullets in your copy as you can
          13. Use some well written testimonials all through your copy
          14. Write at least 30 headlines before you choose the one you're going to use
          15. Step away for 24 hours or more and come back to edit once the first draft is finished

          There's a lot more you can do, but this list is absolutely going to increase the money you're making from your sales letter.

          If you have any questions about anything on this list, please don't hesitate to ask here or via PM - I'm sure somebody else will have the same question.
          Thanks, Chris, for sharing these. I find the PS sequence especially useful.and will be sure to experiment with it.

          I also have BOTH books. Need to keep them close by though...


          Originally Posted by dtendrich View Post

          Hey,

          Good list. Not too keen on #9 though - I don't want to distract people from buying by having them opt-in for something that they think could solve their problem for free.

          Also, I find that "Dear Friend" still works... As long as you actually write to the person like they're you're friend. It's when you say "Dear Friend" then talk at someone lecture-style that it falls apart.

          David
          Good point. I've been wondering about that. Though I suppose exit pop-ups might work, especially if the thank you page has a one-time offer etc. (unless you have the robo-VA thing).

          I'm always torn about whether I should send people to a squeeze page first or a sales page...
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          Let Me Help You Sell: Sales Letters, Email Series, Pre-Sell Reports... PM me & we'll talk!
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          • Profile picture of the author wordwizard
            Originally Posted by Kevin Rogers View Post

            Thanks for clarifying that point, Chris.

            This is one of the most abused and misguided trends I've seen in the past year or so. Short "filler" copy bent on abiding the "short opening" rule is WAY more repulsive to your reader than a full paragraph of relevant info.

            Goes back to the lesson of those headline examples from a previous thread: Know what your prospect is ultimately after.

            The effectiveness of headlines, bullets, openers has less to do with long or short, or too many or not enough... than with URGENCY. How urgent is the information you have to share?

            Research is what separates the rooks from the pros.

            Halbert obsessed on his topics relentlessly for weeks. He'd have his friends and family (usually his son, Bond) drive him around for hours just so he could ponder the appeal. After hours of silent thought, he'd pop up and start spewing almost perfect copy verbatim.

            Bencivenga would take up to 6 weeks do dissect his prospect, deconstruct control ads (and failed ads) and talk to as many customers and employees as possible before writing a single word.

            Carlton once interviewed a client who'd created a golf instruction product for a full 45 minutes (getting lousy one word answers out of him), before the guy loosely referenced learning the technique from a one-legged golfer. Eureka! (The guy had told the story so many times, he thought it was old news by the time John got to him.)

            Who said it? Good writing is good research.

            If you're ever stuck on where to begin a sales letter, that's your brain telling you to do more research. Conversely, when you've done your research well, you'll be dying to sit down and write the stuff bubbling inside your head.

            Learn to love the research and the writing becomes the fun part.
            Gee Kevin,

            I'm all for extensive research, and do it too, but there's a limit as to what's practical --Bencivenga and Carlton may be getting paid enough to take the time out to do that, but those of us still working our way up simply don't have that kind of time...

            I realize that it's a bit of a chicken and egg thing. Doing fantastic reserach will result in phenomenal copy, which will help with increasing rates (presumably), but on the other hand...

            Oh well... I do study both product and market, but six weeks? Not full-time anyway. Gotta eat ;-)
            Signature

            FREE Report: 5 Ways To Grow Your Affiliate Income

            Let Me Help You Sell: Sales Letters, Email Series, Pre-Sell Reports... PM me & we'll talk!
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            • Profile picture of the author Reeveso
              Elisabeth,

              You have a good point - I personally went through that struggle when I first started copywriting....so here's my advice.

              Whenever you get a job, do as much research as humanely possible to make it "worth it" for you. Work a few extra hours at nights, or weekends, etc. - but just suck it up for a few months.

              Funny thing that happens is once you do more research, you start writing MUCH more heavy hitters.

              And once you do that - you have credibility.

              And once you get some credibility and statistics behind your name...getting clients becomes very easy because they all start referring you to their friends.

              When I first "got" that point, I went from writing for people looking for "the cheapest copywriter"....to people like my signature says. I just did that with my latest client and increased their control by (as of right now, the testing isn't "exactly" conclusive yet)...about 182%.

              So trust me...research is VERY important and you should be doing it as much as humanely possible
              Signature

              Jeremy Reeves is a 6-figure sales copywriter who has made his clients MILLIONS of dollars in EXTRA profit with advanced marketing strategies and ninja-like conversion tricks.

              He puts most of his time and energy into what he's found to be the most profitable secret he's ever discovered.

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              • Profile picture of the author wordwizard
                Originally Posted by Reeveso View Post

                Elisabeth,

                You have a good point - I personally went through that struggle when I first started copywriting....so here's my advice.

                Whenever you get a job, do as much research as humanely possible to make it "worth it" for you. Work a few extra hours at nights, or weekends, etc. - but just suck it up for a few months.

                Funny thing that happens is once you do more research, you start writing MUCH more heavy hitters.

                And once you do that - you have credibility.

                And once you get some credibility and statistics behind your name...getting clients becomes very easy because they all start referring you to their friends.

                When I first "got" that point, I went from writing for people looking for "the cheapest copywriter"....to people like my signature says. I just did that with my latest client and increased their control by (as of right now, the testing isn't "exactly" conclusive yet)...about 182%.

                So trust me...research is VERY important and you should be doing it as much as humanely possible

                Thanks, Jeremy, for the advice and the encouragement.
                Coming from you, and with your track record, that means a lot to me.

                :-)
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                • Profile picture of the author Reeveso
                  No problem Elizabeth, that's what this forum is for!
                  Signature

                  Jeremy Reeves is a 6-figure sales copywriter who has made his clients MILLIONS of dollars in EXTRA profit with advanced marketing strategies and ninja-like conversion tricks.

                  He puts most of his time and energy into what he's found to be the most profitable secret he's ever discovered.

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            • Profile picture of the author Kevin Rogers
              Originally Posted by wordwizard View Post

              Gee Kevin,

              I'm all for extensive research, and do it too, but there's a limit as to what's practical --Bencivenga and Carlton may be getting paid enough to take the time out to do that, but those of us still working our way up simply don't have that kind of time...

              I realize that it's a bit of a chicken and egg thing. Doing fantastic reserach will result in phenomenal copy, which will help with increasing rates (presumably), but on the other hand...

              Oh well... I do study both product and market, but six weeks? Not full-time anyway. Gotta eat ;-)
              Hi Elizabeth,

              You took my example too literally.

              I wasn't suggesting it's necessary for everyone to take 6 weeks on research. Only pointing out the importance A-Listers put on the task before they sit down to write the first word.

              Gary was charged with the task of beating excellent controls from other top writers. Letters that mailed in the millions for major publishers. Winning could mean years of juicy royalty checks. But, of course, the competition is fierce and his controls were never safe.

              He couldn't afford NOT to be so diligent. Most of us live in a slightly different world.

              Like Jeremy said, so long as you're doing the best research possible in relation to the project, you can expect great results.
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