How to still write great copy if you have NO proof

36 replies
Hi Copy Warriors,

We know that one of the most vital aspects of copywriting is giving proof or evidence.

But if you're writing copy for a brand new product... and there's no proof, no case studies, no testimonials, and no Clickbank account printscreens to show (since it's new), how would you go around this?

Thanks,
Michael
#copy #great #proof #write
  • Profile picture of the author azlanhussain
    Participate in as many related forums as possible, open a thread & give review copy to those who have good reputation..

    Those type of comments & reviews carry much better weight by itself.
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  • Profile picture of the author John_S
    An product developer with a lick of sense tested the product with users. That goes the same for a course, software, a service or physical product.

    If the developer got all the way to a finished product without proof, they did it wrong.
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  • Profile picture of the author AnneE
    Can you GET proof by offering free samples to potential users?

    If you don't know potential users, then post the offer on a forum for potential users. Actually depending on the forum, this may be a way to generate some interest in the product without violating rules about advertising. Your post can say "We're looking for some feedback on ..... which will Benefit X, Benefit Y, Benefit Z.... willing to give LIMITED number of copies FREE to lucky x customers who agree to provide feedback.
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    • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
      Proof exists in the mind of the reader of the letter.

      It's not just testimonials (social proof). It has to do
      with getting the reader saying :

      YES - that makes sense. I agree with that -

      ie. here's the inner conversation in your prospect's head:

      "That's right - I DO need to get some software to help
      me make money on ClickBank. I don't know why
      I've been messing around for so long without anything
      like this. I guess I just didn't know software like this
      existed. Ok. Well, now I do know. Is there a guarantee?
      Ok. There is. How much is it? Oh. That's reasonable
      for a good piece of software."


      You see? You help the prospect create the PROOF in his
      own mind and emotions.

      You don't have to look at things so literally Michael. People
      act on FEELINGS so if you create a feeling of excitement
      and remove the risk you have a good chance.

      For a financial product - like investments - well, investors
      may be more in the THINKING and analytical mode. Even
      though the core motive is greed and security - which are
      very visceral, emotional things - the FILTER is through the
      rational mind.

      It's unlikely your product needs all the proof you think
      it does. If it's good you'll get testimonials on the fly
      as people use it.
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      • Profile picture of the author spidey2306
        Originally Posted by Loren Woirhaye View Post

        Proof exists in the mind of the reader of the letter.

        It's not just testimonials (social proof). It has to do
        with getting the reader saying :

        YES - that makes sense. I agree with that -

        ie. here's the inner conversation in your prospect's head:

        "That's right - I DO need to get some software to help
        me make money on ClickBank. I don't know why
        I've been messing around for so long without anything
        like this. I guess I just didn't know software like this
        existed. Ok. Well, now I do know. Is there a guarantee?
        Ok. There is. How much is it? Oh. That's reasonable
        for a good piece of software."


        You see? You help the prospect create the PROOF in his
        own mind and emotions.

        You don't have to look at things so literally Michael. People
        act on FEELINGS so if you create a feeling of excitement
        and remove the risk you have a good chance.

        For a financial product - like investments - well, investors
        may be more in the THINKING and analytical mode. Even
        though the core motive is greed and security - which are
        very visceral, emotional things - the FILTER is through the
        rational mind.

        It's unlikely your product needs all the proof you think
        it does. If it's good you'll get testimonials on the fly
        as people use it.
        Some good points there Loren. I've always thought that the type of copy is heavily influenced by the type of product.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    Originally Posted by Michael Lee View Post

    Hi Copy Warriors,

    We know that one of the most vital aspects of copywriting is giving proof or evidence.

    But if you're writing copy for a brand new product... and there's no proof, no case studies, no testimonials, and no Clickbank account printscreens to show (since it's new), how would you go around this?

    Thanks,
    Michael
    Michael,

    Proof is important, obviously, but lack of proof doesn't doom your promotion.

    First, play up your credibility.

    Second, build curiosity with blind bullets.

    Third, and most important, make an irresistible offer.

    Alex
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  • Profile picture of the author Christie Love
    Play with the product. Live with it. Make it yours. Soon, you will begin to see benefits you can use in your copy.

    Take the product around. Show others and ask them what they think. This is where friends and family come in handy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Norma Holt
    Originally Posted by Michael Lee View Post

    Hi Copy Warriors,

    We know that one of the most vital aspects of copywriting is giving proof or evidence.

    But if you're writing copy for a brand new product... and there's no proof, no case studies, no testimonials, and no Clickbank account printscreens to show (since it's new), how would you go around this?

    Thanks,
    Michael
    Hi Michael,

    I am trying to get my head around your question. What kind of product are you talking about? Having spent years in advertising and media I launched many products that had no history and never had a problem. The picture is created from what the product does, how much work went into it, what is expected of it, the price and so on.

    Build your story around what you know and leave out the hype because that won't get you far. Hope this helps

    God bless

    Norma
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    • Profile picture of the author Raydal
      This is a question that Schwartz answers very well in his book
      'Breakthrough Advertising' as he talks about the different
      stages of awareness a market goes through.

      The simple answer is that you have more selling and introduction
      to do and you can always BORROW credibility from another well-known
      product by comparing yours to that product--that's at least one
      way.

      -Ray L.,
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  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    Raydal just said what I was going to...

    In the absence of your own proof - you borrow it.

    You borrow it from studies that show your theories are on solid ground. You borrow it from experts who espouse the basis of your product. You borrow it from well known sources that "lend" their credibility to yours by proxy.

    Brian
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    • Profile picture of the author Reeveso
      I agree with what everyone had to say so far, but I'd like to add something else that I didn't see anybody talk about.

      Another thing you can do is, for the first little while until you get some testimonials rolling in...do an "introductory" price and EXPLAIN (i.e. give them a "reason why") that it's such a low price b/c you're only looking for testimonials.

      This is powerful for 2 reasons:

      1) People will think you're going to charge more in the future when you get testimonials (which you should)

      2) People usually want to help others.

      So by offering a really low price, but asking them in advance for their comments - and EMPHASIZING that they can get their money back at any time...that's a great way to write copy that'll get results while getting proof at the same time
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      • Profile picture of the author Norma Holt
        Originally Posted by Reeveso View Post

        I agree with what everyone had to say so far, but I'd like to add something else that I didn't see anybody talk about.

        Another thing you can do is, for the first little while until you get some testimonials rolling in...do an "introductory" price and EXPLAIN (i.e. give them a "reason why") that it's such a low price b/c you're only looking for testimonials.

        This is powerful for 2 reasons:

        1) People will think you're going to charge more in the future when you get testimonials (which you should)

        2) People usually want to help others.

        So by offering a really low price, but asking them in advance for their comments - and EMPHASIZING that they can get their money back at any time...that's a great way to write copy that'll get results while getting proof at the same time
        Yes, good point. Or else give away a number of products, say 10 or so, in return for testimonials. These will help you and prove that the product works.

        God bless

        Norma
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        • Profile picture of the author wordwizard
          What great advice in this thread! Thank you all so much.

          The proof thing has really been plaguing me so this has been very helpful.

          I need to learn how to plan better and will start using the technique of asking
          for testimonials early on... right now, the thought occurs to me just about right
          before launch, as I write up my sales letter.

          At that point, there's not much time to get the testimonials, though I'm working
          on it (and just got one!). Next time, I'll start when I've got a beta version! ;-)

          In the meantime, the alternative approaches for building up credibility that were
          suggested here are truly priceless!

          Thanks!

          Elisabeth
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          • Profile picture of the author SeanIM
            Another element I've seen used that can help add crediblity
            is to use quotes from major media outlets...


            eg; CNNMoney said this about the industry

            "If you don't jump in on this industry now your head will explode
            and you will die a poor lonely person."


            Well not quite, but you get the jist...

            ...it's just a credibility bump that you aren't the only one that
            knows your industry or offering is worth a hoot.


            HTH
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            Sean Mitchell -
            Online Marketing & Tech Consultant Since 1999
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            • Profile picture of the author Nick Doyle
              Hey

              Hand out a couple review copies for testimonials and ask to make a case-study. I know WAAAY to many people who just fake testimonials or claim things which simply aren't true.

              If you want to build a solid relationship with your customers ... make sure your credibility stays intact.

              That's why I suggest investing a little bit more time into the product/copy instead of rushing it out the door.

              Nick
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael G Perry
    Great points from all of you.. As Michael said..Even if there is no SOCIAL PROOF, the fact is that us Warriors can serve as endorsements to the other team members who may not have the credentialization or PROOF...

    Imagery is important and giving away the first 10 or 100 copies can be a super-smart move to get honest testimonials and feeback with lightening fast speed...

    Michael is correct about SOCIAL PROOF.this: you don't need it coming out of the gate.. you simply need endorsement (testimonials) for others as you move up the totem pole....

    Keep your head high, stay focused on your strategy.. Team, it's not where you are at; but it is where you are heading that counts...

    GO WARRIORS !!!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author astral330
    Originally Posted by Michael Lee View Post

    Hi Copy Warriors,

    We know that one of the most vital aspects of copywriting is giving proof or evidence.

    But if you're writing copy for a brand new product... and there's no proof, no case studies, no testimonials, and no Clickbank account printscreens to show (since it's new), how would you go around this?

    Thanks,
    Michael
    As Nick said don't be in so much of a hurry to release the product. Remember the old saying "the More haste ...the Less Speed"

    I would think that a carefully chosen group of people who were in a position to review the product would be delighted to give their testimonials on recipt of a review copy.

    God Luck with the launch

    Robin
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    • Profile picture of the author MaskedMarketer
      There is technique to get proof, with out having your product service personally endorsed.

      Its called "borrowing proof"

      There is a simple solution to finding proof, if you don't have proof of your own product/service. I'm sure others have done what you are going to do in your market (or something similar) and these successful people have proof. The key is to "borrow proof" somehow. Maybe trends, market news, current events, other marketers proof.

      Figure out how to do that, and there you go, problem solved!
      Signature

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      • Profile picture of the author OnlineMasterMind
        here's a good example for you:

        Learn Hypnosis ? Covert Hypnosis Training Secrets

        I haven't personally promoted it but from I understand it converts well.
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        • Profile picture of the author MaskedMarketer
          Originally Posted by OnlineMasterMind View Post

          here's a good example for you:

          Learn Hypnosis ? Covert Hypnosis Training Secrets

          I haven't personally promoted it but from I understand it converts well.

          They just changed the sales letter and it seems like a well written one.

          Too bad its just a well written sales letter and the product is complete trash. Nothing new, nothing exciting, nothing I didn't already know. A lot of fluff and filler, better products out there for the money - its too expensive for what it is.

          Well, maybe I should give him the benefit of doubt since I didn't listen to his whole course because I felt it was a waste of time.

          I was surprised to see Harlan promote a sub-par product like this to my inbox- conversions must be real well, so if Harlan's promoting it, its making decent money. You can get something with less fluff and filler for less money. Your just paying for the sales letter and hype, lol...
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          "One Man's Ceiling is Another Man's Floor
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          "I Pay Less Attention to What Men Say. I Just Watch What They Do."
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          • Profile picture of the author oboi2121
            Hello Omari Taylor here,

            Well what I would do if I had a product with no proof or stats to give, I would speak about the results you have gotten from the product and what the benefits of using that product are. Assuming it is your product, or if it's not assuming you have used whatever product you're selling. If you've had great success yourself with the product then it will be no problem brainstorming and putting together a great sales page using your story and results as the proof. Hope this helps.

            Omari Taylor
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            Omari Taylor

            Learn How To Realistically Make $15,000 Per Month (or more) In Your Business, In Your First 90 Days With No Experience, Without Picking Up The Phone, Or Making A List Of Your Friends And Family...EVER Again**FREE** ==> http://www.InstantRoad2Riches.com

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  • Profile picture of the author Li Weng
    How can you have no proof? If it's a product you've created, you should at least have used it yourself? And if it's someone else's product, just find ones with proof.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Canyon
    Michael,

    'Sales' is generally a process of finding a market of buyers of similar
    products and encouraging them to join your club instead of the other guys
    for reasons x, y and z.

    If no club exists, its best to giveaway the product to a few to get
    testimonials to give others a feeling in your copy that the club doesn't
    begin with them.

    Good luck with starting your club...

    Cheers,

    Rob
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  • Profile picture of the author poweremploy
    List your own story, and your creditials.
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  • Profile picture of the author TajwarAlexander
    Ok, I would go into great detail with this but just do this and then come back and let me know if you have any questions.

    You can see the link at my signature about reading the letter that uses no testimonials. Click it, read it, and learn.
    Tell an amazing story and people will love you.

    Remember, Facts tell, STORIES SELL!
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  • Profile picture of the author netvicar
    I think it was Claude Hopkins who said the greatest proof available is demonstration i.e. letting the prospect experience the product themselves.

    I don't think there's any greater proof than that. So, can you either write your copy to cause your reader acknowledge internally that they experience just what you are talking about or write in a way they vicariously experience your product/service?

    Nowadays this is kinda easy to do online. Just use video. Or if is software release a demo. Or if is a book let them experience the introductory chapter. Etc.

    If you let your readers experience your product for themselves there's probably no greater proof you can come up with.

    If none of that is possible I'd suggest going the route others have suggested, ie 'borrow' proof from third-parties by way of related stories, stats, experiences, etc. Is easy to do. Without proof you are dead in the water. Only thing left is hype
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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce Wedding
    Originally Posted by Michael Lee View Post

    Hi Copy Warriors,

    We know that one of the most vital aspects of copywriting is giving proof or evidence.

    But if you're writing copy for a brand new product... and there's no proof, no case studies, no testimonials, and no Clickbank account printscreens to show (since it's new), how would you go around this?
    Proof is a vital component of the sales process. Without it, you will sell less than you would with it, every time. Note, I didn't say you won't sell at all.

    Delving deeper, your mention of "Clickbank account printscreens to show" leads me to believe you're speaking of a product offering a way to make money in affiliate marketing. My question is, if you have such a system, why do you not have proof?
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  • Profile picture of the author ZelimirGraf
    Hey, why don`t you send free stuff to some super affiliates for them to check out, and give you testimonials? Or just send out invitations for acquiring testimonials? I`m sure there are a lot of people that are willing to write you a testimonial in exchange for your product. Of course, only if it`s worth something...
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  • Profile picture of the author Topgunb
    Great Comment.

    In the absence of proof, assuming the product is great, I would give a unconditional money back guarantee.

    If it is a crappy product you'll do lots of refunds

    If it is great very few, but from chances.

    Brian
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  • Profile picture of the author wrcato
    Testimonials are great to have. Allways opt for the "proof"
    But if you don't have the proof you want for your sales copy get your page live first and get sales. After your customer has clicked the buy now button, send them to a page that gives them a reduced price for their testimonial be it good or bad.
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  • Profile picture of the author wrcato
    Through your sales copy.
    You do not have to have testimonials on your sales page to sell a product.
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    William Cato
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  • Profile picture of the author DussaultPR
    I have to agree with Loren! If the product has value to the reader that will be your closer, not the testimonials.

    Besides, can any one really believe testimonials posted on a sales page?

    A site like Yelp of course is a different story, because their purpose is social commenting, and in that context it certainly has value and merit.

    In my case if the product is good and i need it, i'll buy it! If the product is crap! Then no amount of testimonials or "proof" images will get the plastic out of my pocket.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryda
    Hi Michael,
    From a consumer's perspective, the first question I will ask is, "How is the product different from the existing ones?"

    Perhaps, you can start by highlighting the improved features of this product compared to its predecessors. Getting reviews from free samples will give a rough idea on its effectiveness, but even without handing out free samples, you can still sell the new product by focusing on its novelty.

    If the product doesn't have a competitive edge, then it will truly test your creativity to play up on its benefits.
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  • Profile picture of the author Li Weng
    I don't know how you can be in that situation.

    To get a testimonial, all you need to do
    is give a copy of your product to someone
    in the related niche and ask them to review
    your product for you.

    It's not that hard. You can ask people on forums
    to do this.

    If your product is something created
    by you and is unique in its value
    people will give you a testimonial.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stephen Dean
    It'd help if we knew what the product was. But there are a lot of forms of proof, not just testimonials. Some of which have already been mentioned.

    Testimonials, credibility, demonstrations. Probably the best article on the topic was written by Michel Fortin: http://www.michelfortin.com/what-sur...t-copywriting/

    See if that changes your opinion on what proof is. And if you still don't have any, good luck!

    Stephen Dean
    stephensblog.com
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  • Profile picture of the author Shane Bryan
    With digital products it is really easy to get testimonials - just hand a few out. The Warriors Forum is a great place to find people who would be interested in checking out your product and giving you a testimonial.

    While a much bigger expense, I have also done similar with a physical product in a non marketing niche. I simply sent out product to small number of people with short letter asking them to look at product and send me their comments if they liked. In most cases, I got the testimonial I wanted.

    Shane
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