Does this headline insult the reader?

29 replies
Does this headline may be insulting to the reader .. or may it work out?

Being a copywriting newbie but kinda childish (maybe), I really hope to get a feedback from you experienced guys:

Version 1 http://proactolbonus.com/
and
Version 2 http://proactolbonus.com/version2
#headline #insult #reader
  • Profile picture of the author Collette
    These are "In Your Face" headlines, fer sure, and that's not necessarily a bad thing, but...

    I'm confused. The headlines appear to be directed towards men. Yet the product shots show women. Which would suggest that this product is directed towards women (and therefore is of little interest to men).

    Which would make sense, because women buy 90% of weight loss products. Which means that your headlines (both of them) would fail miserably at selling to the biggest market you have for this product.

    The question you should be asking is not so much "Do these headlines insult the reader" but, "Does this headline attract my target market?"

    Unfortunately, these headlines don't. Unless you're trying to sell to the .00001% of men who are attracted to women's weightloss products AND who would respond to being called a "Fat Ass".

    If that's your market, you're home free. If not, back to the keyboard.

    Plus, don't depend on spell check for catching typos: "Loose" = baggy, ill-fitting, as in, "His size 16 pants hung loose around his size 4 hips."

    "Lose" = to get rid of, as in, "She wanted to lose the extra 40 pounds of baby fat she hated."

    And for a totally gratuitous tip: Nobody believes "Throw in a Pill. Done." anymore. Sorry, man. Those gravy days are over.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce NewMedia
    Your headline reads: "Sitting in Front Of The TV Doesn't Help You To Loose Fat. (you mean to use the word LOSE)
    Granted, You May Have Known This Already. So Why Don't you Get Up Your Lazy Ass (you mean to say 'get your lazy ass up') and do something, or just Get Proactol Rated by Users as the #1 Weightloss Solution.

    The 'boldness' of the headline is irrelevant. ....The problem is the headline is (to use your words) 'childish', poorly worded, makes a meaningless claim without proof, has no clear benefit, etc.

    I would start over. Wouldn't be a bad idea to study a course like Scott Haine's excellent program on 'Writing Great Headlines'.
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    • Profile picture of the author LuckyLuke
      ok. thanks guys for the review. gotta have a look at those courses from scott
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      • Profile picture of the author Mark McCullough
        Its fine to have an edgy headline if it has a purpose and advances the sale. But in your case I don't think it does. I'd ditch that one if I were you.
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        • Profile picture of the author thatgirlJ
          These headlines are definitely not "my taste." However, it's clear that you're reaching out to a male audience (hopefully)...if so...you might be OK. You're going to get tired of hearing this...but the only way to know for sure is to test.

          On one hand (with the 2nd version), you subtly convincing the man to look at the model below, which moves him into the sales page...which is a good thing. On the other hand you are distracting him

          I'd have to vote no to these headlines, they might be too over the top. Even so, you might want to come up with some milder ones that really get in deep with what this target market wants, and test them against these spicier ones.

          (which are going to eliminate more conservative people right off the bat...is your target market hard-core, young men? If so, you might be OK )
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        • Profile picture of the author lindajess
          Originally Posted by Mark McCullough View Post

          Its fine to have an edgy headline if it has a purpose and advances the sale. But in your case I don't think it does. I'd ditch that one if I were you.
          Having an edgy headline and having one that may offend people are two different things. I'd change it up a bit. I may be new to the whole marketing thing but that, well, you may offend a lot of people. Which granted, can be a great thing, but at the same time, I think that you may have gone a little too far. Change it up a bit, make it edgy, but don't go that way with it. Try a new angle.

          Does that help?
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          • Profile picture of the author David Chambless
            Two quick thoughts;

            Using a headline or copy that could be construed as insulting is never a good idea. This market is already insulted, belittled and has to deal with a lot of prejudice and rejection. Throw in the mandatory depression, and your first attempt will not only fail, you won't be given a second chance.

            Second;
            The weight loss market is HUGE! (No pun intended!) My point is there a large number of sub-markets or niches in weight loss that can be profitably targeted. A general approach, (as I read in your copy), has to work too hard to succeed.

            Edgy is good. I like edgy. Wrap the edgy in a little understanding and sympathy or compassion, (you know, the iron fist in a velvet glove idea,) and I'll bet you get there.

            David
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            • Profile picture of the author Al Andrews
              I see what your trying to accomplish with the shock headline but I believe you are going to loose more customers than you gain with this headline.

              I would try a different approach; you can get the shock effect with out being insulting.
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              • Profile picture of the author Melkor
                Theoretically it could work for the aspiring bodybuilder market - the ones hanging out over on bodybuilding.com and giving each other bad nutrition and worse workout advice. The drill sergeant persona goes over well with a certain segment of their demographic. Wrong product for it though, they're more into getting ripped off with 'thermogenics' and 'fat burners' which are basically cayenne pepper, green tea and some niacin in a capsule.

                If you had something like Lipo-6, 6-OXO, Hydroxycut or any of the other 'thermogenic' crap you could probably sell it with a "I can't believe you're still cutting when these people lose fat so easily" and get some graphics along the line of the standard Body-for-life before/after.

                Though speakng as someone who could in fact appear in your before/after pictures - 60lbs ago your approach would have bombed utterly with me.

                Which is not to say that it might not have moved some product, but my gut check before split testing would be to bet you half my royalty for writing your next sales letter that both promos would bomb miserably against the control of using the merchant's sales creatives straight.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kyle Tully
    Apart from being insulting both headlines are worded such that the message is completely mangled.

    Scanning the first one all I hear is "just Get Proactol Up Your Lazy Ass". Seriously. And the headline is disjoined from the rest of the page.

    The second one is also worded wrong, you say "Your Fat Ass is Way Out of Her League". In fact, it's her ass that is out of the readers league.

    Lines like "Throw in a Pill a Day. Done." also don't mean anything and are confusing.

    Theres also no proof. And I don't know who you are.

    Bottom line: I'd get a copywriter to write you a salesletter.
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    • Profile picture of the author vinnylingo
      Originally Posted by Kyle Tully View Post

      Apart from being insulting both headlines are worded such that the message is completely mangled.

      Scanning the first one all I hear is "just Get Proactol Up Your Lazy Ass". Seriously. And the headline is disjoined from the rest of the page.

      The second one is also worded wrong, you say "Your Fat Ass is Way Out of Her League". In fact, it's her ass that is out of the readers league.

      Lines like "Throw in a Pill a Day. Done." also don't mean anything and are confusing.

      Theres also no proof. And I don't know who you are.

      Bottom line: I'd get a copywriter to write you a salesletter.
      Glad I'm not the only one who saw that. Maybe it's a new line of suppository weight lost pills?

      And yeah. The OP might want to consider getting a copywriter. However, if you want to do it on your own, there have been some solid suggestions. My biggest suggestion, which has already been made (mostly), is that you don't need to be outright rude to be attention grabbing. Just say something they don't expect.

      "If You Thought You Can't Lose Weight While Sitting Around Watching TV, Then You'd Be Wrong!"

      Also, give some thought to making your headline (and copy) appealing to both sexes. I don't know the weight loss market, but if Collette is right, and NINETY PERCENT of the market is female, your copy is going to bomb.
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      • Profile picture of the author Collette
        Originally Posted by vinnylingo View Post

        ...
        Also, give some thought to making your headline (and copy) appealing to both sexes. I don't know the weight loss market, but if Collette is right, and NINETY PERCENT of the market is female, your copy is going to bomb.
        The majority of the market for weight loss supplements is, indeed, female. However, there is a healthy sub-market in men. But the appeal is different.

        Simply put (and stereotyping) men want a good body to feel superior to other men and to get laid by hot chicks.

        Women want a good body to feel attractive to men (not the same as getting laid) and to be envied by other women.

        If you want to go for both sexes at the same time (and I think this is a weakest way to go) go for the "good health" appeal. Typically, this is also an appeal that resonates better with a 35+ market.

        Really knowing your market before you write the first word will save you a lot of time and effort.
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  • Profile picture of the author yank714
    Instead of: Sitting in Front Of The TV Doesn't Help You To Loose Fat.
    Granted, You May Have Known This Already. So Why Don't you Get Up Your Lazy Ass and do something, or just Get Proactol Rated by Users as
    the #1 Weightloss Solution.

    Try something like: You can't lose weight watching TV! Or can you? Proactol is the fat loss dream you've been waiting for: just one pill a day - that's all you need!

    When you write, do so in the active voice. I don't particularly like the hard-ass approach but I know it can be effective. Whichever way you pitch, shorten up those paragraphs. Large clumps of text are daunting to the eyes and most people will simply skim over them.

    Otherwise, from a layout perspective, I think that is a very well designed page. I like the color scheme and the overall balance. ....check that, you just changed the background to something funky looking....I think it looked better before!
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    • Profile picture of the author trafficwave
      Personally, for the 2nd one, I'd put a pic of some drop-dead gorgeous super model type and the headline:

      Forget It Pal. She's Way Out Of Your League!

      (But we can fix that)
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      Brian Rooney
      TrafficWave.net Email Marketing AutoResponders
      Email Marketing Blog

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      • Profile picture of the author Ryan_Taylor
        Hey Luke,

        I think you did a really nice job on your design, layout and copy. Looks good, but I think your headline needs some tweaking.

        It could work, but you risk immediately losing people that find it tasteless. My initial reaction is that it's too long for a headline. Your headline should be able to be read in one breath.

        Something like, "The secret to losing fat without dieting or exercise finally discovered." Then your subheading could read, "Now you can lose weight while sitting in front of your TV eating your favorite food" . . . or somoething like that.

        The best thing to do is really to find out on your own by testing. Testing colors, words, fonts, etc. The headline is a pretty important piece, and it will take some trial and error until you get it just right.
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        • Profile picture of the author Kay King
          Both headlines, followed by a subheader "take a pill", did nothing for me at all. One good thing to do is to google the product and look at the top ranked sites for sales of it. There are some good examples of sites that review/pre-sell this product.

          Using the second headline, you can expect any woman getting to your site to leave without reading any further.

          On a site like this you don't need to shock your readers or get in their face. They know they are out of shape and are looking for a solution - all you need to do is convince them this is the solution. Using terms like "fat ass", "lazy ass" and "hard on" are guaranteed to offend some visitors and offer no positive info for other visitors.

          I may be overly cautious, but think it might be good to attribute something like "28% fat loss" to the product information or provide a disclaimer as this is a supplement product.

          kay
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  • Profile picture of the author latoya
    I don't think it insults the reader, but I also don't think it will motivate them to buy your product. If I was reading that from a customers standpoint, I'd think "Man, I am fat. Oh well, I'll just go eat more twinkies."
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  • Profile picture of the author CopyMonster
    I think you need to go back to the drawing board:

    1. What's the biggest benefit/advantage of this weight loss solution?
    2. Where's the target audience at? (are they already looking for a solution or have they landed on the page somewhat randomly?). The first suggests they are, the second suggests you are still trying to sell them on the idea of losing weight by associating hot sex with a trim figure. Both may be valid but you have to decide which audience you're targeting.

    There doesn't seem anything in the headlines to make me want to read more except maybe the #1 solution claim.

    The best headline will likely target something in the answers you get to questions 1 + 2 above.

    As Jenn said - the hot girl reference does encourage a reader to check her out and then lose flow... continuity is destroyed, conversion most likely lower.

    On a positive note - the design/presentation is nicely done.


    Originally Posted by LuckyLuke View Post

    Does this headline may be insulting to the reader .. or may it work out?

    Being a copywriting newbie but kinda childish (maybe), I really hope to get a feedback from you experienced guys:

    Version 1 Proactol Bonus - Get Proactol including Great Bonuses For a Limited Time Now!
    and
    Version 2 Proactol Bonus - Get Proactol including Great Bonuses For a Limited Time Now!
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    Scary good...
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    • Profile picture of the author Eric Johnson
      I don't see much of a problem with the insulting type, alpha male headlines if you are going for a certain audience...BUT...those just aren't very good, honestly.

      This is a headline, shoot for brevity. Take the couple of sentences that you wrote and condense them down to one sentence. Distill the essence and the tone of the message down to one sentence and you should be good.

      Oh yea, and where is the hot model on the second one?
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  • Profile picture of the author colinredk
    I'll give you points LuckyLuke for nailing down the standpoint and rationale as well as the features and benefits of your sales page. It's great copy for a newbie. Way to go!

    However I do agree that the headlines are a bit "extreme". Do try to consider that being overweight, your target market may already be harboring "insecurities" or feeling inferior, so the bullying approach may be taken as a turn off instead of a call to action.
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    • Profile picture of the author EcoverGuru
      Yea...the headlines are definately won't attract people to buy..specially when they are being called "fat ass", i mean somewhat the headlines can discourage some of the people with low self-esteem as well...they might feel it's like another judment towards them.
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      • Profile picture of the author Dean Shainin
        I's change this...
        So Why Don't you Get Up Your Lazy Ass

        To this...

        So Why Don't you Take Action Right Now
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        • Profile picture of the author Bryan Mc
          Haha, I like em. Maybe it's just me though. But, most people who are visiting the page WONT.

          Before you write any copy, at all, make a BOB. Who's Bob? Bob is the person who is visiting your page. Gear BOB toward your niche of course.

          What time does BOB wake up every morning?

          What's the first thing BOB does when he wakes up?

          What does BOB look like?

          How does BOB feel on an average day about himself or his "situation"?

          Does BOB have a wife and kids?

          How busy is BOB's life?

          Where does BOB work?

          What time does BOB come home?

          Where does BOB go home to, where does he live?

          What is BOB's favorite thing to do in his spare time?

          What does BOB really want out of life?

          Why is BOB so damn ___________, and how did he get to that point?

          Once you know who BOB is, you know what BOB wants to hear. And if BOB if a fat, lazy, tub of lard, who knows he's over-weight and hasn't been able to do anything about it, wakes up every morning with a sore back, who stumbles out of bed to an ugly wife in the kitchen and four annoying kids screaming, just to get ready for his dead-end job, and another day of being completely miserable...

          ...Does BOB need you to tell him he's a fat, lazy piece of shit?

          Think about it...
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          • Profile picture of the author LuckyLuke
            i would call BOB or JANE generally as a person with very very low self-esteem, people you might find on self-help forums i guess...
            BOB or JANE does know they got a fat ass, they already know they want to change something one day... they would either take it with humor or be really upset, but you grab attention anyway... you might have a higher bounce rate by the headline but also a higher conversion rate by the main body, can't prove it though .. those headlines won't go live as is anyway, but the plan was like:

            1. grab the prospectus self-esteem, throw it a wall ...

            2. give him a change to grab the rope you threw towards him to get out the dump to build up self-esteem up a bit...

            3. give an easy solution to not fall in the dump again and to definitively fix the problem...
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            • Profile picture of the author AltaMind
              I like what you are trying to do there, but I guess they are too long, and yes, a bit offensive.
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              • Profile picture of the author OnlineMasterMind
                Yes.

                But beyond that... they're both poor choices for headlines even if they weren't. (test them and you'll quickly see)

                Remember, people will always tell you that they want the raw and honest truth. "Don't B.S. me. Give it to me straight..." they'll tell you.

                But the numbers almost always tell a completely different story, especially in this niche.
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                • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
                  Many years ago the late Gary Halbert tried selling a diet product with a sales letter that insulted overweight people.

                  It didn't work then...it's unlikely to work now.

                  Kindest regards,
                  Andrew Cavanagh
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                  • Profile picture of the author Faisal Anwar
                    I think its kinda rude when you say that because some people just can't take that kind of comment and there are some who know what exactly you are saying. So its still safe to use the text. I love the graphic anyway
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                    • Profile picture of the author Tom Sheltraw
                      Some have responded saying that these two headlines are not insulting. Funny, I was insulted and didn’t even finish the sales copy. They might work for Porn but I’m with many responders and wonder who your target market is.

                      If the headline is intended to get you to read further, these failed. But then, I’m not sure whom you were trying to reach! They might work for that crowd.

                      Tom
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