the rookie mistake no one talks about...

25 replies
Here's a huge rookie mistake that I've never heard anyone talk about before.

It's kind of an interesting subj so I thought I'd post it here...

It's about how certain phrases and words lose their power and yet they keep being used.

For example... "Killer Copywriter"

At one point (probably when John Carlton started using it) those two words probably held a lot of emotional juice.

Now the emotional juice has been squeezed out of it.

Another example... "Massive traffic"

Another... "Seasoned marketing veteran"

Another... "into the stratosphere"

Another... "in the trenches"

Know what I mean?

You probably get people rolling their eyes instead of feeling an emotional punch you want with these suckers...

(That's why I think it's a good idea to change them).

Anyway, I could be wrong.

Who the heck knows.

Just something to think about...
#mistake #rookie #talks
  • Profile picture of the author ThomasOMalley
    I agree you can overuse certain words in your copy.

    However, you should definitely put emotionally-laden words and powerful phrases and cliches in your copy to give it more of a punch.

    I find Richard Bayan's Words That Sell to be very helpful in this regard.
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    • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
      Originally Posted by ThomasOMalley View Post

      I agree you can overuse certain words in your copy.

      However, you should definitely put emotionally-laden words and powerful phrases and cliches in your copy to give it more of a punch.

      I find Richard Bayan's Words That Sell to be very helpful in this regard.
      I think so too.
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      • Profile picture of the author DiamondDog
        While I certainly agree with the examples you gave above, as members of this forum we tend to be exposed to those kind of phrases daily and they lose their punch.

        I think it was Claude Hopkins who said that advertisers get tired of their advertising long before the public do. So some of the phrases we think are well past their sell-by date may still give Joe Public a jolt.

        But here's a couple more to be getting on with:

        "Cash-spitting ATM"

        "Gobs of money" (ugh!)
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  • Jason, you couldnt be more right.

    I think of it this way.

    A *quilified* prospect ...you know, the "buyers..." are the ones that do their due diligence.

    These are the guys that have heard it all, and are frustrated.

    What they are looking for is something different or something that does not simply look like the same ole boring pitch.

    So I would imagine, to this person, these words would be a turn off.

    There are words that will never go out of style such as...

    amazing
    discover
    how to
    etc etc

    But when it comes to coined phrases that have been used over and over with pitches, you have a very valid point.

    After all, when promising to be new and different, the last thing you want to do is identify with the same ole same ole.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    This discussion comes up every so often. As mentioned, the common phrases get old to us. And in this environment we're obviously seeing a lot of stuff geared to the MMO crowd.

    Some of my least favorites: Cash sucking strategies. Dirty little secrets. Laser targeted traffic. Legally Steal. Who Else Wants... Anything with the word Ninja in it.

    But it always comes back to the market. We get really sick of this hyped-up baloney but the revolving door of newbies think it's all so cool. It helps prop up the illusion they've come to believe. So copywriters either move to a new venue where such tacky stuff would be silly or they stay and write for the skateboard generation.

    Ah, could someone please pass the autopilot...
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnRussell
    How about...

    They All Laughed [When I Wrote An Overused Crappy Headline]
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
    Funny thing is I find myself writing the same old crap... But when I'm working on my next draft I try to replace it all with words and phrases that actually have emotional juice left in them. But even still... Some still slip through and end up on the final draft...
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  • Profile picture of the author GforceSage
    Another rookie mistake ...

    Not wearing pants!

    Don't go into a business looking like, " I am so successful, I don't have to impress anyone anymore." If they don't resent you , they will at least lose some respect for you.
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  • The biggest problem in my opinion is that people are most likely to use these emotionally dead copy-cliches in the headline and right around the end where they ask for the sale... especially in the money back guarantee.

    These are some of the most important parts of a sales letter, and people often ruin them with cliches.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joel Young
    My eyes and brain skip over all the above-mentioned stuff. Even before I got online thirteen years ago, all the "hype talk" of advertising never impressed me. I knew what was going on, and all I've ever wanted to do is focus on two things:

    1. Does the product/service provide what I need right now?
    2. Can I afford it?

    Everything else is fluff to me. I do realize that the general buying public tends to be the opposite, but that's why I'd never make a good copywriter. I just can't think up any fluff, lol.

    "Happy Hair Gel - now in a GREEN bottle!"
    ...yeah I gotta get me some of that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
    If one more person tells me to "rinse and repeat" im gonna.......
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    Deliver Bigger.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
      Jason,

      One option you can explore is split-testing a "tired phrase" against a new one.

      But ultimately, the only opinions that matter are the buyers in that target market. They're voting with their wallets. Everyone who isn't part of the target market doesn't have a vote that counts.

      Case in point, I personally don't care for "Who Else" headlines... but one of my non-IM control pieces has a double-digit converting headline that is a "Who Else" headline. We've tested it more than once and each time the "Who Else" headline has beaten the challengers.

      For that particular niche and target market, it really hits their dominant emotional hot button.

      Unfortunately, I cannot share the headline or a link to the salesletter because of a client non-disclosure agreement. So hopefully my professional word is good enough that "tired" headlines and phrases still can work very well.

      Take care,

      Mike
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      • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
        Originally Posted by MikeHumphreys View Post

        Jason,

        One option you can explore is split-testing a "tired phrase" against a new one.

        But ultimately, the only opinions that matter are the buyers in that target market. They're voting with their wallets. Everyone who isn't part of the target market doesn't have a vote that counts.

        Case in point, I personally don't care for "Who Else" headlines... but one of my non-IM control pieces has a double-digit converting headline that is a "Who Else" headline.

        For that particular niche and target market, it really hits their dominant emotional hot button.

        Unfortunately, I cannot share the headline or a link to the salesletter because of a client non-disclosure agreement. So hopefully my professional word is good enough that "tired" headlines and phrases still can work very well.

        Take care,

        Mike
        Hey Mike. I bet Who Else still works great in 99.99999999% of niches and probably even internet marketing niche still in many cases.

        I'm mainly talking about stuff in body copy, but even then, it's not even that big enough of a deal to split test I don't think.

        It's just a little nit picky type thing
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  • Profile picture of the author PhilippaWrites
    Originally Posted by Eddie Spangler

    If one more person tells me to "rinse and repeat" im gonna.......
    My current hated, most overused words are "laser-targeted". Reading them anywhere puts me right off.


    Posted from Warriorforum.com App for Android
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    • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
      Ever notice that a lot of the phrases that become cliche use strong visual imagery and/or metaphor?

      "They laughed when I..."

      "Cash-spitting ATM"

      "Laser targeted"

      "In the trenches"

      "Into the stratosphere"

      That's the secret to why they were originally successful.

      Imagery and metaphor are our most powerful tools in controlling the prospect's thoughts. But the prospect's repeated exposure to the same metaphor or imagery dulls it to the point of ineffectiveness. That's why we should stay away from cliche.

      Cliche is the partyboy grandson of Success (Imitation is the boy's mama). And like so many grandchildren of the successful, he's a waste of space. He's ignored or mocked, not taken seriously.

      Bill Bernbach summed up the argument against cliche perfectly:

      "The truth isn't the truth until people believe you, and they can't believe you if they don't know what your saying, and they can't know what you've saying if they don't listen to you, and they won't listen to you if you're not interesting, and you won't be interesting until you say things imaginatively, originally, freshly."
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  • Profile picture of the author 1robert
    I've always hated the words "Quickly and Easily" because I'm smart enough to know that nothing is quick and nothing is ever easy.

    Except maybe replying to this post
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  • Profile picture of the author MarketMyko
    Or starting your copy with "Since the beginning of time..."
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  • Profile picture of the author Keyword Candy
    Awesome content. Thank you for helping out us noobies!


    Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

    Here's a huge rookie mistake that I've never heard anyone talk about before.

    It's kind of an interesting subj so I thought I'd post it here...

    It's about how certain phrases and words lose their power and yet they keep being used.

    For example... "Killer Copywriter"

    At one point (probably when John Carlton started using it) those two words probably held a lot of emotional juice.

    Now the emotional juice has been squeezed out of it.

    Another example... "Massive traffic"

    Another... "Seasoned marketing veteran"

    Another... "into the stratosphere"

    Another... "in the trenches"

    Know what I mean?

    You probably get people rolling their eyes instead of feeling an emotional punch you want with these suckers...

    (That's why I think it's a good idea to change them).

    Anyway, I could be wrong.

    Who the heck knows.

    Just something to think about...
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  • Profile picture of the author Abo Yossi
    Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

    Here's a huge rookie mistake that I've never heard anyone talk about before.

    It's kind of an interesting subj so I thought I'd post it here...

    It's about how certain phrases and words lose their power and yet they keep being used.

    For example... "Killer Copywriter"

    At one point (probably when John Carlton started using it) those two words probably held a lot of emotional juice.

    Now the emotional juice has been squeezed out of it.

    Another example... "Massive traffic"

    Another... "Seasoned marketing veteran"

    Another... "into the stratosphere"

    Another... "in the trenches"

    Know what I mean?

    You probably get people rolling their eyes instead of feeling an emotional punch you want with these suckers...

    (That's why I think it's a good idea to change them).

    Anyway, I could be wrong.

    Who the heck knows.

    Just something to think about...
    thank you for this useful information..................
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    • Profile picture of the author Baster
      To add up: "If you don't take action, you'll hate yourself later"

      Can't even find the sense in this phrase...
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      • Profile picture of the author wordwizard
        Some good food for thought. Thanks for pointing this out, Jason.

        Reminded me of the admonishment to avoid cliche phrases in all contexts.

        I wonder just how often we're going to read that Einstein's quote in sales letters before we're all getting tired of it...

        I definitely like the idea of split testing to make sure...
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        • Profile picture of the author ThomasOMalley
          Originally Posted by wordwizard View Post

          Some good food for thought. Thanks for pointing this out, Jason.

          Reminded me of the admonishment to avoid cliche phrases in all contexts.

          I wonder just how often we're going to read that Einstein's quote in sales letters before we're all getting tired of it...

          I definitely like the idea of split testing to make sure...
          You should split test more important elements, such as your headline, offer, and p.s. before you ever split test particular words in the body copy...that is just a waste of time.
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  • Profile picture of the author markpocock
    Can't see Gary Bencivenga using those phrases...
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
      Banned
      Here's a challenge for you then Jason...

      What words or phrases would you specifically change out and to what exactly would you change them out to?

      Do you want to provide examples below?

      Only if the phrase fits, sometimes, not all the time but sometimes you've got to use them. What other choice/s have you got / are there?

      Fair enough you can pick new phrases up out of thin air but will the target market resonate emotionally with these new words or word strings?

      Will they understand and emotionally 'get' your new phrase which replaces the old 'tired out' phrases?

      If they're unfamiliar with the new phrase and it shoots off straight over the top of your readers forehead, then obviously your new turn of phrase isn't accomplishing it's purpose, whereas...

      If they're familiar with a turn of phrase, even though it might not register as strongly as in days gone by, still the subconscious will associate strong emotional meaning to the phrase used even if said reader is merely glossing over them.

      So, what new turns of phrase would you recommend marketers start using?

      Smoking hot,


      Mark Andrews
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  • Profile picture of the author ThomasOMalley
    I think copywriters get sick of certain words and phrases that still carry a punch in most markets before their targeted audience ever does.

    Remember the internet marketing market is only one market.
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