Advanced Copywriting...Lesson 1..."Proof"

by max5ty
44 replies
There's a fine line between a so so copywriter and a good one.

You might have read a great sales letter and wondered why you thought it was so great.

I'm convinced it's because some understand the theories behind copywriting better than others.

I was reading some posts where people were talking about "proof".

You've gotta have proof they said. You wouldn't have bought x product if Mr. Big Shot wouldn't have gave proof that he had done 23 million in launches...

WSO's are loaded with proof someone said...

What's more important, proof or blah blah blah...

Doesn't seem like anyone understands the concept of "proof" in copywriting.

23 million in sales is not proof...it's a fact.

You should buy from us because we sold 3 million cars last year is not proof, it's a fact.

Our supplement has been approved by the FDA is not proof, it's a fact.

We can't give proof...we can only try to create it.

Only your customer can assign proof.

Me: My company did 243 million in sales last year so you should listen to me.

You: That doesn't prove I should listen to you.

Point - - My fact didn't equate to "proof" to you.

Too many of you are confusing facts with proof.

I own part of a major fashion line...let's say I'm a novice copywriter and decide I'm gonna use "proof" as most here do:

"We sold 2 billion dollars of jeans last year, the 3rd largest manufacturer of jeans". So what? I may have listed a fact but you may still decide to buy another brand. You didn't take my fact I offered as proof you should buy the brand.

Lets say we own part of a brewery:

"In a taste test, 9 out of 10 people picked our brand". So what? It could be a fact but you may still drink another brand because you didn't take our fact as proof you should drink our beer.

It's all about the customer. Our facts don't mean squat as proof in their eyes unless they assign the term "proof".

There are still people buying other jeans and other beer. We offered facts, but the customer didn't accept it as proof that our product would work best for them.

Proof is not facts.

If I were to do an ad that showed a good looking couple walking on the beach holding hands and smiling while wearing our brand of jeans...I'd be building proof. They might accept the premise of the ad as believing they'd be like the couple.

If I did an ad with a group of friends looking happy and drinking our beer...I'd be building proof. They might accept the ad as though they too could have friends to be happy with.

So...building proof is not just giving facts...it's more involved than that.

If proof were just facts...most WSO's would sell like gang busters. In reality, what most offer as "proof" isn't accepted by their potential customer as proof, which is the reason most sales letters are useless.

The facts we offer are just an effort at persuading our customer to accept what we've said as "proof".

There are lots of ways to build proof with the customer...just understand what "proof" really is.
#1proof #advanced #copywritinglesson
  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    Proof is not facts.

    If I were to do an ad that showed a good looking couple walking on the beach holding hands and smiling while wearing our brand of jeans...I'd be building proof. They might accept the premise of the ad as believing they'd be like the couple.

    If I did an ad with a group of friends looking happy and drinking our beer...I'd be building proof. They might accept the ad as though they too could have friends to be happy with.
    If your argument that facts are not proof is valid, it also follows that images are not proof. Images must be accepted by the viewer as proof.

    For what it's worth, I would never accept a photo or video of a bunch of people as proof of anything. It's simply a photo (or video).

    Facts must be interpreted. Images must be interpreted also.

    Marcia Yudkin
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    Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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    • Profile picture of the author max5ty
      Originally Posted by marciayudkin View Post

      If your argument that facts are not proof is valid, it also follows that images are not proof. Images must be accepted by the viewer as proof.

      For what it's worth, I would never accept a photo or video of a bunch of people as proof of anything. It's simply a photo (or video).

      Facts must be interpreted. Images must be interpreted also.

      Marcia Yudkin
      I saw a photo of a UFO and didn't accept as proof there are UFO's...my mind was working to discredit it.

      Only your customer can decide what is "proof". Your facts are not "proof".
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  • Profile picture of the author Tinkerbell
    Yep, it really is all about "them."

    You can tell people anything you want, show them (demonstrate, etc.) but unless you're tapping into what they already want to believe, on as many layers as you can, you're wasting time.

    IMHO.
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  • Profile picture of the author directmaildude
    I think you guys are missing the point of proof.

    At the heart of every ad, a marketer is making a claim. The proof is used to make the claim credible.

    To use a previously mentioned example:

    Claim: Our supplement is safe.
    Proof: Our supplement is FDA approved.

    Obviously, you want multiple layers of proof. Our supplement is FDA approved, we've sold over 1 million bottles with zero complaints, 15 doctors said this stuff is safe, it's organic, etc etc etc.

    But as you can see: First comes the claim. Then the proof is used to make the claim credible.
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    • Profile picture of the author max5ty
      Originally Posted by directmaildude View Post

      I think you guys are missing the point of proof.

      At the heart of every ad, a marketer is making a claim. The proof is used to make the claim credible.
      The facts are used to make the claim credible...the customer decides if it's proof to buy your product.

      "Proof" as you say is not something you can dictate.

      Proof is not "proving" your product is worthy or not...

      In a court of law you could argue your "proof" position...

      "Where were you on...

      "Well your honor, I can prove I was on the WF...

      The whole point of this post is to get you to understand proof in copywriting is not the same as proof like I just mentioned.
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    • Profile picture of the author DavidG
      Originally Posted by directmaildude View Post

      I think you guys are missing the point of proof.

      At the heart of every ad, a marketer is making a claim. The proof is used to make the claim credible.

      To use a previously mentioned example:

      Claim: Our supplement is safe.
      Proof: Our supplement is FDA approved.

      Obviously, you want multiple layers of proof. Our supplement is FDA approved, we've sold over 1 million bottles with zero complaints, 15 doctors said this stuff is safe, it's organic, etc etc etc.

      But as you can see: First comes the claim. Then the proof is used to make the claim credible.
      I agree. But I tend to do it differently...

      I try to say the proof first, then make the claim. Basically, setting them up to believe what I'm about to claim.

      So in your example...

      PROOF: Our thing is FDA Approved, Organic, No one has complained...
      CLAIM: Our supplement is safe.

      The claim isn't 'loaded.' Right now, it simply looks like a regular line. But I've accepted it more easily.

      Obviously, many ways to skin a cat.
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  • Yes, as Tinkerbell indicated - although it's not a red hot certainty the best way to prove is to demonstrate.


    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Banned
    I've read this twice and I've still got no idea what you're banging on about. Something about confusing facts with proof I take it.
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    • Profile picture of the author max5ty
      Originally Posted by The Copy Nazi View Post

      I've read this twice and I've still got no idea what you're banging on about. Something about confusing facts with proof I take it.
      I realize this can seem like a complicated issue. Most will think about it long after they've read it...eventually, a light will come on and things will start clicking.

      Let's just say Jimmy was browsing the net one day and came across a sales letter written by a really good copywriter. He sat there in amazement and was blown away with emotions.

      "Wow", said Jimmy, "This is awesome, I want to be a great writer".

      Jimmy sits down and pecks out a letter.

      Guess what?

      2 days later he shows up on the forum with a post that reads something like: "Hey dudes can you critique my letter? I'm a big guy, the harsher the better".

      Then it starts...

      "Your headline sucks"

      "Rewrite it dude...it's horrible"

      "Hire a real copywriter"

      "Sit down and hand write 64 letters 92 times a day for 41 days"

      Well...

      Poor Jimmy is heartbroken. His widget he thinks is doomed...it will probably gather dust in a dark corner of his basement, and every day as he fights rush hour traffic to get to work he'll wonder what went wrong.

      But wait...

      Super poster Leonardo comes along. He's got the answer.

      "Dude you need a benefit in your headline". "You gotta have your widget in a bikini to get attention". " Man, you gotta grab them by the nads and twist them till they realize the buy button is their only relief". "Buddy you gotta...

      My point is, you can tell someone all the "rules" and "tips" about copywriting, but until they understand the theory behind it, they're simply pasting together something that gets nowhere.

      Which brings me to "proof" which is what I'm focusing on in this post because of all the discussion I've been hearing about it.

      Someone always says, "You have no proof".

      Jimmy says, "Hey man, what do you mean by proof".

      "Proof man, proof" says Leonardo.

      This is where it gets confusing to a lot of copywriters...only they don't know it's confusing because their definition of "proof" is based on everything that has nothing to do with copywriting.

      Proof is NOT just listing facts about your product, or JUST giving testimonials, or JUST showing photos, etc.

      Proof is the backbone of your piece, it's the behind the scenes element that drives the whole process. Only your potential customer can put the term "proof" on it. Everything you say or do is an attempt to persuade the customer to accept your product as "proof" that it is their answer.

      If simple facts were proof, everyone would drink Coke because they have the facts to show they're the biggest seller of soft drinks. Not everyone drinks Coke because their facts about sales aren't enough "proof" to cause everyone to drink it. So...they do commercials about fuzzy bears and pop stars to build proof.

      Proof is NOT just facts.

      Now...someone will ask why I try to make this point.

      Here's why...

      We can give someone all the "rules" about headlines, bullet points, closings, guarantees, etc., and they could probably put together a half decent sales piece.

      Or...we could simply teach the theory behind sales and they'd not need to listen to every Tom, Dick and Bugs Bunny that came along with ideas about how things should be done.

      When you understand the why of the what, you can break all the so called rules and still sell the hell out of anything.

      Peace and love bro.
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      • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
        Banned
        Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

        I realize this can seem like a complicated issue.
        I still have no idea what you're on about. As for "proof" - why should anyone listen to you? What have you done? Prove it.
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        • Profile picture of the author max5ty
          Originally Posted by The Copy Nazi View Post

          I still have no idea what you're on about. As for "proof" - why should anyone listen to you? What have you done? Prove it.
          I apologize if I didn't make my point clear enough for you to understand.

          I don't feel the need to "prove" anything about me. You can find enough heroes to worship if that's what you're looking for. I prefer to just enjoy being a nobody. I'm not looking for clients.

          If you find something useful in any of my posts...use it...if you don't, I'm sure you'll find lots of other posts on the forum where you'll find something useful.

          Been here in Pittsburgh since yesterday at a hotel because my plane needed some maintenance. Gonna continue to head to Maryland now to spend some time on my boat.

          Enjoy your weekend.
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          • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
            Banned
            Originally Posted by max5ty View Post


            Been here in Pittsburgh since yesterday at a hotel because my plane needed some maintenance. Gonna continue to head to Maryland now to spend some time on my boat.
            Me, I'm heading down to Cannes in my 100' classic ketch. Just waiting for my man to bring me a cocktail. Looking forward to the casino tonight. Oh yeah - I have a dinner with Prince Albert in Monaco next Friday night. He has an idea for a product featuring his late Mother. Wants to call it "Here but for the Grace of God go I".

            Pip pip. Tallyho!
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      • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
        Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

        I realize this can seem like a complicated issue. Most will think about it long after they've read it...eventually, a light will come on and things will start clicking.
        It's not complicated at all.

        You're just getting caught up in semantics.

        Facts are proof. They may not be the kind of proof that makes prospects buy, but they can establish a baseline to have a conversation.

        Here's my issue with facts (and the reason I don't use stats from past projects):

        Just because I created results for one person does NOT mean I can do it for you.

        That's a fact.

        The proof is just that I created results for someone else.

        Guys like Shawn LeBrun use stats from their past projects really well. I just don't even attempt to go in that direction - not because I can't... I just don't want to. I don't personally like it. And I want to attract my ideal clients in a different way; one that feels good to me.

        Is one approach better or worse? I don't know. I make good money for a guy who just wants to work 4 hours a day and have the freedom to pursue my own passions.

        My point is...

        Different prospects will accept different forms of proof.

        Some want the hard facts.

        Some want fluffy pictures of happy people enjoying whatever it is I created for them.

        Semantics.

        Mark

        P.S. If I'm selling a supplement and want to make sure people know it's safe. I can make the claim that it's safe. Being backed by the FDA doesn't mean crap to a lot of people. So I'd want to use as much social proof as possible to back up my claims. Sometimes facts don't equate as proof in certain people's eyes because they don't put any stock into the source or information. Simple as that.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jeremey
        Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

        Proof is NOT just listing facts about your product, or JUST giving testimonials, or JUST showing photos, etc.

        Proof is the backbone of your piece, it's the behind the scenes element that drives the whole process. Only your potential customer can put the term "proof" on it. Everything you say or do is an attempt to persuade the customer to accept your product as "proof" that it is their answer.

        If simple facts were proof, everyone would drink Coke because they have the facts to show they're the biggest seller of soft drinks. Not everyone drinks Coke because their facts about sales aren't enough "proof" to cause everyone to drink it. So...they do commercials about fuzzy bears and pop stars to build proof.

        Proof is NOT just facts.
        One thing I've learned as I'm sitting down to write copy is to just strike the concept of "proof" from my mind entirely.

        Proof = Logic

        Integrity, Believability, Credibility = Emotion

        Thinking about the sentence above Marcus, and replacing the word "proof" with "integrity" ...

        "Integrity is the backbone of your piece, it's the behind the scenes element that drives the whole process."

        Integrity is such a cool word in this context, because it conveys two meanings ... the integrity of the structure of your sale ... and the integrity, or believability and credibility of your sale ...

        There's tons of tactics copywriters can use to reinforce the integrity of their sale by shoring up the credibility and believability in their copy (enhancing credibility by eliminating objections and borrowing credibility by association) ... "Proof" on the other hand is a concept that screams for logic ... no amount of screenshots or case studies or before & after pics is going to shore up the integrity of a sale.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tinkerbell
    LOL. I think Max is simply trying to say proof is in the eye of the beer holder.
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  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    @Tinkerbell: Hmmm...now why can't I just say things that simply? LOL. Must be one of the reasons you're so good.

    @Mark Pescetti: Good post...makes sense. Thanks.

    @Mal: 100'? That's a big un. I always thought $2300 a month in dock and maintenance fees for a 40 footer was enough for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Memetics
    Social proof or "Social consensus" is a hard wired neural heuristic which helped our stone age ancestors survive in dangerous times so it has limited attenuation by the brains critical factor, the pre-frontal lobe. Because of this it's stored in the older limbic regions of the brain; specifically the amygdala. This is where nearly all emotionally salient persuasion cues are mediated and acted upon. We can't help being influenced by this as the amygdala has fast track access to sensory data before the critical factor and thus primes the pre-frontal lobe "before the fact" so to speak, which is why it's been discovered that damage to the amygdala can cause a total inability to make decisions.

    To summarise: Social proof, to the brain is considered a fact and acted on accordingly, as in days of yore, danger or opportunity had to be reacted to immediately and those who did lived to pass on their genes to the next generation along with the genetically encoded traits within them.

    "Facts"...well they're open to interpretation to bring them into line with our pre facto emotional decision.
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  • Profile picture of the author Moriarty
    Interesting thread. My take is that proof and facts aren't enough. For one thing they need to be believable - hence the customer reviews.

    The other way is to get some trust. One way to get them to trust you is not to ask them to trust you - but to trust them first. That is to say, demonstrate that you trust them.

    I could say "Trust me, I'm a Moriarty" - how many of you cynical folks would come back and say "Nah! Not buying it". Most? All? If you had any sense - you'd have said I don't trust you because you're just saying it and tomorrow you'll be across the stateline and the sherrif can't put you behind bars.

    So what if I said something like "I'm a fifty something frump" happens to be the truth. It's not something that's going to get me many gigs as a scribbler, but those who want quality won't mind how old I am. Or that I wear dull clothes and green wellies. The point is that I trusted you with something that most people wouldn't admit to.

    That is a demonstration that I trusted you before you needed to trust me. Used carefully it'll back up your proofs and facts nicely.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrdomains
      I agree somewhat.. and yet feel you could have gone further. Any type of "proof" (words, images, actions) is extremely blunt compared to triggering emotion (which needs neither proof nor logic).

      in some instances though, the blunt message is preferable, most types of branding for instance. Branding and marketing being 2 different things.
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      • Profile picture of the author Memetics
        "Trust" is another emotion and the brain rewards us with with a dose of oxytocin a "feel good" neurochemical when we do so but on the other side that's why betrayal of trust hurts so bad. The science behind this is; In ancestral times trust helped create group bonding which was beneficial for our survival in dangerous times. By trusting someone we give them an unconscious desire to reciprocate.

        "Branding" induces the emotion of safety as the mind prefers the security of the familiar and allows us more cognitive reserves for exploiting new things in the environment when they occur.
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  • Profile picture of the author Moriarty
    Memetics

    you say
    "Trust" is another emotion
    My response to your rationalization of this is that if you trust your reader first, they are more likely to trust you.

    However it happens isn't relevant - copywriting is about getting results. Knowing what will create a feeling in your reader is way more powerful than knowing that they'll get a mug of oxytocin when they do. It's the ability to create the required feeling that's the real issue here.
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  • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
    Proof is not an element in your copy. It's a line in the prospect's mind that is usually crossed by the preponderance of the evidence.
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  • Profile picture of the author maximus242
    Actually there are plenty of control ads without a smidgen of proof. The key is not "proof" it is believability.

    One of the most powerful but underused elements is the reason why. You can knock reason why advertising all you like, but ROI's of 700% have been achieved on the strength of a powerful, believable reason why.
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    • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
      Originally Posted by maximus242 View Post

      The key is not "proof" it is believability.
      Boom.

      Proof is a fundamental of Believability.

      So, then the question becomes - what is Believability in the service of?

      My answer: Compliance

      Interested to read your thoughts.

      Brian

      P.S. - I dig the discussion of Facts versus Proof a lot - and I agree that only the prospect can upgrade facts into proof for themselves.

      That's why demonstration can be so much more persuasive than illustration: photos / screencaps / stats / charts / infographics
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
      Originally Posted by maximus242 View Post

      Actually there are plenty of control ads without a smidgen of proof. The key is not "proof" it is believability.

      One of the most powerful but underused elements is the reason why. You can knock reason why advertising all you like, but ROI's of 700% have been achieved on the strength of a powerful, believable reason why.
      It goes beyond believability. To me, when I'm attracted to buy a product, attend a seminar or even get a massage, the proof creates a sense of authenticity.

      I'm personally drawn to authentic people/entrepreneurs who aren't "selling"; they're offering the opportunity to benefit from their solution. See the difference?

      You can throw a ton of social proof at me, charts, numbers... data galore... and I'll still pass if I don't feel the authenticity in the copy.

      mark
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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        Originally Posted by Mark Pescetti View Post


        You can throw a ton of social proof at me, charts, numbers... data galore... and I'll still pass if I don't feel the authenticity in the copy.

        mark
        Mark, there is a market for those that respond well to
        those things, just you aren't one of them.

        This ad I wrote below became the most ripped of ad on the internet for web designers.

        One user of the ad said it got him a deposit for his 48 foot yacht.

        Once again, we aren't the market.

        ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
        “Warning: Don't Buy Web Design Until You Get Answers To These 5 Questions!”

        Ask them what's the difference between a website
        that looks good, and one that gets your phone ringing.
        The surprising answer is in one word
        [Answer: tested]

        Want more leads..? then ask your web designer whether putting price on the offer page is right, because knowing this gave SafeSoft Solutions, a supplier of call centre equipment, 100% more leads


        Get more buyers to your showroom, by asking your designer which 3 design layouts matter most? Hyundai Holland tested these 3, and got 63% more requests for a test drive


        Want to have quote requests left on your website? Then make sure your designer places the form in the correct place. This was tested and made a 110% difference in the number of leads


        Want more phone calls from buyers? Then you had better make sure your designer puts more emphasis on one of these 2...great offer...credibility...because Cook Travel tested the 2 and one got 48% more phone calls each day.


        Don't risk your future with un-tested web design work and call xxxx xxx to get all these questions answered now, because this is far too important to ignore.

        A community service by [company name]

        Seize the opportunity now, by phoning xxxx xxx

        -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Best,
        Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author Memetics
    Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

    It's not about proof. It's about trust.
    Trust will outweigh the facts any day of the week. Trust is a belief, and beliefs are protected by emotional responses in the mind, as constantly having to re-trust someone or something everytime we encounter them would literally paralyse our day to day lives as we need the cognitive reserve to deal with any new thing we encounter.

    Facts have a very slow drip, drip effect on our beliefs which is of no good to us as copywriters unless they're paired with emotional impact as we only have a short time to influence our readers.

    Consider the strongest beliefs, those that people are willing to die for such as religious fundamentalism. The "facts" far, far outweigh the belief yet they are simply blocked out by rationalistic sophistry; we lie to ourselves and create a consistency bias to ourselves and only accept facts which confirm our world view and ignore those that contravene it.

    Jim Jones "persuaded" hundreds of people to commit suicide based on a belief.

    Whereas we....we are only persuading someone to buy our clients product.
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  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    I'm stunned... interesting shop talk here... and on a Max5ty thread, no less.

    <== Drinking my 2nd cup of Tanzanian Peaberry, waiting for the landscapers to finish trimming our 10' hedge fence so I can think. That trimmer is friggin' LOUD out here on the patio of my S. Florida estate. LOL
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Then there is the use of facts to make a water tight argument
      ...just as a court-room lawyer would do.

      Then the use of facts can be used to build a pitch as
      those seeking investors would do.

      Think Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff..

      The late Chet Holmes would research history and facts to build a case for
      alarming industry trends and offer those findings as an opener
      to get access to the companies he and his clients are seeking.

      His company still offers that as a service.

      The raw data isn't relevant until somebody knows how to manipulate it to match the end aim.

      Best,
      Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author maximus242
    Actually if you read the book "How To Argue and Win Everytime" you will discover top lawyer Jerry Spence, who is famous for having NEVER lost a criminal case - says that Story is the most persuasive element in a lawyers arsenal.

    Not facts. He simply advocates telling the truth. Even if it works against you.
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    • Profile picture of the author Memetics
      Originally Posted by maximus242 View Post

      Actually if you read the book "How To Argue and Win Everytime" you will discover top lawyer Jerry Spence, who is famous for having NEVER lost a criminal case - says that Story is the most persuasive element in a lawyers arsenal.

      Not facts. He simply advocates telling the truth. Even if it works against you.
      Very true. The use of stories in the role of persuasion is one of the oldest rhetorical techniques in existence and goes back to ancient Greece and the time of Plato and Socrates. Storytelling involves so many concepts of persuasion that I could write a PHd thesis on it.

      We think it works so well because there are certain evolutionary heuristics at play in our brains which make us "accept" stories as true. This is possibly because: In human prehistory before the advent of writing all knowledge was passed down in an oral tradition from the elders of our group to the youngsters and the knowledge they contained was very important to their survival. Those who believed without question used the time and tested concepts the stories provided and lived to do the same when they became elders themselves...whereas those who didn't and used their own methods usually perished.

      The mind in it's wisdom has evolved the trait of partially suspending it's critical factor when dealing with stories and to this day they still have the same effect.
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  • Profile picture of the author andreas3
    Good point. The way I understand it, "Proof" is proof that you can deliver on your promise.

    "I made $23 million in sales" is, as you say, facts.

    "Of the first 1000 people that bought my course, 95% of them made $100 within the first 30 days!" is proof.
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  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    Lots of interesting comments.

    Most people want acceptance. They want to feel as though they're part of a group...they never want to be the lone sucker that fell for something.

    Sometimes just feeling as though they'll fit in with the norm is proof enough for them to purchase.

    All the facts in the world probably won't get a customer to purchase if they feel like they're the only one interested. Most people have a little voice in the back of their mind that says: "There must be something wrong with it if there aren't a lot of others buying it".

    Most of the advertising we see on T.V. is all geared towards making the product seem normal...something that everyone just like you would use.

    I know we use testimonials...and most are used incorrectly. Testimonials when done right can be very very powerful...sometimes they can be the only thing needed.

    Anyways...to keep it short.

    You may read something and think it's worthless, then suddenly find out it's already been selling like hot cakes and had a write up in the New York Times. Your mind suddenly starts thinking: "Hey, wait a minute, there might be something to this".

    Right? Yep, you know what I'm talking about.

    I tend to think one of the best ways to build proof is to create a feeling of acceptance in the potential customers mind...acceptance that they've found something that is already widely accepted...and since it's widely accepted, it must work.
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  • Profile picture of the author brutecky
    I started reading this but I got boored when you kept saying over and over again that "its not proof, its a fact" .. my friend 'proof' by definition is a 'fact' .. in fact proof is a series of accepted facts that lead you to accept that another thing is also a fact.
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    • Profile picture of the author rihannsu
      Devil's Advocate here: Do "proof" and "trust" really have a place in copy writing? Isn't it all about emotion?
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      • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
        Originally Posted by rihannsu View Post

        Devil's Advocate here: Do "proof" and "trust" really have a place in copy writing? Isn't it all about emotion?
        No, it's about channeling emotion into a measurable response, an action.

        Emotion by itself is just churned up water.
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        • Profile picture of the author max5ty
          Originally Posted by BrianMcLeod View Post

          No, it's about channeling emotion into a measurable response, an action.

          Emotion by itself is just churned up water.
          Nicely put.
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  • Profile picture of the author Grain
    The reason why anything is persuasive is how presupposed it is.

    Stories work. Facts work. Anything works, as long as it ends up with a prospect persuading himself/herself. In my experience, ethos, pathos and logos are just theoretical and hard to apply. Get a grasp on linguistics and understand what bypasses the conscious faculty.

    It's all about the prospect's interpretation. Not yours. Not any marketer's.
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    Grain.

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  • Profile picture of the author ReferralCandy
    I think the "advanced copywriting lesson" needs some better copy.
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  • I can see that giving facts is not necessarily giving proof.

    And I do believe you are correct when you say only the prospect can assign proof.

    Interesting thread. Thank you.

    LLS
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  • Profile picture of the author Memetics
    Facts only become proof once they are accepted and have thus modified the belief structure of the prospect. Beliefs and values are very closely protected by the minds critical factor to prevent erroneous beliefs taking hold for obvious reasons which is why facts themselves will eventually modify a belief if there are enough of them for a long enough period of time but it's a time consuming process.
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    First we believe.....then we consider.

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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Having numbers in a specific way confers believability to what is said.

      For example this headline is what launched Boardroom...

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      How To Get the Heart of 370 Business Magazines in Just 30 Minutes a Month
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      Very specific, nothing vague and gets to the point fast,
      therefore it's instant gratification for the reader.

      Best,
      Ewen
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