Do sales copy formula turn you off?

14 replies
I have seen so many of formula copies that now when I see another page which says: "only 5 copies left, how I discovered the secret to make $1000 a day or sleep with 5 super model in 5 days despite no hair on your head", I just want to run away.

I am beginning to wonder if it is time to walk away from this style of writing because internet is swamped with them. In my opinion it takes the credibility away and people begin to think oh you don't mean what you say.

The reason I ask is because I am getting some sales pages written for my site and the last thing I want it to say is "from the desk of Magic".

I think it is time to differenciate yourself by being real and honest in your sales copy. Do you guys agree or am I over reacting?

Sorry don't mean to throw punches on any writer or anything. I am guilty of publishing similar content myself. But I really need some clarity and direction on this topic.

Thanks!
#copy #sales #turn
  • Profile picture of the author Chris Ramsey
    I completely agree that we need to be honest in our marketing... but that doesn't mean we should steer clear of 'salesy' talk. It's persuasion in it's simplest form. If you're going to make the sale you need to take the facts and make them appealing. That's what a sales page is meant to do.

    If the marketer has integrity, so will the sales letter.
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  • Profile picture of the author colmodwyer
    Yeah, first and foremost you should always tell the truth.

    As far as the copy cliches go, they're used for a reason.

    Remember, you are not your market.

    There's a chance you're fed up with the fundamentals because you see them day in and day out. That might not be the case for your potential buyers. "Only 5 copies left, how I discovered the secret to make $1000 a day" could be all new and shiny to them.

    Sure it's always good to try and cut through the clutter and be different... And every now and then you'll get a few breakthroughs that way, but more failures I'd imagine. How deep are your pockets?

    Remember the golden rule - Unless you're testing, stick with the fundamentals.

    Colm
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  • Profile picture of the author WareTime
    If you're a marketer, you'll talk like a marketer. There is a reason marketers talk like marketers. As colmodwyer said "you are not your market"

    If you need proof, get some good sales copy that you think cliche laden, then take out all the stuff you hate and split test.

    To some extent the internet is the wrong place to look for copy that works because you can't tell what does and doesn't work.

    I say that because the problem with the internet is the barrier of entry is too low. You can put sales copy on a free website.

    If that person had to pay $500 per month for that site and you saw it around month after month, you could be pretty sure that their copy converted.

    Now if you see a site on blogger that is around month after month, it doesn't tell you anything about if their copy is good or not.

    I look at print ads to see what sell and emulate many of the practices. Print adds that appear month after month in publications obviously work because there is an ongoing cost.

    Here is my mantra for internet marketers. IF there is no cost, draw no conclusions.
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  • Profile picture of the author magic456
    Thanks guys! I am so glad I posted this thread Yes it is true the copy is not for me but for the visitors. It is also true that I have been spending way too much time to research sales copies so obviously I am exposed to more stuff than a normal visitor would.
    And thanks for posting the thread to psychological trigers!
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  • Profile picture of the author Dean Dhuli
    Hi there,

    I don't think there's anything wrong in feeling the way you feel.

    You're probably just concerned about the overtly aggressive, hypey
    copywriting style that is used so commonly these days.

    And you're trying to analyze things from the customer point of view also,
    which is a good thing.

    The truth actually is that people now ARE becoming wary of overhyped
    sales letters and there's a need for a change in that regard.

    But that said, some of the time tested techniques... which have worked
    great until now... can still work for you, and there's no reason why you
    shouldn't use those just because they're too used.

    So it all boils down to the research you do again.

    You must try to find out your market's reaction to different types of
    sales messages... and more importantly, their aversions towards
    specific kinds of messages.

    If your research tells you the response rate to a regular kind of copy
    is on the decline, then you can try a different or contrasting style
    and test your luck with it.

    If that doesn't work out you can return to the old style that works.

    Hope that helps,

    - Dean
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Always keep in mind that you'll get tired of your own
    advertising a lot quicker than your market. What you
    are familiar with becomes boring after a while.

    Don't change simply because it appears overused or
    old to you. Change when it no longer works.

    -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author magic456
    Yes you guys are absolutely right! I need to measure results and not my thoughts.
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  • Profile picture of the author procopywriter
    Keep in mind there is a difference between the formula--the underlying structure of persuasion (which will never change)... and the message within that structure (which will always change).

    The aversion most people have toward online sales letters is not the structure (or formula)... but the message.

    If the message is hypey... manipulative... over the top... arrogant-sounding... then people will be turned off (except for perhaps your unsophisticated get-rich-quick types).

    But if it is genuine... if it tells the TRUTH in the most compelling and persuasive way possible (without resorting to empty hype)... if it is actually INTERESTING to read (and not difficult or boring to wade through)... if it conveys a strong sense of authenticity (is real, down to earth, personable, etc.)... if it makes a strong connection with the reader (by understanding who he is, what's important to him, etc.)... then the message will be compelling. You will have EARNED the right to sell.

    Be the empathetic sales person... not the "used car salesman".

    Also... testing is a great tip, but keep in mind you must have a good starting point for a valid test. For example, say you have "Boring Sales Letter A" vs. "Hypey Sales Letter B". Sales letter B will likely perform better in the test, thus leading you to the conclusion that hype works.

    On the other hand, if you have "Hypey Sales Letter B" vs. "Interesting, Empathic Sales Letter C", I guarantee C will win every time.

    Aaron
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    • Profile picture of the author ryancameron
      Long salesletters are starting to go out of style. The reason of course is over-use. Video is really the future of the sales process in my opinion. Be aware though that psychological triggers will never change, just the way they're delivered (ie. Video vs Copy). A hybrid of both seems the way to go.
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      • Profile picture of the author Matt James
        Long salesletters are starting to go out of style. The reason of course is over-use. Video is really the future of the sales process in my opinion. Be aware though that psychological triggers will never change, just the way they're delivered (ie. Video vs Copy). A hybrid of both seems the way to go.
        I agree that video sales letter hybrids may be the future. But DAMN there are so many bad attempts around, I can't wait 'til the format matures a little. Folks need to realize the script in the video is copy.

        But also remember, to say long sales letters are going out of 'style', you're in the IM market where we all read over a dozen each week. People are resorting to all kinds of things to stand out - even comedy beards.

        Written sales letters will always be effective however. And the more widespread video becomes the more effective a "plain old" sales letter will be.

        Words can conjure up images in the readers mind a video will never match. And of course there's scanner syndrome...

        I got asked to keep tabs on the Launch Tree pre-launch for a forthcoming project. When Mike came on in his comedy beard I felt the urge to SCAN but of course I can't, not unless I fast forward and then I might miss the crucial bit.

        Video will integrate more and more into sales letters, but there are awfully few Frank Kerns around and there's a long way to go...

        Just my opinion of course
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      • Profile picture of the author MontelloMarketing
        Originally Posted by ryancameron View Post

        Long salesletters are starting to go out of style. The reason of course is over-use. Video is really the future of the sales process in my opinion. Be aware though that psychological triggers will never change, just the way they're delivered (ie. Video vs Copy). A hybrid of both seems the way to go.
        Listen to Matt. He's got it right. Video isn't taking over anytime soon. And if you do the tests (instead of just going with what your gut tells you) the video that sells best is still just a small part of a longcopy sales letter.

        Longcopy has been around since the pony express. It's overall not being used as much as it was 100 years ago. And the plain fact is... I'll be long dead before it dies.

        And... as Matt said... videos (at least the good ones) need to be written.

        My new slogan... "It's all copy."

        Long letters... short letters... postcards... emails... videos... audios... billboards... magazine ads... newspaper ads... yellow pages ads... Live pitches...

        It's all copy.

        And much of it's longcopy.
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      • Profile picture of the author elsvirtual
        Originally Posted by ryancameron View Post

        Long salesletters are starting to go out of style. The reason of course is over-use. Video is really the future of the sales process in my opinion. Be aware though that psychological triggers will never change, just the way they're delivered (ie. Video vs Copy). A hybrid of both seems the way to go.
        Really? Because nothing makes me more ready to click that little red "x" and get the heck off of a website more than seeing a video that's more then 1-2 minutes long.

        Maybe it's just me but videos that are 5 mins or more make me feel agitated. I can control how fast I skim through a sales letter but I've got to watch the video at the presenter's pace or I may miss something critical.

        In my opinion, long copy is here to stay with video mixed in a bit to shake things up.

        Evy
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        • Profile picture of the author procopywriter
          Originally Posted by elsvirtual View Post

          Really? Because nothing makes me more ready to click that little red "x" and get the heck off of a website more than seeing a video that's more then 1-2 minutes long.

          Maybe it's just me but videos that are 5 mins or more make me feel agitated. I can control how fast I skim through a sales letter but I've got to watch the video at the presenter's pace or I may miss something critical.
          I agree.

          I get annoyed at video for the very same reason. I can read a HELL of a lot faster than normal speaking rate... and I can skim to the important parts.

          But video is good for the lazy reader, and there are plenty of them. Different people prefer to get their information in different ways. So while I have to agree that video is definitely on the rise, I believe it will always work best in CONJUNCTION with--rather than in place of--a traditional sales letter.
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