What is 'hype?'

by Paul Myers 142 replies
Every day or so, someone here starts a thread about 'hype' in one context or another. Tons of people, some clued-in and some clueless, talk about the impact of 'hype' and their choices on how to respond to it.

These threads almost never contain even one useful sentence on the original topic.

The problem is, almost every poster has a different definition of the word. Most of the time, you have no idea what they mean by it.

So... Let's have some fun.

Define the word 'hype,' both as a noun and a verb.

No dictionary definitions. I want to know what you mean by the word.

Everyone who reads this thread will get multiple prizes. Clearer thinking, a better understanding of how words take on different meanings for different people, more knowledge of why forum communication can be so confused, and one very special bonus, valued at many thousands of dollars:

A better understanding of why and how sales copy works, and what can kill it.

I have my own working definitions, but I'll save those for later.


Paul
#main internet marketing discussion forum #hype
  • Profile picture of the author martinkeens
    Hype (noun): Unfounded and unsubstantiated praise. Often reworded and repeated multiple times. May be characterized by large, bold, italicized, colored, or otherwise obnoxious font.

    Hype (verb): To engage in actions that create hype (noun)
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    • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
      I spent 25 years in the music business and the concept of "hype" was well established (if hypocritically discussed). If a record attained its high chart position by means other than pure consumer sales, it was said to have been "hyped" up the charts. Methods of hype included bribery, coercion and sometimes, plain fraud.

      Artists whose popularity was thought to have been in large part due to hype, were seen as less credible - "manufactured" by the record company publicity machine.

      Of course, from the inside, it wasn't nearly as clear-cut.

      In practice, if a record could be hyped, it was hyped. The argument being that the more "worthy" artists just wouldn't get the exposure if they didn't play the game.

      Even though this had a levelling effect within the business, the public face of the industry became one of mild corruption. The fans all claimed to be aware of, and immune to, this "hype".

      Yet they continued to buy the records in huge quantities. Business was booming.

      Bands carved out lucrative careers by positioning themselves as "anti-hype" (a stance which was well "hyped" by their record companies) and some very talented artists became widely celebrated largely because of some early "hype".

      In the end, the artists who rose to the top, and stayed there, did so on merit. The hype may have given them a kick-start, but they became long term stars due to their talent and hard work.

      These days, hype is still an integral part of the marketing mix in the music business, but it's much less crude. Sophisticated methods of manipulating web 2.0 sites and social networking are employed to hype an artist. It's almost a standard business model.

      My definition of hype, shaped by experience, is the exaggeration of the merits and/or popularity of a product in order to obtain a critical mass after which the intrinsic worth of the product can make itself clear.

      If you're operating in a "noisy", crowded market, even the most worthy of products just isn't going to get the attention it deserves without a degree of hype.

      But if the hyped product turns out out to have no substance - well, whatever happened to Milli Vanilli?

      Frank
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      • Profile picture of the author KarlWarren
        For me,

        HYPE = BUZZ, nothing more, nothing less... as in, "What's all the hype?"

        A lot of people take it to mean hyperbole (I presume)


        Kindest regards,
        Karl.
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        • Profile picture of the author Jason Moffatt
          "Hype" has always had positive connotations with me.

          I personally feel that if a product is not hyped up, then it probably sucks!

          Anyone with a awesome product should want to hype it up as much as possible in my opinion. Trying to be conservative, or saying... "I don't want to sell with hype" usually means to me that you don't have faith in your product being kick ass! Cuz if you did, you'd want to hype it up to the max and scream to the rooftops about it.

          I see nothing wrong with hype as long as the product backs up the boastful claims.

          Simply put, I love hype and I will almost always write with hype!

          A product without hype is just that... another product.
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          • Profile picture of the author OnlineMasterMind
            Originally Posted by Jason Moffatt View Post

            "Hype" has always had positive connotations with me.

            I personally feel that if a product is not hyped up, then it probably sucks!

            Anyone with a awesome product should want to hype it up as much as possible in my opinion. Trying to be conservative, or saying... "I don't want to sell with hype" usually means to me that you don't have faith in your product being kick ass! Cuz if you did, you'd want to hype it up to the max and scream to the rooftops about it.

            I see nothing wrong with hype as long as the product backs up the boastful claims.

            Simply put, I love hype and I will almost always write with hype!

            A product without hype is just that... another product.
            Well said.

            I find it very interesting how so many people complain about hype but then are so quick to worship certain copywriters (halbert, kennedy..etc) who have mastered the use of hype.

            "Hype" does tend to have a negative connotation so I tend to stay away from using it as a positive adjective.... simply to avoid confusing people...

            But have no doubt... hype works...

            And as Jason mentioned, there's a big difference b/w hype and complete b.s.

            To me hype means *excitement* and that's the exact opposite of the worst marketing mistake you can possibly make...

            (Being boring)
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            • Profile picture of the author dougp
              I don’t have a problem with hype moderately used because it’s a very strong substance. You use it moderately it can be fine if you over use it then it messes things up. There is a difference between hype and unsubstantiated claims which I think some marketers mistake hype from. I don’t think a webmaster is hyping something up if it can be backed up.

              Doug
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              • Profile picture of the author mmurtha
                Hype - 90% over-rated inflatted terminology used in speach or written form that skirts around most facts, rather than answering explicid questions that can be summed up in a paragraph or two.

                In the case of IM or in business, hype is used to stimulate or exagerate (depending), or possibly gull someone's senses usually emotions lol.

                This is not to say that the truth is not mixed in with the inflatted terminology, but the truth really is over inflatted and/or stretched.


                Mary
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                • Profile picture of the author jensrsa
                  Excitement - OnlineMastermind or buzz - Karl
                  Create excitement

                  At least that's what the hyped up headlines or marketing campaigns try to achieve and when it succeeds with certain products, there's a hype about it, an excitement, a buzz.

                  The problem with many of these headlines or promotions is that they try to force the hype and it is obviously fake and unbelivable.

                  When a product truely achieves a hype status (generates excitement or a buzz) it is normally the product that causes it and not the headlines or claims in the sales letter.

                  So a true hype is a response

                  Jens
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                  • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman
                    Paul - A quick, off-the-cuff definition...

                    Hype: Something you're already missing out on...

                    ...or have already missed out on...

                    Steve
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                    Not promoting right now

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                    • Profile picture of the author Keith Boisvert
                      By the looks of the posts, hype most likely will have a different meaning for everyone...based off of their personal experiences.

                      For me hype is a system or series of planned events one uses to create excitement about their product or service.

                      Weird, I never really gave much thought to the word as anything other than a verb.

                      I do own an obscure and totally useless domain name called hype.name, and I initially inteded it as a social site where people could "Hype" up themselves or others they admire. Again, used as a verb.

                      Keith
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                      • Profile picture of the author Bruce Wedding
                        I've got news for some of you. Good copywriters don't use hype. A good copywriter will sell a product right up to "the edge of hype" but not go over. Hype doesn't sell nearly as well as it could if had the magic ingredient.

                        So, what is hype? Well, it's short for "hyperbole", which is an obvious exaggeration. How does it apply to marketing?

                        hype (noun) - unsupported claims
                        hype (verb) - the act of making unsupported claims

                        Credible proof is the alchemic ingredient necessary to turn hype into golden, powerful persuasion.
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                        • Profile picture of the author Simplweb
                          Could not have put that better Bruce... nice one!
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                          • Profile picture of the author John Ritz
                            Yep, Bruce is right.

                            From a copywriting point-of-view, hype is any claim you make without backing it up with proof.

                            It's just that simple, really!
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                          • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
                            Okay, here goes...

                            Hype (noun): A state of artificially-induced excitement, created by stimulating an emotional reaction in the target.

                            For example, in Meredith Willson's The Music Man, Professor Harold Hill creates hype for his band by evoking the town's parents' fears for their children's' morality due to the new pool table in town.

                            By powerful presentation ("Ya got trouble, my friends..."), he raised fears about something unfamiliar in the community and compared it to unsavory things the townsfolk were familiar with.

                            Unlike many of the other posters, my definition is not mutually exclusive with fact.

                            Hype (verb): To attempt to create hype, through the use of words and images.

                            Notice that these definitions make no moral judgments. Hype, in and of itself, is neither good nor bad. When used, it simply is.
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                        • Profile picture of the author OnlineMasterMind
                          Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post

                          I've got news for some of you. Good copywriters don't use hype. A good copywriter will sell a product right up to "the edge of hype" but not go over.
                          Hmmmm not sure if I agree with that one...

                          "If you're friends don't accuse you of having a facelift, simply return the empty bottle for a full refund..."

                          -Halbert from a skin creme promotion

                          "If you're friends don't accuse you of having liposuction, return the empty bottle for a full refund..."

                          -Kennedy from a diet product (swiped from Halbert lol)

                          "How to make 3,000 a day sitting at home in your underwear..."

                          -Jeff Paul (Dan Kennedy)

                          The list goes on....

                          Now, maybe you don't consider these hype, but it seems to me that these are good examples of what a lot of people *would* consider "hype"

                          I guess it comes back to Paul's original question of how someone defines it.
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                          • Profile picture of the author Bruce Wedding
                            Originally Posted by Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding

                            I've got news for some of you. Good copywriters don't use hype. A good copywriter will sell a product right up to "the edge of hype" but not go over.
                            Originally Posted by OnlineMasterMind View Post

                            Hmmmm not sure if I agree with that one...
                            That's perfectly ok with me. But, if you're going to try to prove your point, you need to quote some claims.
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                            • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
                              Hi Paul,

                              Do we have to pick one meaning?

                              For me it seems to change from time to time.

                              Very recently I've been considering the word and its implication a lot and it's changed again.

                              Right now I'm just seeing it as a word that describes juicing up a message by going for emotional triggers and selling 'the sizzle'. Usually I consider hype as overstepping the mark between selling the sizzle and knowingly over describing something in order to snare gullible people, but now that I'm in Asia it seems that sometimes people actually want and expect it.

                              Andy
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                              nothing to see here.

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                              • Profile picture of the author Kyle Tully
                                I'll quote someone far smarter than I'll ever be...

                                Originally Posted by Kyle Tully

                                Hype is the most abused word in IM (followed closely by guru). What is hype? Hype = hyperbole = exaggeration...

                                So if eveything you say is backed up by proof, and hence not exaggerated, guess what... IT'S NOT HYPE.
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                                • Profile picture of the author OnlineMasterMind
                                  Originally Posted by Kyle Tully View Post

                                  I'd prefer to refer to the dictionary and get the real meaning, rather than just make up my own meaning.
                                  Hype comes from the word "hyperbole." Here's the definition:

                                  "A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect, as in I could sleep for a year or This book weighs a ton."

                                  hyperbole - definition of hyperbole by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

                                  Originally Posted by Kyle Tully View Post

                                  So if eveything you say is backed up by proof, and hence not exaggerated, guess what... IT'S NOT HYPE.
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                                  • Profile picture of the author mmurtha
                                    Kyle,

                                    That claim has nothing to do with a refund, so whether they honor the refund or not doesn't matter. Unless that claim is backed up by some proof (and it well could be) then it could very well be hype.
                                    Thank you for saying something about the refund. I've been sitting here waiting for someone to point that out.

                                    You are right, the refund has nothing at all to do with what was asked.

                                    To me the refund is just someone falling prey to their own hype lol, which makes the "hype". But then again it may or may not make it so because there are other variables to consider such as someone simply wanting a refund because they over spent or are a serial refunder, etc ...


                                    Mary
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                                  • Originally Posted by OnlineMasterMind View Post

                                    Hype comes from the word "hyperbole." Here's the definition:

                                    "A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect, as in I could sleep for a year or This book weighs a ton."

                                    hyperbole - definition of hyperbole by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.
                                    Yeah, that's how I would define it; exaggeration. It may not be untrue, exactly, but to me, "hype" is exaggerating something greatly.
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                                    • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
                                      Define 'hype' in a way that's useful for someone preparing ads or ad copy. This has to be a working definition that provides some sort of guideline.

                                      Would your mum believe what you wrote? If not, it's hype.

                                      Do you struggle to find justification for your promises? If so, it's hype (or a really crap product).
                                      For example, "You can make $20,000 a week" (if you work 24/7 and you already have a million dollars in the bank getting interest).


                                      Or, tell us what specific things you ALWAYS see as 'hype.'
                                      1. Lots of red ink, lots of exclamation marks, lots of yellow highlighting (in the same sales letter).

                                      2. More than 20 testimonials.

                                      3. Bonuses 'worth' 10 times more than the product.

                                      4. Reds under the bed/international conspiracy/the corporations are all out to get the little guy.


                                      Martin
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                                      • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman
                                        Bollocks...to no-one in particular.

                                        Nothing wrong with a bit of hype.

                                        Hype is NECESSARY. Have you MISSED the last few launches?

                                        Steve
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                                        • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
                                          Originally Posted by Steven Fullman View Post

                                          Bollocks...to no-one in particular.

                                          Nothing wrong with a bit of hype.

                                          Hype is NECESSARY. Have you MISSED the last few launches?

                                          Steve
                                          Hi Steve,

                                          I get that point, and that's why I tried to differentiate between hype and enthusiasm. Howver, there are sime subtle shades of meaning here, and I think I sort of get what you are saying.

                                          Everyone has a slightly different definition, and there is no right answer. Yes, we may be going right past semantics and into the philosophy of what words mean.

                                          Very lively discussion, IMHO, and I'd like to see what others have yet to add.

                                          ~Michael
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                                          "Ich bin en fuego!"
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                                          • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman
                                            Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

                                            Hi Steve,

                                            I get that point, and that's why I tried to differentiate between hype and enthusiasm. Howver, there are sime subtle shades of meaning here, and I think I sort of get what you are saying.

                                            Everyone has a slightly different definition, and there is no right answer. Yes, we may be going right past semantics and into the philosophy of what words mean.

                                            Very lively discussion, IMHO, and I'd like to see what others have yet to add.

                                            ~Michael
                                            Agreed, Michael.

                                            I answered on instinct...and without a logical deconstruction.

                                            Sadly...my instinctive answer to most debatable points is, "...Bollocks!"

                                            ...Sorry! No hard feelings, I hope?

                                            Cheers,
                                            Steve
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                                            • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
                                              Originally Posted by Steven Fullman View Post

                                              Agreed, Michael.

                                              I answered on instinct...and without a logical deconstruction.

                                              Sadly...my instinctive answer to most debatable points is, "...Bollocks!"

                                              ...Sorry! No hard feelings, I hope?

                                              Cheers,
                                              Steve
                                              Hi Steve,

                                              No need to aplogize at all. I'm not even the tiniest bit upset. I was just commenting on the different shades of meaning and the whole idea of words themselves. I love words, and any discussion about them fascinates me.

                                              By the way, 'bollocks' has no real meaning in the US (except when it comes to the title of a classic punk rock album), so no offense taken there.

                                              Also, answering on intinct is cool. It'd be a less fun world if instinctive replies suddenly disappeared.

                                              ~Michael
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                                              "Ich bin en fuego!"
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                                              • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman
                                                Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

                                                By the way, 'bollocks' has no real meaning in the US (except when it comes to the title of a classic punk rock album)


                                                ~Michael
                                                Michael...So we're on the same side of the musical street. Cool!

                                                Steve
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                                                • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
                                                  Mike

                                                  The comment about one's mother was along the lines that people's mums usually know when they are exaggerating or telling porkies.

                                                  Your second point - well, not everyone can eloquantly put in to words ANY sort of justification, while others can justifty everything (or seemingly so). So this one is also subjective.
                                                  Paul asked for a guide for copywriters.

                                                  I mentioned earlier in the thread that I would like the views of some British newbies because I think a lot of Brits see hype very differently from their American cousins. There was a thread recently where people commented that a lot of Brits are turned off by the seminar circuit.

                                                  Of course how people perceive hype is very subjective, which I'm sure is why Paul chose this topic (and is waiting in the wings to deliver his one sentence definition which he spent 6 months honing).

                                                  I never said hype didn't sell. The question is how much hype is effective and how much is a turnoff?

                                                  What would you say if I told you that I was involved in a project that went from concept to $350,000 in gross sales in about 30 days? And I stated that in my copy? Would you believe me? Or call it hype?
                                                  If you told me it was possible because of your skills, experience, contacts and the fact you are a full-time marketer I would probably believe you, but if you said a newbie could replicate your success that would be hype.

                                                  Martin
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                                                  • Profile picture of the author MikeAmbrosio
                                                    Points taken.

                                                    This has been an enlightening thread...

                                                    Originally Posted by Martin Luxton View Post

                                                    If you told me it was possible because of your skills, experience, contacts and the fact you are a full-time marketer I would probably believe you, but if you said a newbie could replicate your success that would be hype.

                                                    Martin
                                                    Yeah, I would tend to agree, although I know one marketer (who is no LONGER a newbie) who did make a splash almost immediately on line, and made a killing (hype word?) with his first product.

                                                    However, he was ONLY a newbie to on line marketing. He had a ton of off line marketing experience and he also already had funding to hire people to put his ideas into action...

                                                    Me? It took me over 2 years to make my first dollar, and about five to make consistent dollars (I'm either a slow-poke or a perfectionist...). My first products contained no hype though...maybe if they did, I would have made more money faster...LOL!

                                                    Mike
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                                                • Profile picture of the author GrantFreeman
                                                  It's to hard a question for me to put to a simple answer. Even a complicated one that makes sense. Really, how do you define a word that has so many meanings to so many people? I can't.

                                                  I'm not that good of a writer yet to do what you suggested. And if I did attempt an answer, by the time I was finished, it would be too late to post it.

                                                  After reading the other post and thinking about this for the last 2 hours, to me it sounds like a made up word to fill a dictionary. There to only give a different meaning to each person who really tries to come up with an accurate definition.

                                                  Edit:

                                                  Paul Said:

                                                  "Define 'hype' in a way that's useful for someone preparing ads or ad copy. This has to be a working definition that provides some sort of guideline."

                                                  Someone who prepares ads or ad copy is a copywriter. So in order to define this effectively, you'd have to be a damn good one. Otherwise, people like Paul, Allen Says, Michael F, the Late Gary H., would laugh their collective asses off at you.

                                                  I'm not qualified...yet

                                                  Grant
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                                      • Profile picture of the author MikeAmbrosio
                                        Originally Posted by Martin Luxton View Post

                                        Would your mum believe what you wrote? If not, it's hype.

                                        Do you struggle to find justification for your promises? If so, it's hype (or a really crap product).
                                        For example, "You can make $20,000 a week" (if you work 24/7 and you already have a million dollars in the bank getting interest).




                                        1. Lots of red ink, lots of exclamation marks, lots of yellow highlighting (in the same sales letter).

                                        2. More than 20 testimonials.

                                        3. Bonuses 'worth' 10 times more than the product.

                                        4. Reds under the bed/international conspiracy/the corporations are all out to get the little guy.


                                        Martin
                                        Hmm, well this is a perfect example of things having different meanings to different people. Let me go through your statements if I may... (not picking on you - these just grabbed my attention)

                                        Your first point - I think my mother would most likely see things differently than yours. Or from anyone's. She was the type to give everyone the benefit of the doubt unless PROVEN otherwise.

                                        My ex-wife, on the other hand, was polar opposite. She gave NO ONE the benefit of the doubt. Ever.

                                        So a statement like: "You can make $10,000 per month..." would be looked upon quite differently by them both.

                                        Your second point - well, not everyone can eloquantly put in to words ANY sort of justification, while others can justifty everything (or seemingly so). So this one is also subjective.

                                        And your list of the last 4 - these are things (in the IM market) that get taught by the "pros", so many people do these very things.

                                        What would you say if I told you that I was involved in a project that went from concept to $350,000 in gross sales in about 30 days? And I stated that in my copy? Would you believe me? Or call it hype?

                                        I suspect most would call it hype. But I can tell you that it's 100% true

                                        Hype, and it's "definitions" mean many things to many people. All you can do is decide if what you are reading, or writing, is hype to YOU.

                                        I tend to agree with Jason - I think it's a way for people to express their excitement about their product. I found this out from experience as well. On a product I did, I had the copy written "hype-free" because I thought (mostly from opinions on this very forum) that hype would surely kill my sales.

                                        In fact, quite the opposite happened. Only 4 sales on launch day (which included a couple of "heavy hitters").

                                        I had my copy guy make some changes and add some hype (not lies, or half-truths. Just colorful adjectives) and my conversion jumped to 3.5%.

                                        As much as people here complain about hype, I am of the belief that we are of the minority in that opinion...

                                        Or, we're all just so much more jaded, experienced, smarter...or whatever word you want to put here.

                                        That's my thought on this subject...

                                        Mike
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                            • Profile picture of the author OnlineMasterMind
                              Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post

                              That's perfectly ok with me. But, if you're going to try to prove your point, you need to quote some claims.
                              Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post

                              That's perfectly ok with me. But, if you're going to try to prove your point, you need to quote some claims.
                              I thought I gave you THREE!

                              I think that most people would consider these "hyperbole."

                              But if we go by your definition... than you're right.

                              I agree.
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                          • Profile picture of the author Kyle Tully
                            Originally Posted by OnlineMasterMind View Post

                            "If you're friends don't accuse you of having a facelift, simply return the empty bottle for a full refund..."

                            -Halbert from a skin creme promotion
                            Would Halbert have honored the refund if someone said "my friends didn't accuse me of having a facelift"? Yes... then it's not hype.

                            Originally Posted by OnlineMasterMind View Post

                            "If you're friends don't accuse you of having liposuction, return the empty bottle for a full refund..."

                            -Kennedy from a diet product (swiped from Halbert lol)
                            Would Kennedy have honored the refund if someone said "my friends didn't accuse me of having liposuction"? Yes... then it's not hype.

                            Originally Posted by OnlineMasterMind View Post

                            "How to make 3,000 a day sitting at home in your underwear..."

                            -Jeff Paul (Dan Kennedy)
                            Does Jeff Paul make $3000 a day sitting in his underwear, and is he showing how you can do it too? Yes... then it's not hype.
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                            • Profile picture of the author John Rowe
                              Originally Posted by Kyle Tully View Post

                              Does Jeff Paul make $3000 a day sitting in his underwear...
                              No Kyle, he does not. The original book said $4,000 a day.

                              I should know. I bought it from full page ad in Small Business
                              Opportunities Magazine more than a Decade ago.

                              .
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                              • Profile picture of the author Kyle Tully
                                Originally Posted by John Rowe View Post

                                No Kyle, he does not. The original book said $4,000 a day.

                                I should know. I bought it from full page ad in Small Business
                                Opportunities Magazine more than a Decade ago.

                                .
                                I was just quoting the other guy... but you're right.

                                I've got a copy of the ad here, from the April '08 issue of Australian Business & Money Making Opportunities mag...

                                "How You Can Make $4,000 A Day, Sitting At Your Kitchen Table, In Your Underwear!"

                                Wouldn't surprise me if the ad copy was exactly the same as a decade ago.
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                              • Profile picture of the author Terry M.
                                Is the Jeff Paul here being mentioned, the same Jeff Paul being mentioned
                                by Ricky in Trailer Park Boys?
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                              • Profile picture of the author Dixiebelle
                                Hi Paul: I think I will jump in here. I love a challenge.

                                The simplest definition of "Hype" is " exaggeration". A person's perception of hype depends on whether they think it is blatant, deceptive, or just plain fluff.

                                NOUN:
                                "Hype was the main topic of that document."

                                VERB:
                                "I can hype the document so that it will be more believable."

                                PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE:
                                "The document was riddled with hype."

                                That's my take.

                                Dixie
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                              • Profile picture of the author jbsmith
                                For me, "hype" is simply mis-directed marketing.

                                If you understand the grey matter behind the eyeballs of those who visit your site, who they are, what ELSE they tend to look at, what they buy and why, whether they are emotionally or logically dirven, what they REALLY want - then you run a much less chance of marketing hype.

                                There are three important factors - all related to how well you understand your customer:

                                1. Relevancy - how relevant is the message to what they want
                                2. Their values and beliefs - if you stray too far from their core values and beliefs you will be unbelievable - this has been shown again and again in consumer behavior research
                                3. Proof - the degree to which your customer 'believes' that what you offer will lead to a given state of being, feeling, result, etc...

                                What is perhaps most interesting about all of this is that for each market (indeed sub-niche), these factors change.

                                For example, how you market a diet product to older women will be quite different than marketing it to X-tream sports crowd. You could make a bold statement about how your diet will build incredible endurance and power which will seem like pure hype if you have older women coming to your site.

                                This example is quite simple to understand (two extremes of the gammut in terms of target market), but the problem is many online businesses don't really know WHO they are marketing to while others try and market to multiple audiences at the same time and come off as pure hype to part of their audience.

                                Jeff
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                            • Profile picture of the author OnlineMasterMind
                              Originally Posted by Kyle Tully View Post

                              Would Halbert have honored the refund if someone said "my friends didn't accuse me of having a facelift"? Yes... then it's not hype.



                              Would Kennedy have honored the refund if someone said "my friends didn't accuse me of having liposuction"? Yes... then it's not hype.



                              Does Jeff Paul make $3000 a day sitting in his underwear, and is he showing how you can do it too? Yes... then it's not hype.
                              Fair enough...

                              What's funny is I can't stand marketing in terms of "hype" the way YOU define it.

                              One very popular site for example, says "being overweight has nothing to do with your diet or lack of exercise..."

                              To me...this is NOT ok...even though they'll honor a refund (clickbank)

                              I actually heard an interview w/ halbert (I think it was w/ Fortin) where he said hype was fine...b.s is not.

                              And I've heard plenty of other marketers refer to it the same way (i.e people in this thread)

                              It just comes down to how u define it.

                              anyways this is getting silly...
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                              • Profile picture of the author Kyle Tully
                                Originally Posted by OnlineMasterMind View Post

                                Fair enough...

                                What's funny is I can't stand marketing in terms of "hype" the way YOU define it.
                                I only define it that way because that's what the word means.

                                I know Paul asked for "our" definition... but just because I think a word means something that doesn't make it so. I'd prefer to refer to the dictionary and get the real meaning, rather than just make up my own meaning.

                                Originally Posted by OnlineMasterMind View Post

                                One very popular site for example, says "being overweight has nothing to do with your diet or lack of exercise..."

                                To me...this is NOT ok...even though they'll honor a refund (clickbank)
                                That claim has nothing to do with a refund, so whether they honor the refund or not doesn't matter. Unless that claim is backed up by some proof (and it well could be) then it could very well be hype.
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                            • Profile picture of the author steve995
                              Here goes....

                              Hype - the innate ability to over promise and under deliver.

                              Thought I'd keep it pithy and ti the point....,

                              Next time, maybe I'll manage it,

                              Steve
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                              • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
                                Two well groomed people, a man and a matching woman, stand smiling on my porch. I open the door and say "Hi".

                                They respond:

                                Woman: Hi. Sir we are with the Midnight Coven of Jehova's Latter Day Demons and Quxtar for Better Living Products. We are here on a mission to save the world and steal your soul.

                                Man: Sir, here is our current catalog of green Earth friendly products along with a FREE newsletter that tells you how you can not only save the Earth, but also allows us keep your immortal soul in a perpetual flame while doing it.

                                ME: Um, NO Thanks. (Closes door while smiling, firmly but politely while peeking through curtains to make sure they leave all the while clicking the TV remote control).

                                That was advertising as most of us experience it.

                                I sit back on the couch. Potato chips and double cheesburger in hand.

                                A few moments later, a big brick comes flying through my picture window... I, startled, jump from my couch and look out to see an old bearded man in a long grungy grey robe standing on the grass with a burning cross blazing in his hand.

                                He Yells.

                                "You're going to hell unless you buy my anti-hell pill NOW. Today only, CASH."

                                The brick was the hype.

                                The long bearded dirty robed guy was the hypster.

                                Went back to watching football, knowing the Earth is a crazy place, full of kooks and nut jobs.

                                I knew I wasn't going to make the Earth any better that day by using "green" products sold by loonies, no matter how nice they looked...but, I did take some comfort that at least until my next credit card bill, ...

                                I'd be safe from going to hell at least for the next 30 days.

                                I tossed in a pill and washed it down with a Coke.

                                Then I listened as the brash defensive cornerback guaranteed the Browns would win the superbowl...

                                and that was possibly the biggest HYPE I heard all day.

                                gjabiz
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                            • Profile picture of the author Bob Monie
                              To me Hype = The creation of excitement and intrigue.

                              In IM terms i would say Hype = Exaggerated Truth
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                              • I'm probably going to be blasted, but what the hell. The original request was not for a dictionary definition, and, anyway, I'm feeling ornery.

                                To me,

                                Hype (noun) is a sales skill. It can be learned and perfected.

                                To hype (verb) is to perform an act using that skill.

                                High quality hype results in high sales volume. It's a good skill to learn.



                                Michael
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                                • Profile picture of the author jhongren
                                  Originally Posted by Michael Stuart Kelly View Post

                                  I'm probably going to be blasted, but what the hell. The original request was not for a dictionary definition, and, anyway, I'm feeling ornery.

                                  To me,

                                  Hype (noun) is a sales skill. It can be learned and perfected.

                                  To hype (verb) is to perform an act using that skill.

                                  High quality hype results in high sales volume. It's a good skill to learn.



                                  Michael
                                  Iphone was just released in Singapore a week ago and people camp overnight just to be first in the queue.

                                  Is this considered hype which brings in high sales volume?

                                  Cheers,
                                  John
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                                  • Originally Posted by jhongren View Post

                                    Iphone was just released in Singapore a week ago and people camp overnight just to be first in the queue.

                                    Is this considered hype which brings in high sales volume?
                                    John,

                                    In my conception, in this case it would be hype wedded to a great product that resulted in the overnight camping. Many great products are launched that flounder and this is usually due to not using any hype.

                                    I don't know of any cases where people camped out overnight because of hype alone to buy a product that was pure garbage (but I bet there might be some). If such ever existed, I bet the run was short-lived.

                                    I see hype as neither good nor bad. It can be used for either. Sort of like atomic energy. You can use atomic energy to light up a city or blow it up.

                                    You can use hype to make a great product sell well or you and use it to rip people off. The moral decision is not in whether to use hype, but in what you want to use it for.

                                    Can anyone honestly say they don't see hype when they turn on normal broadcast TV and watch the commercials? How about four strong handsome virile-looking dudes sitting in a recording studio singing out some serious heart-felt joy at discovering Viagra? The list goes on and on...



                                    Michael
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                            • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
                              Hype is artificial excitement.

                              Hyping is the activity of attempting to spread artificial excitement.

                              Getting hyped up is the absorption of hype for the purpose of getting a hype buzz for temporary relief from reality.

                              Here is a classic video showing all three elements of hype performed with sweaty arm pits by Steve Balmer:

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                              • Originally Posted by Josh Anderson View Post

                                Here is a classic video showing all three elements of hype performed with sweaty arm pits by Steve Balmer:
                                Josh,

                                I watched the whole thing. I'm still in shock...



                                Michael
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                              • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                                Originally Posted by Josh Anderson View Post

                                Hype is artificial excitement.

                                Hyping is the activity of attempting to spread artificial excitement.

                                Getting hyped up is the absorption of hype for the purpose of getting a hype buzz for temporary relief from reality.

                                Here is a classic video showing all three elements of hype performed with sweaty arm pits by Steve Balmer:

                                YouTube - Developers
                                Well, that's 3 minutes of my life I'm never getting back.
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                                • Profile picture of the author jhongren
                                  Whether we like it or not, there is hype everywhere.

                                  Ads do that frequently these days.

                                  Eat this brand of cereal and increase your IQ by that much.

                                  Wear that Nike shoes and you can run like the wind.

                                  Drive that brand of car and you will have the power and fatal attraction women love.

                                  John
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                                  • Profile picture of the author KenSilver
                                    One man's hype is another man's reason. (Anon)
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                                    • Taking a cue from the last post, I looked to see if there were any good quotes about hype. I found one from a record producer that, to me, is pertinent to some of the stuff in the IM field I have observed.

                                      If you hype something and it succeeds, you're a genius - it wasn't a hype. If you hype it and it fails, then it was just a hype.

                                      --Neil Bogart
                                      Michael
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                                      • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
                                        Some say they know HYPE when they see it. So, is this HYPE?

                                        Ted Nicholas Mentor Program


                                        It is for a Ted Nicholas TOP SECRET limited to only 997 people mentoring program with a value of $175,777.00 for a measly 47 bux per month?

                                        5.9 BILLION in revenue produced from a "Simple Secret".

                                        So, here is revered "guru" by anyone's definition, with testimonials from Joe Sugarman, Yanik Silver and many others. Is this hype?

                                        Is this a shining "HOW TO" example that we can emulate and put in our "swipe" file and learn from? I don't know. I'm asking.

                                        And since we're trying to get some USEFUL and applicable information from this hype thread, what can we learn from one of the greatest marketers ever, Ted Nicholas?

                                        Can someone point out a NON hype promotion from someone with similar success that you perceive to be working? I can't find any, can you? Thanks.

                                        gjabiz
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                                        • Profile picture of the author jhongren
                                          I think any sales pitch or copy contain hype. The question is just how much hype. Whether it is at the conscious or subtle level!

                                          It reinforces one point - consumer respond well and positive to hype and they love it. Imagine all ads have no hype. It will be quite strange, won't it?

                                          Cheers,
                                          John
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                                        • Profile picture of the author GrantFreeman
                                          Originally Posted by gjabiz View Post

                                          Some say they know HYPE when they see it. So, is this HYPE?

                                          Ted Nicholas Mentor Program


                                          It is for a Ted Nicholas TOP SECRET limited to only 997 people mentoring program with a value of $175,777.00 for a measly 47 bux per month?

                                          5.9 BILLION in revenue produced from a "Simple Secret".

                                          So, here is revered "guru" by anyone's definition, with testimonials from Joe Sugarman, Yanik Silver and many others. Is this hype?

                                          Is this a shining "HOW TO" example that we can emulate and put in our "swipe" file and learn from? I don't know. I'm asking.

                                          And since we're trying to get some USEFUL and applicable information from this hype thread, what can we learn from one of the greatest marketers ever, Ted Nicholas?

                                          Can someone point out a NON hype promotion from someone with similar success that you perceive to be working? I can't find any, can you? Thanks.

                                          gjabiz
                                          When you read that sales message, what's the one thing that should be included but isn't?

                                          I find it odd that it's missing.

                                          G
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                                          • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                                            Let's see if we can do something useful with all this.

                                            The one thing that's absolutely clear in this thread is that there is a different dfefinition of the word hype for almost every person who uses it. Some of the differences are subtle, and some are extreme.

                                            For purposes of writing copy, we can safely ignore most of the definitions that are purely positive. That is, the folks who like hype, all the way. We don't have to be especially careful about overdoing it for them unless we get into lying, which is not something I recommend.

                                            There is the group that considers emotional phrasing, by itself, to fall into the realm of hype. It's clearly not a good idea to abandon all emotional content in sales copy, as emotion is what makes people act, and the goal of any form of persuasive message is to motivate people to act.

                                            You can't simply dismiss these opinions, however. What they represent is a spectrum, a range across which various people will "turn off" if the emotional content is too much, or the wrong kind, or crosses their personal lines for taste or appropriateness.

                                            For the majority of people in most markets, that level is waaaay higher than for the folks who complain about it. As long as the emotional content is relevant and appropriate to the benefits promised.

                                            In fact, most people want a higher emotional pitch from most sales processes, and only resent it if they find that they end up not believing the promise behind it, or that the promise falls short of the emotions evoked.

                                            The latter case can be a problem even if they believe the claims completely. The response falls into the realm of, "He made a great big deal about that?"

                                            If you look through the comments, you'll notice that some people talk about the experience of reading emotional copy, while others talk about the techniques used to create those states.

                                            That's a big thing, and worth attention. As a rule, people who talk about the techniques are folks who are either very skeptical of the message, and thus looking at the approach used, or people who have been put into an analytical state. The latter can be from the copy or from something outside of your control, such as a previous experience.

                                            Emotional content is a key part of a successful sales message. Looking at the comments and the conclusion above, the thing that seems obvious (and is, for experienced copywriters) is that you want the person to experience the emotions, not analyze them.

                                            If you go overboard, or you try to make too big a jump all at once, you're going to push a lot of people into analytical mode, or activate the hard sales resistance.

                                            Sales resistance basically only happens when people feel like they're being sold to. If they "own" the emotions, and they're interested in the benefits offered, they're shopping. That's a key point. Have you ever noticed that, when you're shopping, you often try to find extra reasons and justifications for buying what you want?

                                            You don't do that when you feel like you're dealing with a "pushy salesman."

                                            No matter what you do, some people will be turned off by it. That's not a sign of anything bad or wrong on their part, of course. Just a preference. A very expensive one for you to try and satisfy.

                                            For example, if you try to appeal to the person who thinks they buy on logic only, you're going to miss the vast majority of your other prospective customers, who won't connect the logical features of your offer with the emotional benefits they're after.

                                            A side comment for those "pure logic" folks: You're kidding yourselves. You're simply accessing those emotions in a different way. Anyone who knows how to approach your style can sell you almost anything.

                                            I'm sure most of the people who feel that way will disagree with that comment. That's to be expected. It's a blind spot that many folks have, especially those with a more technical orientation.

                                            Anyway, back to the comments...

                                            Another big chunk of people consider hype to be untrue or "exaggerated" statements. As was pointed out several times in the thread, there is no way for most people to actually know if the statements in a salesletter are true or not. What you're dealing with here is perception, plain and simple.

                                            As an example, I got an email today from someone who wanted to know if Jimmy D Brown was the real deal. This gentleman felt that Jimmy's claims for his products were beyond belief.

                                            Jimmy is far from the most "hypish" salesman in the market. And his products deliver. Still, this gent was very skeptical. His conclusion was wrong, but that doesn't make his perception wrong.

                                            The guy is quite inexperienced, by his own statement, and asked, rather than assuming. Most people won't do that. They'll go with their gut, and make decisions based on that.

                                            The problem here is that the guy doesn't have the experience to fit those claims within his frame of reference. So, he saw it as hype. A person with more experience, especially some success of their own, would have no problem believing Jimmy's claims.

                                            The question then becomes, who are his target prospects? And how do they, as a group, respond to his message?

                                            There's another group who believe that anything that isn't proven is hype. The problem with this is mixing up the words 'proof' and 'evidence.' Proof is conclusive, and can't be delivered via a sales letter. The best you can do is offer evidence.

                                            Problem: Evidence can be faked, misrepresented, misinterpreted and otherwise misused. Everyone knows that.

                                            The only evidence that can be seen as being legitimately unbiased is that which the person can get for themselves from outside parties, such as affiliate networks or traffic monitoring systems. And even that can be "managed," to present a slanted or otherwise inaccurate picture of things.

                                            The value of a given piece of evidence depends on the credibility of the entity presenting it. If you don't believe them, the evidence tends to be similarly downplayed or discarded.

                                            It works like this: Anything a person hears which supports an existing belief or preference tends to be given more credibility than it deserves. Anything one hears which contradicts an existing belief or preference tends to be given less credence than it might warrant.

                                            It takes a lot more evidence to change an opinion than it does to form one. This is why the headline and first part of a sales letter or other persuasive message is so critical. You begin the opinion process at that point. It's your best chance to move opinions in the right direction.

                                            This is also why so many of the big launches could sell out without any real sales letter at all. People already believe the claims, so they don't need to read the pitch. They're convinced, and that's enough.

                                            Again, even on the question of what's presented as 'proof,' we're back to credibility, which is a function of perception.

                                            Nothing new so far, right?

                                            The question is, how do you manage that perception in order to avoid the negative label of 'hype,' and still make as many sales as possible?

                                            Phrased differently, how do you use the concept of 'hype' to get more people to take the steps you are asking them to take?

                                            You start with the idea that managing hype means dealing with the negative views of it. That's not a judgement of the other perspectives. Just an acknowledgement that, if it doesn't cause damage, it doesn't need managed.

                                            Hence my suggested working definition:

                                            Hype: Anything that tends to detract from the credibility of your message when presented to your target audience.

                                            As Tim mentioned, the key part there is "target audience." You need to understand them and know where the limits of their belief are likely to be.

                                            For example, a person with little experience in business would be likely to look at the claims for Product Launch Formula and think, "Yeah. Right. Bye." They don't usually have the necessary mental frame to support a belief in the claims.

                                            Someone who understands how marketing works will intuitively grasp that it's a credible possibility. At that point, the job becomes explaining enough to make them see that it's more than just a PR course, and that it has a real and workable process behind it.

                                            A lot of copywriters screw up at this point. They try to expand their market by adding stuff to appeal to the folks for whom it's not really believable. They end up screwing up the message and losing their perfect prospects.

                                            In that definition, the word credibility refers to two things. The first is mentioned above: Does the prospect think that what you're promising is possible for them?

                                            You have very little control over that. We all know people who've seen hudnreds of others have success in some area, but who genuinely believe that success in that area is impossible for them.

                                            Trying to convince those people is very nearly the surest way to chase off your perfect prospect. You'll need to introduce levels and types of 'hype' and emotional content that will be inappropriate for someone who knows it's possible and just wants to make it happen. At the same time, you'll be speaking in a way that will make the real prospect think, "This sounds too basic for me. Let's see what else is out there."

                                            The second part of credibility is the matter of the prospect believing that YOU can deliver what you're promising. That's a pretty straight forward proposition.

                                            In this case, imagination and reason are more useful than evidence. If they already believe it's possible, and you ask questions or pose scenarios that they understand as being realistic, they'll tend to supply their own explanations.

                                            This is where the old saying is important: "If you say it, it's just something you said. If they say it, it's true."

                                            Think about that. I've written letters, that sold millions of dollars worth of products, that relied almost exclusively on that principle.

                                            It's also a great way to get people to plug in their own believable goals, without you ever making anything like an extravagant claim for your offer. They're actually more likely to reach those goals, since they won't picture one they truly can't believe in.

                                            If they say it, it's true.

                                            Or it becomes true.

                                            That's the first practical way to avoid hype as I define it here.

                                            Another way, as Grant pointed out, is to speak their language.

                                            People tend not to trust those they consider "outsiders" or "different." If you speak their langauge, just like them, you're going to be way ahead of things. If you talk about the top end of what they believe is possible, you have a credible possibility, and just need to demonstrate that you can deliver.

                                            That's part of the point Grant made about the use of forums to find out what your target market considers hype. It's also good to remember that the majority of people who complain about hype are NOT LIKELY BUYERS for the products in question.

                                            Never assume that the complainers in a forum represent the market. They almost never do. But they give hints that you can use. This is part of the 'art' in copywriting.

                                            His suggestion about asking questions is an excellent one. The most important part is to look for the common expressions and concerns and mirrior those back in your messages.

                                            I foprget who said it (Schwartz?), but the suggestion that you want to enter the conversation your prospect is already having in his head applies here. This is the most effective way to do it. This is how you find out what they're talking to themselves about.

                                            Steven brought up testing. There's no better way to get a measurable answer to the question, "Have I gone too far?"

                                            Learning to write well is another big thing. I don't mean fancy techniques, although those can be quite useful. I'm talking about the ability to paint a picture with your words that your reader adopts and believes. Something they can put themselves into.

                                            That's called story-telling. Learn it.

                                            Enough from me. Looking at this, what other ways would you go about building belief in a promise, or finding and removing things that reduced that belief?


                                            Paul
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                                            • Profile picture of the author GrantFreeman
                                              "Enough from me. Looking at this, what other ways would you go about building belief in a promise, or finding and removing things that reduced that belief?"

                                              I'm still in deep thought about hype lesson, but at first glance it seems that when you say "building belief in a promise" you mean building trust through the copy?

                                              If that is true, then what would the difference be btw that, and eliminating what my target market calls "Hype"?

                                              Aren't they one in the same?

                                              Grant

                                              PS. Forget about salting the stetson. Wouldn't you rather salt Rose?
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                                              • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                                                Grant,

                                                There's a difference between making something better (more believable) and removing things that make it worse (less believable). The end result is an improvement in both cases, of course.

                                                Think of it like an overweight person deciding to lose weight. If they do it by simply cutting calories, they will reduce a health threat - the excess weight. That's removing something bad.

                                                If they do it by exercising more, they will add something good - additional muscle and overall fitness.

                                                Different ways to improve, using the same focus - weight.

                                                If something is perceived as hype, in the negative sense, by a significant part of your target market, that's a failure of communication. It has effects beyond just the initial sales letter.

                                                Once people decide you're using 'bad' hype, they will tend to avoid your other offers in the future. That's another reason I pointed out the problem of changing an opinion once it's been formed.

                                                If you learn to understand what your market considers to be 'bad' hype, you can adjust to communicate the same things in ways they'll understand are possible and believable. Or you'll remove those things from your sales messages.

                                                The most useful thing about the process is that developing that level of empathy with your market will automatically make you a better salesman and copywriter. It will probably affect every area of your business, including product development and customer service.

                                                The word 'hype' is a very convenient example, because it applies in all markets, and it typifies the problem of highly subjective definitions that exist in most markets. That made it a good place to start.


                                                Paul
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                                                • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                                                  Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                                                  Grant,

                                                  There's a difference between making something better (more believable) and removing things that make it worse (less believable). The end result is an improvement in both cases, of course.

                                                  Think of it like an overweight person deciding to lose weight. If they do it by simply cutting calories, they will reduce a health threat - the excess weight. That's removing something bad.

                                                  If they do it by exercising more, they will add something good - additional muscle and overall fitness.

                                                  Different ways to improve, using the same focus - weight.

                                                  If something is perceived as hype, in the negative sense, by a significant part of your target market, that's a failure of communication. It has effects beyond just the initial sales letter.

                                                  Once people decide you're using 'bad' hype, they will tend to avoid your other offers in the future. That's another reason I pointed out the problem of changing an opinion once it's been formed.

                                                  If you learn to understand what your market considers to be 'bad' hype, you can adjust to communicate the same things in ways they'll understand are possible and believable. Or you'll remove those things from your sales messages.

                                                  The most useful thing about the process is that developing that level of empathy with your market will automatically make you a better salesman and copywriter. It will probably affect every area of your business, including product development and customer service.

                                                  The word 'hype' is a very convenient example, because it applies in all markets, and it typifies the problem of highly subjective definitions that exist in most markets. That made it a good place to start.


                                                  Paul

                                                  Paul, question. In removing "bad" hype, isn't there always the possibility
                                                  of underselling? And if so, how do you know? If your conversion with the
                                                  "bad" hype was 1% and your conversion after removing it only goes up to
                                                  2%, how do you know it can't be made a little higher by adding some hype
                                                  back in?

                                                  Naturally, this all goes back to what I said about testing, but you can
                                                  drive yourself nuts trying to find that "perfect" sales letter, if indeed it
                                                  really exists.

                                                  I guess my question is this. At what point do you just say, "Screw it, I've
                                                  tinkered with this thing long enough, I can't get past 2% conversion no
                                                  matter what I do, so I'm just going to leave it as it is now or set it back to
                                                  whatever my best conversion was"
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                                                  • Profile picture of the author TimGross
                                                    Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

                                                    Paul, question. In removing "bad" hype, isn't there always the possibility
                                                    of underselling? And if so, how do you know? If your conversion with the
                                                    "bad" hype was 1% and your conversion after removing it only goes up to
                                                    2%, how do you know it can't be made a little higher by adding some hype
                                                    back in?
                                                    Here's a harder question, reverse your numbers and how do you analyze it:

                                                    If your conversion with "bad" hype was 2% and your conversion after removing it goes down to 1%, how do you know for sure that the 1% were the same buyers that made up the 2%?

                                                    It's possible that the 2% "hype" buyers were all wannabee newbies who will never buy from you again, but the 1% non-hype buyers were all serious business owners who wouldn't have bought from the hype version at all, and their lifetime value to you as customers are staggeringly higher than the 2% buyers.

                                                    (So the question is, are you just getting more buyers with the hype, or are you getting completely different buyers and alienating other potentially better customers in the process??)
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                                                    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                                                      Originally Posted by TimGross View Post

                                                      Here's a harder question, reverse your numbers and how do you analyze it:

                                                      If your conversion with "bad" hype was 2% and your conversion after removing it goes down to 1%, how do you know for sure that the 1% were the same buyers that made up the 2%?

                                                      It's possible that the 2% "hype" buyers were all wannabee newbies who will never buy from you again, but the 1% non-hype buyers were all serious business owners who wouldn't have bought from the hype version at all, and their lifetime value to you as a customer as staggeringly higher than the 2% buyers.

                                                      (So the question is, are you just getting more buyers with the hype, or are you getting completely different buyers and alienating other potentially better customers in the process??)

                                                      Tim, I never thought of that and that's an excellent point. I would guess
                                                      that different styles of sales letters appeal to different people entirely.

                                                      Okay, this is getting too complicated for me. I'm going to end up with
                                                      analysis paralysis.
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                                                      • Profile picture of the author ExRat
                                                        Hi,

                                                        Swwiiiippe.

                                                        Cheers Paul.

                                                        I'd love to answer your question as a gesture of gratitude, but I don't have an answer, sorry. But thanks again. I'll work on finding that answer.
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                                                        Roger Davis

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                                                        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                                                          Tim,

                                                          That's a very real possibility in some markets. The only way to answer it, for any specific case, is to track things from the initial traffic source and version of the copy through to the back end sales.


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                                                        • Profile picture of the author Bryan Kumar
                                                          Man, this thread kicks serious butt! (Oops, was that hype? ;-))

                                                          Thanks, Paul, for all the killer stuff you've shared. And thanks to everyone that added to it.

                                                          For me, this is equivalent to at least a $97 copywriting product.

                                                          I'm saving this for repeat reads and note-taking.

                                                          Thanks!
                                                          Bryan
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                                                          • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                                                            Bryan,
                                                            Man, this thread kicks serious butt! (Oops, was that hype? ;-))
                                                            Only to the people who don't "get" it. Which is an excellent example of the point.
                                                            For me, this is equivalent to at least a $97 copywriting product.
                                                            It could easily be turned into one. Help yourself.


                                                            Paul
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                                                            • Profile picture of the author Bryan Kumar
                                                              Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                                                              Bryan,Only to the people who don't "get" it. Which is an excellent example of the point.
                                                              Which is not at all what I was going for...or was it...? lol

                                                              Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                                                              It could easily be turned into one. Help yourself.
                                                              Whoa, really? Thanks, man!!

                                                              It's crazy how easily one can improve his/her copy simply by focusing on this strategy alone. Very cool.
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                                                              • Profile picture of the author ianstables
                                                                Hype is a shortening of the word 'hyperbole'.

                                                                Hype is an opinion about a product, whether true or false.

                                                                Examples...

                                                                Win a fantastic holiday

                                                                Luxurious cruise

                                                                Beautiful vase

                                                                So here's someone saying "I think this holiday is fantastic" or "this cruise is luxury" or "this is a beautiful vase".

                                                                Buyers don't want someone else's opinion, they want to decide for themselves.

                                                                For instance, there are countless job ads in newspapers that say things like...

                                                                Excellent Salary, Comprehensive Benefits Package, Full Health Plan. All hype. If it's an excellent salary, then prove it to me. What makes the benefits package comprehensive? Why is this a full health plan?

                                                                So if you've written "superb camera", change it to something like... Fully automatic, 1800 dpi, 40x automatic zoom, and so on. This way the reader can decide for themselves whether it's superb for themselves.

                                                                Buyers want the facts. From the facts they'll be able to see that it's brilliant, amazing, fantastic, etc.

                                                                Does this help?

                                                                Regards Ian Stables
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                                                                • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
                                                                  Originally Posted by ianstables View Post

                                                                  Hype is an opinion about a product, whether true or false.
                                                                  Er, no; that would just be an opinion.


                                                                  Originally Posted by ianstables View Post

                                                                  Buyers don't want someone else's opinion, they want to decide for themselves.
                                                                  Buyers crave someone else's opinion. That's why review sites are so popular.


                                                                  Frank
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                                                                  I've just put Richard Branson's number on speed-dial. I call it my "Get-Rich-Quick" scheme.

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                                                • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
                                                  what other ways would you go about building belief in a promise . . .?
                                                  Part of the storytelling aspect:

                                                  Lead them down your own path of scepticism.

                                                  "When I first read about this, I felt the same way as you. $300 a day with no website?!?!? Everybody knows that's impossible . . ."

                                                  Martin
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                                                  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                                                    Steven,

                                                    The only objective way to know if specific changes helped or hurt is to test them. If the response drops, go back to the original and start over.

                                                    The risk of "underselling" is real, which is why I emphasized learning how to say the same things in more believable and effective ways.

                                                    That's one of the reasons I mentioned the story on doing data backups. That's some of the most extreme emotional content I've ever put into a business article. If I'd just stated the potential problems, it would have come across as unbelievable hype. By telling the same things in a different way, it becomes more than believable. It becomes an "of course" thing - an assumed fact.

                                                    Eliminating hype does not mean, for most people, reducing emotional impact. It means making it relatable and credible.

                                                    As far as when to stop tinkering with tests... The rule is easy. When the possible gains from improving a letter are less than the gains from some other activity, you stop.


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                                                    • Profile picture of the author GrantFreeman
                                                      So they are NOT one in the same, although they support the same desired end results: a sale, and a repeat customer. That is if I understood correctly.

                                                      "what other ways would you go about building belief in a promise?"

                                                      Include benefits that build attraction to the offer, and which add credibility to the message when presented to the target market. Leave out the words and situations that your TM can't relate to.

                                                      In other words..you're removing the "fat", and creating additional muscle and overall fitness to the sales letter

                                                      Grant
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                                                      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                                                        Grant,
                                                        So they are NOT one in the same, although they support the same desired end results: a sale, and a repeat customer. That is if I understood correctly.
                                                        You did.

                                                        Another way to do this is to work on the offer itself. Quite often, you can improve credibility by adding things like videos, showing exactly how to do some part of what you're teaching, or to use what you're selling.

                                                        Something in the brain assumes that the existence of a video demonstration must mean the thing has actually been done. So, where video will help, it adds value to the product AND the believability of the offer.

                                                        Learning to think about this as you develop and promote products is easy, as long as you make a conscious effort at the beginning. It very quickly becomes a habit of mind, and happens automatically after that.


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                            • Profile picture of the author jrdecker
                              I think the word "hype" is the same as hooplah! Both are hard to explain!
                              That's my best guess.

                              Julie
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                              • Profile picture of the author Elmer Hurlstone
                                In 1964 Justice Potter Stewart wrote within a concurring opinion on pornography, "...I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it;..."(italics added)

                                Today I'll take the easy way out and cite Justice Stewart's comment as referent to hype.

                                This thread illustrates the difficulty in defining apparently subjective matter.

                                My "hype" is your "copy", and vice versa.

                                Elmer Hurlstone
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                        • Profile picture of the author VegasVince
                          Once I determined how many people around here seem to despise hype.....I determined it must have some merit. And hype has it's place in Vinnie's tool box...cuz when the world zigs....I like to zag. It's an approach that has ALWAYS made me money.

                          I hate needless hype....cuz it bores me.

                          You know...the hype that bomards the Super Bowl two weeks prior to the game, 24/7, every channel, every spin-----FOR A FRIGGIN' GAME THAT HAS SOLD OUT MONTHS IN ADVANCE! To me, that's a waste of good hype.

                          Hype that masks a shitty product.....isn't very effective either....because they never mention the product.

                          This type of "hype" can be found in a lot of sales copy I read. The type of copy that never really gets to the point....it just tells you'se how much money you can make...do what....I don't know.

                          Basically this type of hype... tells me your product sucks......although the chick in the bikini.... is at least worth a cursory glance.

                          Then there's good hype.

                          Good hype is used properly when you need to convince some pipe smoker who hasn't made a decision in 20 years....to pick up the phone and order your widget.

                          Cuz these people, hide behind their pipes.....and almost need a gun to their head just to decide whether to make even the most basic decisions in life....like breathing. Good hype often snaps them out of their self imposed hypnotic prisons.

                          Good hype is when your so-called "hype" is in fact reality...cuz then it aint hype it's fact. Cuz it aint braggin' if it's true....at least where i come from.

                          Good hype isn't needed to sell a date with Carmen Electra...but is needed to set your ugly step sister up......and the fact she's homely isn't important....cuz she knows the Kama Sultra, can cook, clean, and sew----and it doesn't make me feel guilty for hyping a date with her as "a lifetime experience." Cuz she would be an experience.

                          To me....HYPE is always in the eye of the beholder. What's hype to you'se people....might be the trigger needed for me to close a sale. What's boring to me might let some of you'se sell a lot of pipes to boring people. Etc.

                          A noun?

                          You can't sell HYPE...but you can use it to SELL.

                          And I'll use hype before I am boring......because nothing kills a sale faster then a product and marketing campaign that comes across like paint rusting in the garage.

                          But if the ghost of Marilyn Monroe is the reason it's rusting......now we've got something!


                          xxx Vegas Vince
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                  • Profile picture of the author Mr BOLD
                    More than just a definition - get the hype experience - just sign up for a few mailing lists and watch your inbox like a hawk

                    On the positive side, hype can be the difference in the number of sales of two products of pretty much the same quality.
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  • Profile picture of the author Simplweb
    The use of exciting adverbs and adjectives (in obnoxious fonts) designed to trigger an emotional response.
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Ames
    I think of hype as:

    A loud overstated pitch that contains elements of truth but ignores the negative and inflates the positive.
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    Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. -Winston Churchill

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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Is that sort of font usage obnoxious to you by itself, or because of the association with what you consider to be 'hype?'


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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Tsk. 5 times as many views as answers? Come on, folks. Everyone has an opinion on this, and they're all valid and useful for what we want to do here: See what people mean when they use the word 'hype.'

        What does it mean to you?


        Paul
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        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

          Tsk. 5 times as many views as answers? Come on, folks. Everyone has an opinion on this, and they're all valid and useful for what we want to do here: See what people mean when they use the word 'hype.'

          What does it mean to you?


          Paul
          Paul, we should probably have a thread on human nature. A lot of people
          won't respond to posts because they're afraid of saying something that
          others might find stupid. Of course that's never stopped me, and I've said
          plenty of stupid things here. LOL.

          I'm sure we'll get more than our share of replies here...eventually.
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          • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
            Steven,

            You think they might be afraid that someone will think their definition is too 'hypeish?'

            You're right, of course. What's interesting to me is that folks can have that response to a question of preference. There is no right or wrong answer when you're talking about something like this.

            It's like asking, "Is this too flashy?" Everyone has different definitions and levels of and categories for what "flashy" means.

            That's part of the point of the thread: We need to be aware of the times that people are using a word that's highly subjective, and know that they might not mean anything like what we do by the same word.

            If we miss that, we're not communicating. Just talking past each other.


            Paul
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            • Profile picture of the author GrantFreeman
              Edit:

              When I read a sales letter with lots of unnecessary adjectives, and even more testimonials, it leads me to believe that it can't be that great. Otherwise, the writer would simply stick to telling me about what it means to me to have it, how I can use it, and how many "heads of cabbage" I can get for my hard earned money.

              "Someone" said in one of his reports that often times when people use lots of those adjectives, it usually means that they don't really know a lot about what they are trying to sell.

              At that time, you get a feeling this is true because the more I read, the more unbelievable the message becomes.

              Grant
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          • Profile picture of the author giveusallfreedom
            Paul,

            Let me just apologize up front by saying that I cheated and checked the dictionary. The interesting thing is that the dictionary has like 4 definitions for a noun and 3 for a verb. So, at least part of the reason that people get confused about the word is because it means so many things.

            To me hype is just a marketing tactic. The problem most people have with it is that they associate it with being misleading or deceptive. Of course that's not always the case. For instance I would say that most movies are hyped. However, most of them don't live up to the hype. On the other hand some movies don't get hyped and become underground cult classics. I'm not going to debate which marketing style is better. The point is that if you're going to 'hype' a product, you probably want to make sure that it lives up to the hype.
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            • Profile picture of the author giveusallfreedom
              Oh Yeah Steve, in their defense, everyone thinks you're smart until you open your mouth and prove them wrong...or something like that. Of course what they don't realize is that on a forum nobody even knows you exist until you open you're mouth.
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            • Profile picture of the author chriswight
              For me:
              Hype (n.): Aggressive promotion
              Hype (v.): To aggressively promote

              I feel like everyone that puts a negative slant on the word might be thinking of something that is OVER-hyped. Most (certainly not all) sales letters come off as hype, and that's not necessarily a bad thing- hype gets people excited. It's when that hype steps beyond the boundaries of reality that we start to call shenanigans. This would be the realm of over-hype.

              We've all seen someone claiming a product didn't deliver what was promised, and known that the problem wasn't the product but the user. Tech support folks used to refer to this phenomenon as PICNIC- Problem In Chair, Not In Computer.

              Hype doesn't have to be over-promising and under-delivering. Hype is still hype when bold claims are backed up with proof. I feel the act and the essence are in making the bold claims to begin with. Again, it's not necessarily a bad thing. Though the claims may be bold, "fortune favors the bold"

              ... Sometimes.
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              • Profile picture of the author tommygadget
                OK, here goes:

                1) Hype the noun: The entire cloud of mystery and anticipation of an as yet unreleased something that is purported to have a giant impact on my life.

                2) Hype the verb: The process whereby hype the noun is skillfully created to produce maximum impact on prospective clients.

                How's that?

                TomG.
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                • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                  Originally Posted by tommygadget View Post

                  OK, here goes:

                  1) Hype the noun: The entire cloud of mystery and anticipation of an as yet unreleased something that is purported to have a giant impact on my life.

                  2) Hype the verb: The process whereby hype the noun is skillfully created to produce maximum impact on prospective clients.

                  How's that?

                  TomG.
                  Great...now I gotta go to the dictionary to look up your definition so that I
                  can understand it.

                  Come on Tom, some of us are simple folk with 8th grade vocabularies.
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                  • Profile picture of the author JasonKing
                    HYPE = Big hat, no cattle...

                    A claim or promise found in the marketing that is not delivered in the product/service...

                    -JasonKing
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                    • Profile picture of the author chriswight
                      Originally Posted by JasonKing View Post

                      Big hat, no cattle
                      Ha! What a great expression. Gonna have to start using that.
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                      Chris Wight
                      www.ChrisWight.com

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                  • Profile picture of the author tommygadget
                    Sorry Steve

                    When I saw Paul mentioned a bonus, I sat there and thought hard about putting my feelings into a few brief sentences that captured the essense of my thoughts.

                    TomG.

                    That and also because many people have the attention span of a dead flea (like me).
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                    • Profile picture of the author Radron
                      Hype obviously can have mutltiple meanings, to me

                      verb - hype = promoting or plain bragging using calculated means to gain credibility, attention and/or trust

                      noun - hype = the end results of above

                      positive: successful marketers "hype" their products/services whos value is equal or exceeds the hype.

                      negative: hyper who's product/service falls so short of the hype (in this case inflated) that created attention, lead to false credibility or trust, in value, it could be considered fraud by the hypee.
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                  • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
                    Shakespeare's definition of hype:

                    it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing
                    Like Steven said, I know hype when I see it.
                    The Warrior Forum Is The Greatest Marketing Resource In The Universe!!!



                    is an understatement, while



                    The Warrior Forum Will Turn You Into A Sex God With Millions Of Swooning Fans!!!

                    is hype (unless you are Vegas Vince, because, in his case, it's a fact).



                    Martin
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                    • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
                      Firstly, I don't think there'd be much of an advertising / IM industry if it wasn't for hype. It might just about exist, but it would be deadly dull and probably no fun at all.

                      As for definitions,

                      Hype (noun) - perceived over-stressed benefits and/or exaggerated copy

                      Hype (verb) - the art of carrying out hype (noun)

                      Also,

                      Hype does not have to be untruths. I believe some hype I read and I don't think I'm that gullible! (or am I?)

                      Peter
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        • Profile picture of the author OMC
          Banned
          [DELETED]
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          • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
            If your conversion with "bad" hype was 2% and your conversion after removing it goes down to 1%, how do you know for sure that the 1% were the same buyers that made up the 2%?

            It's possible that the 2% "hype" buyers were all wannabee newbies who will never buy from you again, but the 1% non-hype buyers were all serious business owners who wouldn't have bought from the hype version at all, and their lifetime value to you as customers are staggeringly higher than the 2% buyers.

            (So the question is, are you just getting more buyers with the hype, or are you getting completely different buyers and alienating other potentially better customers in the process??)
            I'd love to see more discussion of this question as the example gets to the heart of what I see as wrong with viewing testing as the be-all and end-all (vs. following sound business principles and using testing as one indicator among others of what needs to be tweaked).

            I have the impression - and I could be wrong! - that hardly anyone looks at testing in such a long-term way that they use testing to look for evidence of which strategies build long-term customers and which build only short-term customers.

            Partly this is due to the difficulty of testing strategies for their effect on building long-term customers, and partly I think this is due to lack of interest in long-term customers.

            What do you think about this? It bears on hype because we have good reason to believe that some well-educated, well-heeled customers turn up their noses at hype.

            Marcia Yudkin
            Author, 6 Steps to Free Publicity and 10 other books
            Copywriting Mentor
            http://www.yudkin.com/become.htm
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            • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
              Marcia,

              Here's a link to a thread with the article I wrote summarizing the comments in this one, up to the point at which it was written:

              http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...lose-hype.html

              Your point about testing for long-term vs short-term is interesting. I'd be curious to hear your thoughts about how much the two might intersect, in view of the assumptions in that article. Or, what you might disagree with about those assumptions, which could be even more useful.


              Paul
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              • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
                Marcia,

                Your point about testing for long-term vs short-term is interesting. I'd be curious to hear your thoughts about how much the two might intersect, in view of the assumptions in that article. Or, what you might disagree with about those assumptions, which could be even more useful.

                Paul
                I didn't see anything I disagreed with in the article, and the only point I would add is that I believe it's possible to write with considerable drama and vividness without veering into the exaggerations, questionable promises and over-excitement of hype. That's what I always aim at in my copywriting.

                Let me expand on my point about long-term and short-term effects, though.

                As you may know, I've been in business for more than 25 years, and I have some active clients now who go back with me some 12-15 years. I am very conscious in everything I do of doing my best to maintain my integrity. Sacrificing my reputation for the sake of short-term profits would be very foolish, in my view. So there are many things I see colleagues doing that I do not do even though I have good reason to believe they would bring in some short-term income. Not only do I just plain feel in my bones that such things would be wrong, I know that they would put a small dent in my reputation. Enough small dents, then people who have a positive opinion of me, buy from me and refer business to me will become less interested in doing so.

                Now have I tested this? No. I am not sure it's something that can be tested, because if I started making those small compromises for the sake of short-term profits, the damage would be irreparable.

                Maybe other people would be interested in testing this.

                I apologize if this sounds sanctimonious, but for me, virtue is its own reward. What I mean is, if I am wrong about the effect of little ethical compromises and higher doses of hype on my long-term business prospects, I don't think I would change my behavior.

                Thanks, Paul, for your attention to this important topic.

                Marcia Yudkin
                Author, 6 Steps to Free Publicity and 10 other books
                Copywriting Mentor
                http://www.yudkin.com/become.htm
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                • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                  Marcia,
                  the only point I would add is that I believe it's possible to write with considerable drama and vividness without veering into the exaggerations, questionable promises and over-excitement of hype. That's what I always aim at in my copywriting.
                  That was sort of the point of the article. Well, the "how to" of it, anyway.

                  It gets tough to discuss stuff like this without knowing what a given person, in this case "you," means by the word.

                  I knew a bit about your background from your posts on other forums, and the positive comments of mutual friends. (Jim and Audri, Bob S and Paul H.) I was quite pleased to see you starting to post here.

                  I agree that testing of that kind would be impractical for a personal services business. I'm confident that it could be done for a product-based business, at least in so far as one measured the use of certain words and techniques in one's sales copy. The challenge is that you'd need systems that are beyond what's currently available, and a customer base much larger than 99% or more of online companies have to make it statistically significant over more than a few sales.

                  Too many variables.


                  Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeRogers
        Hype:

        A cross between Hypertext and Skype - "Send me a Hype about your JV proposal, will Ya?"

        A contraction of Hypealicious - "Dude, the rough draft you sent me for my sales page was Hypealicious!"

        A contraction of Hypenotic - "I find that most of the copy he writes bears a distinct Hypenotic quality."

        A word to describe an overpriced digital product - "Pardon me, sir, but don't you think that $49.95 is a bit Hype-priced for a 4 page PDF?"



        Mike
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        • Profile picture of the author MikeRogers
          Afraid of being labeled as stupid? Naaah... I think not. :p

          Mike
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        • Originally Posted by MikeRogers View Post

          Hype:

          A word to describe an overpriced digital product - "Pardon me, sir, but don't you think that $49.95 is a bit Hype-priced for a 4 page PDF?"



          Mike
          LOL, that seems to be the most overused form of hype in IM

          Personally, by hype I mean exaggerating something beyond a certain point. It is okay to say that you can make cash 'easily' by using my system, but when you say that you can make money 'lazily, by doing nothing', that tends to be a bit hyped side.

          Arindam
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
    I'll take a crack at this. What the heck.

    To me, hype as a noun, such as in the sentence, "That sales letter is pure
    hype" in which case, if my English grammar is still intact in my brain, makes
    it the predicate noun, means that the sales letter is full of...

    1. information that is not factual but solely imparted as to get the reader all
    excited about the product without any substantial proof in the offering.

    2. non informative words that simply rant and rave but really say nothing of any substance.

    But if those definitions don't cut the mustard then let me add this.

    I may not be able to define hype, but I know it when I see it.

    Now, as a verb, such as in the sentence, "I am hyping this sales letter
    up as much as I can." it means that the writer of the sales letter is going
    to use 1 and 2 above to make his product look as wonderful as possible
    without giving any substantial reasons why it is so great.

    Now, having said that. If the same sales letter with phrases that I would
    consider hype such as, "Get massive traffic at the push of a button" were
    to contain the following:

    Testimonial:

    "I used so and so's system and within 3 days I saw a dramatic 20% increase
    in my traffic"

    Screen Print, or better yet, video of AWStats showing...

    January 1000 unigues
    February 1200 uniques
    March 50,000 uniques

    Then that same phrase, "Get massive traffic at the push of a button" is
    no longer hype. It may very well be true. Now, it may not be at the push
    of a button. Maybe there is a little work to it. But...if the product creator
    can show results, it certainly lessens the hype factor of that statement.

    Hype is therefore a relative term based on the surrounding factors.

    That's why hype in one sales letter may be absolutely non hype in another
    given the same exact phrase in question.

    Now, if you want me to simplify this, for me, hype is when I read something
    and I say, "Oh come on, give me a break. No way."

    And even THAT is subjective because one person's experience may be
    that it IS possible and the statement makes perfect sense. Maybe
    somebody with years behind them, while a newbie will think, "this is too good
    to be true." Oddly, the effect seems to be that the newbie who doesn't
    believe it for a second, buys into it, while the experienced veteran
    dismisses it because he's sure it's something he already knows.

    Naturally, each case will differ based on the person and the copy itself.

    I don't believe there is a clear line between hype and non hype, however
    you may want to define it.

    Like I said, maybe my definitions suck, but personally, I know hype when I
    see it.

    And that's all that matters to me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris W. Sutton
    "Hype" is just a word, nothing more. It's like a gun, it's not dangerous until someone puts it to use; therefore, it's meaning is derived form the intent of the user.

    Now, having said that, when I use the word "hype" I always use it in a derogatory way. I associate it with "snake oil" and "shysterly" dealings. But, again, that is just my personal take on it.

    This is the reason there is such a problem with people communicating with each other. People interpret words through the filter of their life's experiences and, therefore, one person is hearing something totally different that what another person is saying.

    That's my interpersonal relations course for the day. There will be a pop test tomorrow!

    Take care!
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

    Every day or so, someone here starts a thread about 'hype' in one context or another. Tons of people, some clued-in and some clueless, talk about the impact of 'hype' and their choices on how to respond to it.

    These threads almost never contain even one useful sentence on the original topic.

    The problem is, almost every poster has a different definition of the word. Most of the time, you have no idea what they mean by it.

    So... Let's have some fun.

    Define the word 'hype,' both as a noun and a verb.

    No dictionary definitions. I want to know what you mean by the word.

    Everyone who reads this thread will get multiple prizes. Clearer thinking, a better understanding of how words take on different meanings for different people, more knowledge of why forum communication can be so confused, and one very special bonus, valued at many thousands of dollars:

    A better understanding of why and how sales copy works, and what can kill it.

    I have my own working definitions, but I'll save those for later.


    Paul
    I have not read a single response to this thread as I wanted to give my personal definition.

    First, I think people have different definitions of what 'hype' is. Some people think ANY sales message is hype, but I disagree. However, if I am selling something, it doesn't matter what I think, but rather what the majority of potential customers think.

    Anyway, here is the definition that popped into my head.

    hype (n.) - The over-amplification of a positive aspect of a product or service to create a better, though false, impression of its benefits.

    hype (v.) - To engage in the overt repetition of sales messages using hyperbole, empty praise, or to purposefully amplify positive aspects to create a false impression.

    Now...to read the other responses.

    ~Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author marcanthony
      -Hype is control that can produce positive and negative actions.

      -It's why Dr. Pepper tastes better than Mr. Pibb.

      -hype can add value to anything.

      -It's why Britney Spears is the most photographed celebrity ever

      -Hype, is why people would feel they were receiving a discount if gas prices where lowered by $1.00, and totally ignore the fact that gas would still be overpriced.

      -Thanks to hype, porn exists. Thank goodness!

      -hype is why we pay taxes

      -hype is the reason racism exists

      O.k. so I got a little carried away...

      Some hype is good... some is bad. And if you can keep it ethical, It will make you money.
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      • Profile picture of the author milan
        To me hype equals lie (as a noun and a verb). As simple as that. You could say it different. You could water it down, say it's over amplification, using unrealistic claims etc. but the essence is still the same. I think people know and feel that, but they often don't say it like that because - the word hype brings in many emotions. You instantly remember some recent buying experience and the logic goes down the drain. That's evident if you look at the threads about hype on the Warrior Forum.

        So, a title:

        Instant Traffic Pill

        is not hype if you deliver what's promised, really instant traffic. It is hype if you serve some widely known techniques to getting traffic because non of them are instant.

        There are cases when people perceive something as hype because it doesn't sound believable. The "$3000 a day sitting in his underwear.." is going to sound like hype to a lot of people, although it's probably true. It just doesn't sound believable to a lot of people.

        Making it sound believable is as important as making it true. Late Gary Halbert said:

        There are 3 reasons people don't buy from you (I'm paraphrasing here):

        1. They're not interested in what you have to offer
        2. They're interested, but they don't like your offer
        3. They don't believe you
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        • Profile picture of the author John Taylor
          To me hype is a much maligned and misused word.

          Many people will use the word hype in a negative context.
          They'll say a product is "nothing but hype" even though they
          don't own it or have any direct knowledge of it. By definition
          you can't know if a product description is exaggerated until
          you can compare the description with the reality.

          I've always considered hype as a good thing, it's an indicator
          of the writers enthusiasm for, and belief in, their product.

          Of course, like any strength, when you over do it, it becomes
          a weakness. So, if you over-hype something, you can damage
          its credibility and, potentially, your own credibility too.

          John
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          • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
            Lots of personal definitions here, covering the range from "It's great" to "It's a guaranteed way to make sure I don't buy."

            Here's the fun thing: There's absolutely nothing you can do with those in a functional way.

            Some of the comments, like those saying that proof moves things from hype to acceptable, are useful. But how do you prove the proof? Isn't acceptance of digital proof just as dependent on whether someone is inclined to believe you as the tendency to judge something as 'hype' or not?

            Keeping in mind that there will always be some fraction of your readers who react badly to some things, regardless of context, here's the second part of the challenge:

            Define 'hype' in a way that's useful for someone preparing ads or ad copy. This has to be a working definition that provides some sort of guideline.

            Or, tell us what specific things you ALWAYS see as 'hype.'


            Paul
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            • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
              Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

              Lots of personal definitions here, covering the range from "It's great" to "It's a guaranteed way to make sure I don't buy."

              Here's the fun thing: There's absolutely nothing you can do with those in a functional way.

              Some of the comments, like those saying that proof moves things from hype to acceptable, are useful. But how do you prove the proof? Isn't acceptance of digital proof just as dependent on whether someone is inclined to believe you as the tendency to judge something as 'hype' or not?

              Keeping in mind that there will always be some fraction of your readers who react badly to some things, regardless of context, here's the second part of the challenge:

              Define 'hype' in a way that's useful for someone preparing ads or ad copy. This has to be a working definition that provides some sort of guideline.

              Or, tell us what specific things you ALWAYS see as 'hype.'


              Paul
              Hi Paul,

              I thought I offered a useful definition. I may have worded it a bit funny to sound more 'dictionary-like'. Allow me to offer it as advice.

              "Don't over-amplify a positive aspect of your product or service to the point that it becomes misleading."

              As far as 'hype' being a positive thing, as others mentioned, it all comes back to the perception of your audience.

              Also, there is nothing wrong whatsoever with letting your enthusiasm show, but don't let it turn into hype.

              That's just my opinion, but hype just has that negative connotation, like it or not - that connotation is out there.

              Finally, it doesn't really matter if you want to call the positive variety 'hyoe' or 'enthusiasm', because your visitors will judge your offer based on what they see, and not your personal definition of marketing terms. (There would be some exceptions).

              ~Michael

              p.s. I find this to be a very interesting discussion of semantics. Bravo! to all.
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            • Profile picture of the author summer07
              Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

              ...here's the second part of the challenge:

              Define 'hype' in a way that's useful for someone preparing ads or ad copy. This has to be a working definition that provides some sort of guideline.

              Or, tell us what specific things you ALWAYS see as 'hype.'


              Paul
              ok, here goes...

              There's selling the "steak", and there's selling the "sizzle".

              Then there's "hype"...which is selling the "sizzle" PLUS the brand new gas grill, the patio its sitting on, and the 10,000 sq ft house in the gated beach-front community that the patio is attached to...BUT delivering a luke-warm block of burnt charcoal!

              Hype is always a function of what's promised relative to what's actually delivered.

              So for a copywriter, it becomes a matter of choosing which products to write promotonal copy for.

              It's like the difference between being a salesman thinking you can (or should be able to) "sell anything", and being a successful salesman because you choose to sell quality products.

              audre
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              • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                I think a lot of people confuse hype, getting excited about something, with
                a statement that is just downright near impossible to believe.

                For example, I pulled this off of a top selling Clickbank sales page.

                A week later, I had made my first $4,000 online. I had made four grand with one page of borrowed text and about 15 minutes.
                Now, if you read what came before, that a week prior, this guy was living
                on one hot dog a day, this statement is so hard to swallow, not so much
                the amount, but the amount of time he put in to make it, that I just can't
                believe it. I won't believe it.

                To me, this isn't hype. This is just a flat out lie, as far as I am concerned.

                But why?

                Why is this a lie to me?

                If I was a newbie, I'd maybe be skeptical but I might also think, well,
                maybe it's true. How do I know? I've never made a dime in my life.

                But I'm not a newb. I have made $4,000 in a week and let me tell you,
                it takes more than fricken 15 minutes. And nobody, I don't care WHO you
                are, is going to convince me that this is possible.

                But the statement itself is not hype. There are no words like amazing and
                fantastic and incredible and massive and all that other bull sh*t. It's a
                simple statement.

                I made $4,000 with 15 minutes of work.

                To me, this is worse than hype. This is flat out taking advantage of people
                who are gullible enough to believe it.

                So let's not confuse hype with flat out bold statements that you'd have to
                be a total idiot to believe.

                And again, this is just my opinion. There may be people out there,
                successful ones at that, who will come back here and say that they
                absolutely believe that somebody can be living on one hot dog a day one
                week prior to making $4,000 with 15 minutes of work.

                But they'll never make me believe it.

                Hype and lies...they are two different things.
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            • Profile picture of the author Kyle Tully
              Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

              Define 'hype' in a way that's useful for someone preparing ads or ad copy. This has to be a working definition that provides some sort of guideline.

              Or, tell us what specific things you ALWAYS see as 'hype.'
              Frankly I don't think there is a one size fits all definition.

              Your message depends on your market.

              What's outrageous "hype" in one market is normal language in another.

              Even going by the dictionary definition isn't all that useful from a practical point of view... just because you can prove something doesn't mean people won't see it as hype. Just look at the definitions people have given in this thread.

              Part of the skill of a good copywriter is understanding the market and how they will respond to various claims.

              Sometimes putting your biggest benefit in your headline is a response killer, simply because the market won't believe it. (Even if you prove it right below -- it's too late you've already lost them.)

              That's where copy is like comedy... you've got to build to the punch line.

              I can say "You'll Make A Million Dollars With This System" -- will that be seen as hype? Depends... if it's in the headline, maybe... if it's in the body copy half way down the page after building the proof and credibility, maybe not.

              Hype is context dependent.
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              • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
                Hype - IM definition

                A verb which is used to describe believable or unbelievable exaggeration
                which purpose is to make a statement more attractive to the reader.

                A subjective term, which, depending on context, author, subject matter
                and readership, can have positive or negative connotations.

                Use with caution!

                • To be used only to the extent that your skills allow (requires testing and/or experience)
                • To be used only to the extent that your readers will accept (requires testing and/or experience)
                • To be used only to the extent which is appropriate to your product (requires testing and/or experience)

                Peter
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            • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
              Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

              Lots of personal definitions here, covering the range from "It's great" to "It's a guaranteed way to make sure I don't buy."

              Here's the fun thing: There's absolutely nothing you can do with those in a functional way.

              Some of the comments, like those saying that proof moves things from hype to acceptable, are useful. But how do you prove the proof? Isn't acceptance of digital proof just as dependent on whether someone is inclined to believe you as the tendency to judge something as 'hype' or not?

              Keeping in mind that there will always be some fraction of your readers who react badly to some things, regardless of context, here's the second part of the challenge:

              Define 'hype' in a way that's useful for someone preparing ads or ad copy. This has to be a working definition that provides some sort of guideline.

              Or, tell us what specific things you ALWAYS see as 'hype.'


              Paul
              Not sure how workable it is, but here goes...

              BS is making the product sound too good to be true.

              Hype is making it sound too good to be doubted.

              Like a great movie, you're perfectly willing to suspend judgment and submerge yourself in the story. You no longer care that it's just flickering light on a silver surface and some people reciting lines from a script.

              Use it wrong, and no one will believe. Use it right, and no one will care.
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              • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                A working definition to consider:

                Hype: Anything that tends to detract from the credibility of your message when presented to your target audience.


                Paul
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                • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                  Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                  A working definition to consider:

                  Hype: Anything that tends to detract from the credibility of your message when presented to your target audience.


                  Paul
                  I like it...short, simple, to the point, and in my opinion, quite accurate.

                  Sure as hell beats mine.

                  So who wins????
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                  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                    Steven,
                    So who wins????
                    Re-read the first post.

                    Next question: How would you go about applying that in a real world setting?


                    Paul
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                    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                      Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                      Steven,Re-read the first post.

                      Next question: How would you go about applying that in a real world setting?


                      Paul
                      Paul, the key to applying it, in my opinion, is first understanding your target
                      audience.

                      For example, let's take the make money niche itself.

                      Let's say you have 2 lists. One is targeting brand new folks and the other is
                      targeting individuals who have a bit of experience and maybe even a
                      significant amount of success.

                      The newbie list is probably going to be more apt to "buy into" wild claims
                      because they don't know any better while the more seasoned list will
                      be quite skeptical of wild claims.

                      On the other hand, a seasoned list that IS having success may see
                      something like, "Make $4,000 in a week" and realize that it is quite possible
                      because they have already done this or at least close to it. But you
                      would probably have to show some concrete evidence that your "method"
                      does work.

                      Point is, you have to have some idea of who your target market is and
                      how you intend to approach them. It's okay to take guesses as long as
                      they're educated guesses and you track your results.

                      This is why testing is so critical. You put two versions of your sales letter
                      out there. One with the "hype" and another without or with less of it. See
                      which one performs better. Because in the final analysis, hype or not, the
                      only thing that matters is performance.

                      If you have the goods to back up the claims, you'll have fewer refunds and
                      happier customers.
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                    • Profile picture of the author GrantFreeman
                      "Next question: How would you go about applying that in a real world setting?

                      Paul"

                      1. TM research. Find out what the majority of your target market considers hype. I'd find that out by doing a search in forums where they go; doing keyword searches in those forums for words I think they might use to describe their feelings about the type of product I was selling.

                      2. Asking your target market questions in those forums to find their dislikes, likes, and other concerns. Then, apply those things as solutions to give them what they want, and show them how the product doesn't give them what they don't want.

                      Addition..

                      3. When it comes time to build your sales page, you'd only want to include images that support the web copy, and colors in those images that support it also (color psycology). The copy itself should speak in the language of your target market, as to best associate the feelings that match theirs.

                      Any claims should be backed up with proof. If it's money, show VIDEOS instead of images. Just make it real, and there really is no need to try and convince anyone of anything, unless there have been previous products that haven't lived up to promises that you've found from doing research.

                      In that case, I think a little more proof is needed. Maybe even backing it up with a more generous guarantee.

                      G
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                      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                        Okay. NOW we're getting there. These are a good start.


                        Paul

                        PS: Grant... Nice 'swipe' on the title.
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                        • Profile picture of the author GrantFreeman
                          Sorry Paul, I don't follow. Which title? Oh! Doh!

                          My brain's half-baked, and will feel extra crispy the rest of the week after reading your threads...


                          G
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                          • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
                            OK

                            HYPE: Any statement or claim that crosses the "believability line" of your target audience.

                            Frank
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                            • Profile picture of the author GrantFreeman
                              "How would you go about applying that in a real world setting?"

                              Continued..

                              4. P.O.S. (Point of sale): The product can detract from the credibility of the message long after it's been presented if:

                              A. You only care about making sales and not creating a product that helps people get what they want, and it's prominent in the backend. For example:

                              • Broken links to products or site pages
                              • Problems with payment processors like paypal or 2co that you have no control over
                              • Affiliate programs with no support or affiliate tools

                              5. Customer service: See what the competition is offering and megadeliver. Some people like stating "over deliver" but I like to always take it one step further. Every product I sell gets at least 1 related, unadvertised bonus product.

                              Sometimes I'll just throw in a product that's really great because I think they would least expect me to just give it away.

                              I've got products right now that are not perfect, but I sell them because for the majority, they work flawlessly. And for the people who have problems because of clitches I can't fix, or for some other reason, I make every effort to answer each support email within 24 hours.

                              6. If someone wants their money back. Give it to them. Regardless of how ridiculous the situation or reason. Ask why they are returning the product, but always let them know that you'd be happy to refund if they are not satisfied. In other words, honor your guarantee.

                              7. Your public exposure. Online forums, local events, shopping malls. Where ever you go, there you are. You're a product of the product, and part of it's message.

                              I think every one of these things can cause your target market to think your message was just "hype". By their definition only. Yours doesn't matter.

                              Grant
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                            • Profile picture of the author Kerry Finch
                              To me "Hype" is a term used to build and/or convey the impression that everyone is talking about the topic, whether this is a true situation or not. Here in Aussie, my circle would call it B--- S---. Fill in the blanks.
                              Kerry
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                              • Profile picture of the author GrantFreeman
                                Thank you Paul.

                                One of my problems with putting that all together is becoming the editor before I've finished the sales letter. All the other variables like length of the page, graphics, video, subheads, and keywords get in the way of the content that should be the heart of the message.

                                I could be wrong about this, and it's ok if I am. If I just stay focused on the key principles first, and edit out the stuff that doesn't fit in with the message, the offer will have done it's job-

                                Creating interest, creating curiosity, and creating a deeper connection with the customer, which = gotta have it now!

                                And all because you're giving the customer what he/she wants. It's not bad hype, it's not good hype. It's the hype that fits & works.

                                I see where I've made mistakes in the past-with video. I took them out of the message because sales went down, but I haven't looked deeper into the message the video was presenting.

                                Gotta go do that now!

                                Namaste,

                                Grant
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                                • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                                  Grant,

                                  Never edit before you've finished. Editing on the fly isn't even a good idea for the most experienced writers, unless they're working with a market they know REALLY well.

                                  When you go back to edit, you want to trim fat and add muscle, to use the earlier example.

                                  With video, there are a lot of things to consider. Speed and size, whether it's auto-start or not, and all the technical stuff. The message is the biggest thing. I've seen a few videos in salesletters that are like, "Look at me. I'm cool. Buy this, 'cause it's cool, too."

                                  Blaaarg.

                                  I don't do video, so you'd be best to talk to one of the movie guys for advice on that. We have enough of them here...

                                  As far as your first comment... The copy is the key. If you put too much stock in the rest, you may find yourself missing sales because you counted on the 'look and feel' to do too much of the selling.


                                  Paul
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                • Profile picture of the author TimGross
                  Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                  Hype: Anything that tends to detract from the credibility of your message when presented to your target audience.
                  Nice... the "When presented to your target audience" is the crucial point there.
                  .
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                • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
                  Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                  A working definition to consider:

                  Hype: Anything that tends to detract from the credibility of your message when presented to your target audience.


                  Paul
                  Paul, this definition's too broad.

                  If I were to include language that my target group didn't identify with, or, for instance, if I used bad grammar in a sales letter promoting a writing course, my credibility would be shot - but not due to any hype on my part.

                  So just focusing on a loss of credibility isn't quite enough. We may have to consider the difference (if any) between credibility and believability.

                  Frank
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                • Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                  A working definition to consider:

                  Hype: Anything that tends to detract from the credibility of your message when presented to your target audience.
                  Paul,

                  I'll consider it. What do you mean by "credibility of your message"?

                  Do you mean something someone can disagree with or something that does not sell?

                  I can go along with the first case. In the second case, there is a big fact honking at me that anyone can hear, too. Why does using hype almost always increase sales?

                  From your statement (if the second case was your meaning), I would expect the contrary. Lower credibility obviously means lower sales, but does using hype cause such decrease in credibility? I don't see it. I see the opposite result.

                  Maybe defining terms will help.

                  Michael
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                  • Profile picture of the author Lewis Leake
                    To paraphrase Dizzy Dean's famous quote ""It ain't braggin' if you can back it up."

                    It ain't hype if the product can do it!


                    Lewis
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                  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                    Michael,
                    Why does using hype almost always increase sales?
                    Maybe defining terms will help.
                    Do you see what you did there?


                    Paul
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                    • Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post


                      Do you see what you did there?
                      Paul,

                      Yes.

                      I asked a question and offered a suggestion.

                      It was a question about reality (almost a rhetorical question) and a suggestion for improving understanding between people in a discussion since I was unclear about your definition of one term (hype).

                      I am going on the assumption that intelligent discussion is sought.

                      A thought just crossed my mind. I am interested in understanding, but not so much in semantics. Defining terms helps move the discussion into the ideas and away from surface misunderstandings. I personally don't like dangling ambiguities, so I ask questions and speak my mind. It's honest thinking.

                      I offered two possible meanings for credibility in order to understand your definition of hype properly. Is there another meaning?

                      Michael
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                    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                      Michael,

                      The thing I was referring to is a bit on the subtle side.

                      I offered a working definition for the word hype. One that could be useful to copywriters and other developers of advertising creative.

                      The questions about credibility vs believability are interesting, in a word tweaking way, but they're different from what you did. Your "oops" was much more interesting and educational.

                      It's also really common when smart people get to discussing subjective definitional issues.

                      While discussing a suggested working definition for a specific word in a specific context, you found fault with it by assuming a different definition for the word.

                      That's not to say my working definition is better than your general definition. Not at all. I'm a firm believer in the advice of Frank Herbert, who said in one of his books that all definitions should be considered probationary.


                      Paul
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                      • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                        That's not to say my working definition is better than your general definition. Not at all. I'm a firm believer in the advice of Frank Herbert, who said in one of his books that all definitions should be considered probationary.
                        Which is why I don't read all these high brow books. I can't understand the
                        freakin Sunday comics why Ziggy is looking at the fish all weird when the
                        only thing he's doing is swimming around in a circle.

                        Don't all fish do that?

                        My head hurts when we start to get all analytical.

                        Me?

                        "Hey, buddy, wanna turn yourself into a <fill in the blank> expert? Get my
                        new book on <subject> and you'll be <fill in action> in no time at all.
                        Want proof? Look at <proof>"

                        So far, simple sh*t like this has worked very well for me.

                        Keep it simple, show them the credibility and then close the deal.

                        If I try to make it any more complicated than that, I get cramps in my
                        brain.

                        K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Steven)

                        Or as my wife says to me, "Honey, don't try to play Jeopardy when all
                        you're packing is an 8th grade mentality"

                        She is SOOOO right.

                        Hate that game.
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                        • Profile picture of the author GrantFreeman
                          Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

                          don't try to play Jeopardy when all
                          you're packing is an 8th grade mentality"
                          Got me beat by a year.

                          G
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                          • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                            Steven,

                            You're confusing knowledge with intelligence.


                            Paul
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                            • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                              Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                              Steven,

                              You're confusing knowledge with intelligence.


                              Paul
                              Yeah, well it also applies to another great saying of hers.

                              "Don't try to break up a fight in a bar between 7 drunk dudes when all you're
                              packing is a 6 gun."

                              Me? I'd flat out walk in unarmed.
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                      • Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post


                        I offered a working definition for the word hype. One that could be useful to copywriters and other developers of advertising creative.

                        . . .

                        While discussing a suggested working definition for a specific word in a specific context, you found fault with it by assuming a different definition for the word.

                        . . .

                        ... all definitions should be considered probationary.
                        Paul,

                        In reverse order,

                        3. LOL... Cool. I fully agree about the probationary part.

                        2. I was probably not clear. My intention was not to find fault, but examine the facets of an issue. The context you mentioned was not clear to me owing to the fact that there are many views and contexts presented on this thread and I read them in sequence. From that wealth of information, I merely looked at the only plausibilities I could imagine. I said OK to one and said the other was not consistent with what I have observed. In my mind I was discarding one and keeping the other.

                        As is typical with us human beings, I wrote more about the one I was discarding than the one I was keeping. (Busted!)

                        3. I see your quest is for practical value. That resonates deeply with me. I have a thought that might be useful for copywriters, but please take into account that it is offered with humility. I am a newbie, not a master, and I am fully aware that I have a lot to learn ahead. With that in mind, here is my best shot.

                        Hype is exaggeration of the benefit(s) of a product wedded to an emotional trigger and intended to induce a specific action in the audience.

                        As a definitional tool, that would be scalable, going from subtle hype (like the pretty girl next to the new car) on up to ridiculously obvious infomercial overkill and pandering. You could also have another scale, a quality scale, going from skillful hype on one end on up to outright crap on the other. Another scale could go from honesty to dishonesty.

                        Maybe a good copywriter can come up with better words or a better sounding phrase. It certainly does not please my ear in that form. It is accurate to my intent but sounds awkward. For the sake of clarity, here are the terms in that definition as I understand them.

                        I use emotional trigger to mean common emotions like fear, insecurity, thrill, passion, etc. (and the not so nice ones like greed, conceit, etc.) targeted in situations like those studied by Cialdini: reciprocation, commitment and consistency, social proof, authority, liking and scarcity (and others I might not be aware of).

                        The benefit could be direct and intrinsic to the product, but most often I see it as indirect and within the audience member's personal situation (like being more attractive to pretty girls because of having or using the product being hyped).

                        The action, of course, is buying the hyped product, or here in the IM world, opting into an email list usually in exchange for a hyped freebie.

                        Michael
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                        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                          You know, I think I'm going to combine this thread with another one.

                          Josh Anderson talked about dumbing down IM for people being a bad thing.

                          Well, in this case, maybe we can dumb down the definition of hype because
                          all this philosophical stuff is wearing me out.

                          So how about this?

                          Salesman: Wear this button on your lapel and you'll have the most beautiful
                          women in the world flocking to you.

                          Prospect: Yeah, right! (hype, hype, hype...alarm as gone off wildly)

                          Now...

                          Salesman: Wear this cologne and women will have a hard time resisting
                          you. (gives prospect a wiff)

                          Prospect: Hmmm. Smells nice. (hey, maybe this will help). Okay, I'll buy it.

                          It's still hype but at least it's believable hype.

                          We can go on trying to define hype all we want but our definitions are
                          pretty much useless unless we know for a fact that our definitions are in
                          tune with the person we are targeting as a prospect.

                          God bless him, my best friend Paul is just the nicest guy in the world but
                          I swear, if I said to him, "Look, get this book and read it and you'll make a
                          million dollars in a year's time" he'll believe it, proof or not. He is just that
                          trusting and that's all there is to it. And no, it has nothing to do with me
                          being his best friend. He'd believe it no matter who said it to him.

                          Some people will believe anything.

                          Some people will believe nothing.

                          Some people will be somewhere in the middle depending on the message
                          that is conveyed. Those are the only ones you even have a chance or
                          reaching if you want to play the "what's hype" game and either keep it to
                          a minimum or live it up for all it's worth.

                          I know what I think is hype based on the sales pages I read. I could point
                          out every line of every sales page.

                          Guess what? It doesn't mean beans because somebody else could look at
                          that same sales page and if I asked them to tell me what was hype, they'd
                          either...

                          1. Not even know what I meant by the word.
                          2. Pick out totally different lines.
                          3. Pick out the same lines.

                          Get 3 people in a room and you could get 3 different responses.

                          So for me, if you want to know whether you should avoid "your" definition
                          of hype or build it up for all it's worth, or something in between, then you
                          need to put out some surveys.

                          Show a group of people a sales page and ask them to pick out every line
                          in it that they consider hype. If anybody doesn't know the definition, give
                          them one...any one. Just as long as you keep it consistent for everybody.
                          The larger the group, the better.

                          Then, analyze the results.

                          Otherwise, we could be going around in circles for years trying to figure
                          out just what hype is.

                          Now if you all don't mind, I need to take a Bufferin.
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                        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                          Michael,
                          Hype is exaggeration of the benefit(s) of a product wedded to an emotional trigger and intended to induce a specific action in the audience.
                          Problem: This definition ignores the challenge of perception.

                          The issue isn't, "Is this true?" One assumes that legitimate marketers won't make claims that aren't. The question is, "Is this perceived as being credible, and, if not, why and to what effect?"

                          When discussing words of such extreme subjectivity, perception and its impact are the key things to consider.

                          Hence my proposed definition. It's focused on the result.

                          Grant has some excellent suggestions as starters for figuring out those issues.


                          Paul
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                          • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman
                            Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post


                            The issue isn't, "Is this true?" One assumes that legitimate marketers won't make claims that aren't.
                            Why would one assume that?

                            True is TRUE, but holding back the TRUTH is an arrow in the armoury, isn't it?

                            Blind bullets, etc.

                            Steve
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                            Not promoting right now

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                          • Paul,

                            I like that idea. How's this?

                            Hype is exaggeration of the perceived benefit(s) of a product wedded to an emotional trigger and intended to induce a specific action in the audience.

                            Michael
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                • Profile picture of the author Joseph Ratliff
                  Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                  A working definition to consider:

                  Hype: Anything that tends to detract from the credibility of your message when presented to your target audience.


                  Paul
                  Ok Paul, by this I understand that you need to understand your target market so well that "hype" in any definition does not exist.

                  Because your target audience's interpretation of the definition of "hype" is all that really matters. If they consider your copy hype...you might lose credibility...doesn't matter what those outside of your target audience thinks.

                  Excellent discussion Paul.
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  • Profile picture of the author TimGross
    Hype: Related to sales letters/selling, my definition:

    "A blatant attempt to increase emotion and excitement higher than reality dictates."

    The problem nailing it down is that big claims and enthusiasm aren't automatically hype. It's hype when it's not backed up appropriately by apparent evidence the seller has presented.

    In sitcoms, laugh tracks aren't automatically irritating... When a show is funny and the laugh tracks occur after a good joke, you don't notice it. When you're watching a bad sitcom, boy does the laugh track seem inappropriate.

    Much like comedy, sales hype is subjective based on how the reader/listener filters the message through their expectations and past experiences.

    ANY strong sales letter will be accused of being hypey by some people. (Just like some people will insist that a hilarious sitcom isn't funny.) So it's important to establish a basis for comparison in gauging people's reactions.
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  • Profile picture of the author woah316
    hype is simply the feeling of anticipation!
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  • Hype- Exaggerated claims or statements presented as factual information intended to persuade the reader to see things a certain way or make a certain decision. In the context of marketing, hype generally refers to misleading information that is distributed with the sole purposes increasing sales and profits.

    In some ways, hype is not terribly different from propaganda and, in many respects, both kinds disinformation share striking similarities.

    Hype differs from outright lies only in the sense that hype exaggerates the truth while outright lies may have no basis in fact whatsoever. Of course, at times, lies and hype can be difficult to distinguish from one another.


    This is my definition!
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  • Profile picture of the author AntonioEaster
    HYPE...? What is HYPE? I believe hype, in the simplest form can be defined as over stating the truth.

    However, Hype can also be defined according to a persons mind set. Just for an example...you or I may be a six-figure monthly income earner, and we are so excited...we flood the Internet with our success story. However, many people who are seeking a online business may come across our story, and place it in the "hype" category in their own minds. Simply because they are unable to wrap their minds around the idea of making $100,000 a month or more.

    While a truly successful online marketer will stay away from hype, by stating facts and possibilities...they also clearly understand that "hype" is a friend to their business, in that it keeps those who are not qualified to work with them, from responding to their choice marketing Champaign...because those who are not of the proper mind set, will deem their success story as hype.

    I guess at the end of the day...Hype = opinion

    Antonio Easter
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  • Profile picture of the author Rachel Goodchild
    sigh...I'm in thought provoking, mentally stimulated bliss...

    which is my non hyped thanks Paul.
    I'm with Rog on this...SWIPE!
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