There are many building blocks to creating great sales copy and they are built on your proposal, which is the foundation of the entire piece. Today I’m going to discuss bullets and testimonials.
A bullet is one of a list of benefits highlighted by a heavy bold dot, hyphen, number, or check mark. You will always see bullets when you are looking at the best advertising. The greatest of copywriters have lists and lists of bullets. They are essentially your best benefits tied in with your best features. A bullet is a staple of advertising writing. Sometimes all it takes is one hot bullet to make a sale. With bullets, you want to:
- Paint pleasing pictures in your prospects mind.
- Bring your sales home.
- Translate complex details into plain English (technical terms or jargon about your product).
- Make your benefits come alive.
- Give your prospect proof; he will use your proof as his proof to convince himself and others.
- Join features and benefits together – take your top ten best.
When writing bullets, one of the strongest ways to attract interest is to make an umbrella statement like “How to slash $10,000 a year from your household expenses” and then follow the statement with bullet examples:
- Make long distance calls for 3 cents per minute.
- Save $40 weekly on your food bills.
- And so on . . . .
Learning the secret skill of writing a great bullet gives you the ability to condense sale-closing elements in everything you write. They are like mini-pitches; keep them short and geared towards the benefits.
The Secret of Proof & Credibility – Testimonials!
It’s far different when a prospect hears someone else say how great your product is from hearing you say it. When you say something, it’s just empty bragging, and most prospects will doubt you. When someone else says the same thing, it’s credibility. There are good testimonials and bad. The good ones will spark energy and sales mojo into every pitch you create, the bad will actually create suspicion. When you get it right, your testimonials will startle, amaze, and persuade prospects. Testimonials are not just validation but also a part of your sales pitch. They are a crucial foundational backup. Testimonials are words of praise from satisfied customers. When inserted in a sales letter they will rationalize your prospects buying decision (remember last month’s issue- they buy emotionally and need to rationalize their emotional buying decision). Testimonials back up your claim and vouch for the benefits of your product or service.
Never, ever, ever, make up testimonials. It’s unethical and illegal. Also, make sure your testimonials don’t all have the same “voice” (style), otherwise it could sound like the same person just making up fake testimonials and you don’t want people to think that of you. So what do you do? You can ask for testimonials; call your satisfied customers and ask for them. Better yet, create a “customer feedback” questionnaire, and then give them a call and go over it. This way you get real honest reactions, rather than just asking for a nice testimonial. Video testimonials instantly kill any thoughts of “fake” testimonials, and they work great. The only thing with video is sometimes people don’t watch more than the first ten seconds, they hear what they want to hear and see it’s a real person and they move on into the sales copy, but I think video testimonials really give you credibility.
You can’t have a general or non-specific testimonial like “Hey your product is great keep up the good work!” Even if it is a legitimate testimonial, it’s a bad one. Why is the product great? What did it do for you? You have to know what testimonials to include and which ones to leave out. This is what you want: “I love my new XYZ oven. It’s fast, efficient, and convenient. Last night I cooked juicy fillet mignon in just 5 minutes. Thanks XYZ!” Now that’s a testimonial you want to include.
You want to insert them in the right places throughout your copy. Usually you want to put testimonials in the later stages of your sales copy when you want to prove that your product has worked for others. But also, you should place them where specific objections are in your copy to support each of your sales points. For example; if you say your product is quick and easy – have a testimonial saying how quickly they doubled profits in one month with simple step-by-step tactics, etc.
A word of caution: try to have three or four testimonials for each benefit, not everyone makes a buying decision for the same reason! If you do this you’re bound to hit more of each prospects “hot buttons.”
4 Golden Rules of Testimonials
- Be as specific as possible. If the oven saved the customer 2.5 hours of cooking say so, don’t say around 3. Specificity sells in every aspect of copy.
- Stick with one benefit per testimonial. Copy is more powerful if you focus on one main benefit; too many benefits in a testimonial takes away from the impact and dilutes the potency of what you’re saying.
- Make sure the testimonial appears believable. Use full names and addresses and a picture if possible. Don’t re-write it in a formal manner; keep it in the same conversational tone that the customer used.
- Keep testimonial targeted to your audience. Don’t include anything that’s irrelevant.
Not only do you have to prove your claims, but you have to also prove that the persons associated with your product or service can really deliver. Instead of telling your prospects how wonderful your product is, show him the evidence – real words of praise from real life people. That’s the power of a testimonial. It’s a glowing review for your product or service from an unbiased source. An indisputable stamp of approval!
By Rich Chille
This article first appeared in the April 2009 issue of the MarketingDotCom newsletter. You can get a free copy of the latest issue for the price of shipping at http://the7figuresecrets.com