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Is Your Copy Too Sugary Sweet?

Good copy persuades… Great copy sells.  But sometimes, in that urge to be convincing, we throw so much charm and effort into the process that the customer ultimately thinks one of two things:

  1. This is too good to be true – there has to be a catch here somewhere OR
  2. This is GREAT – but why didn’t they tell me about (insert issue here…) ?

The skeptics from point #1 will withhold from ordering until they’ve looked up reviews or gotten recommendations from friends or colleagues on whether or not the company really lives up to its claims.  If you DO get a sale from them, they’ll be watching their bank statement like hawks, watching for a major overcharge or a continuity clause.  They smell a rat, and their BS meter is running on high alert.

The customers from point #2 will sulk in silence.  Their expectations have been built up so much by that fanatically over-promising, syrupy sweet copy that, when the flaws in the product or service DO come out, the buyer ends up disheartened and distrustful.

Both of these things could have been avoided – if your copy wasn’t so darn sweet!

In our zeal to make people like us, we can fall into the trap of pouring it on too thick.  We’re amazingly agreeable, positive and cheerful  – all the time.  And while it’s great to be optimistic, too much can leave a bad taste in your reader’s mouth.  You don’t really become known for anything but being a product or service cheerleader – and that simply won’t draw people in like you’d expect.

Push The Right Buttons

When your copy becomes more engaging, more direct and open – it builds up trust on a whole new level.  By revealing your opinion, your point of view or even your flaws (or those of what you have to offer), you become so much more REAL to your customer.  You become someone they can identify with.  You push all the right buttons.

For example, let’s say you’re an affiliate of some online marketing product.  Don’t just tout its virtues and hope for a sale.  Explain what’s missing or how people can use it even better.  Be real about the flaws and your honesty will pay off.  A good example is the way I advertise my book, Get Niche Quick, on Amazon.com. It isn’t meant for savvy internet marketing geniuses or hardcore bloggers.  It was designed for people who know how to turn on a computer and check their email.

They might have heard of ebooks but have never downloaded one.  So yes, some people will find it basic. But for many people, it opens up a whole new step-by-step approach to niche marketing and gives them the tools they need to start an online business without suckering them into buying thousands of dollars worth of vitamins or cosmetics.

You WILL Lose Some of Your Audience

When you focus your copywriting to be more realistic and direct about what you’re selling – you WILL turn some people off. They’ll never come back and they’ll never buy from you.  That’s okay – because if they had, they’d likely be burning up about 80% of your energy with countless questions and problems while only contributing to 20% of your profits.

By being open about your offer, and not slathering on that sticky sweetness – you clear out the time-wasters and open up your business to people that are the perfect match for what you’re offering – and who can’t wait to take you up on it!

Now let me ask you, have you had the experience of buying something that seemed too good to be true?  Was it everything you had expected?  What was it about the offer that was so enticing?  Share your experience in the comments!

 Is Your Copy Too Sugary Sweet?
Sherice Jacob helps site owners improve website performance and increase conversions through her blog and custom design service at iElectrify. You can also follow @sherice on Twitter for more big bangs of inspiration and design coolness.

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