Do you want a simple, sticky formula that turns your listless copy into something that rivets attention, stokes desire, and gets action?
I mentioned it in yesterday’s episode. I called it the 4 Ps. Promise. Picture. Proof. Push. .
In this episode I’ll work through a short example ad (about a pill that makes ugly men pretty) and breakdown each P. You’ll get to see this ad in action. And learn how to use it for yourself.
In this 8-minute episode you’ll discover:
- The trick to writing a good promise-heavy headline
- How to paint a picture your prospect can relate to
- How to prove you can deliver every promise you make
- The best way to cripple your conversion rates
- Why features don’t matter in an ad
- How to make believable and bold claims
My Second Most Favorite Copywriting Formula in the World!
Hi, and welcome to Rough Draft, your daily dose of essential web writing advice. I am your host, Demian Farnworth, the Chief Content Writer for Copyblogger Media.
And thank you for sharing the next few minutes of your life with me.
So, this is episode 49, and it is brought to you by Rainmaker.FM, the digital marketing podcast network built on the Rainmaker Platform — a platform that empowers you to build your own digital marketing and sales empire.
Because we all know you want to take over the world.
In fact, you can try with the Rainmaker Platform for free, for the next 14 days. To start your free trial, just visit rainmakerplatform.com. That’s rainmakerplatform.com.
Now, onto the show.
The Trick to Writing a Good Promise-Heavy Headline
Let me ask you a question: Do you want a simple, sticky formula that turns your listless copy into something that rivets attention, stokes desire, and gets action?
I mentioned it in yesterday’s episode. I called it the 4 Ps. Promise. Picture. Proof. Push.
How to Paint a Picture Your Prospect Can Relate to
Let’s start with an example. A short ad promoting a fantasy …
So picture this ad:
Wanted: Ugly Men
“Listen, ugly men, with one little pill, I can make you so attractive that women will throw themselves at you every time you walk through the mall.
Just ask Marty Feldman or Michael Berryman. They now beat women off of them with sticks.
Call 1-800-ugly-men now if you are interested.”
How to Prove You Can Deliver Every Promise You Make
Let’s break this ad down so I can show you how this formula works.
One, the promise to ugly men: the headline identifies the target audience. The thirsty crowd: Wanted: Ugly men.
Once we have their attention, we move into the promise: “Listen, ugly men, with one little pill I can make you so attractive.”
In two words I’ve identified my audience, and in six words I gave them a promise that will most certainly appeal to them: easy handsomeness.
Now, the trick to writing a good promise is to identify a customer’s pain point and then show, through a benefit, how your product can solve that problem.
And once you have the promise nailed, you’re next step is to paint a picture that shows your prospect what their life will be like when they take you up on your promise.
In other words, you show them a better version of themselves.
“…that women will throw themselves at you every time you walk through the mall.”
Most halfway decent looking men wouldn’t mind if more women threw themselves at their feet when they walked through the mall. But someone who’s ugly? He’s desperate and can relate.
He’s a thirsty crowd and should be ready to fall in your lap. But not just yet, because a claim by itself isn’t convincing. People are skeptical. They want evidence. So now you have to provide proof.
Prove you can deliver on that promised picture.
“Just ask Marty Feldman or Michael Berryman. They now beat women off of them with sticks.”
These are two high-profile, and sadly, ugly men who have hypothetically taken this pill and are now living with the pleasant consequences.
In other words, if you don’t listen to me, the person behind the ad … listen to these guys … objective third-party sources whose lives have been changed just as the ad promised.
Keep in mind that whatever you promise, however, you MUST deliver. No ifs, ands, or buts. And if you over promise, and you can’t deliver, you will probably lose prospects.
The Best Way to Cripple Your Conversion Rates
Okay, now that you’ve got your prospect interested, you’ve got to get them to act.
Push your prospect to act.
“Call 1-800-ugly-men now if you are interested.”
That’s your call to action. It’s telling them what to do next.
Listen, not asking for the order in a clear and compelling way is the best way to cripple your conversion rates. You have to tell your prospect what to do. Precisely. Clearly. You’ve won him over. He’s yours. Now tell him what to do. And make it clear and concise.
Pay attention to this part.
Can you tell me anything about the pill?
What does it look like?
How many do you have to take?
Is it the size of an avocado or a sunflower seed?
And how does it actually make an ugly man pretty?
You don’t know very much about the pill, do you? The only feature I’ve shared was that it was little.
Here’s why this is important …
Your prospect doesn’t care at this point. He just wants to know how he can solve his problem and turn his life around. He’ll worry about the actual pill once he’s ordered.
Why Features Don’t Matter in an Ad
So let me close with this — I made a pretty bold claim for this ad. The question is, is it believable? Because people will only buy from you if they believe your claims. That ad we just worked through is unbelievable. I did that on purpose. To make my point powerful and clear.
But here’s something interesting. You can actually build credibility and believability by telling the truth … even if it’s ugly. (And there is no pun intended in that.)
Yep. And, as you might have guessed, that’s what the next episode of Rough Draft is all about: The curious secret to getting people to believe by telling the ugly truth.
Yes, I just did that.
Until then, take care.