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The shocking truth

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Sunday August 12, 2007 )

…when used as a phrase in marketing material usually turns out to be not so shocking. In fact, you could just about bet the farm that the only shocking thing is the quality of the junky info product being touted.

Some of the other extremely over-used headline components meant to grab attention I come across regularly; particularly in relation to products targeting small online business owners:

– “Laser Targeted”
– “Insane Traffic Surge”
– “Crazy Conversion Rates”
– “Cutting Edge Technology”
– “Secrets Never Before Revealed”
– “Price Will Skyrocket Soon”
– “Increase Your Profits by 400% Guaranteed”
– “I Shouldn’t Be Releasing This”
– “Avalanche Of Sales”
– “Unleash a storm”

I’ve seen some sales letter pages combining *all* of the above and then some – usually in conjuction with Multiple Line Headlines With Every Word Capitalized And In A Color That Makes Your Eyes Bleed!

These sorts of headlines-on-steroids spiels used to work very well, but I suspect that they aren’t as effective now – yet vendors continue to use them after reading aged or recycled information by “gurus”. It’s a bit of a shame because at times they do have solid products that I feel are cheapened with these approaches; particularly if they also use a toilet roll sales letter format.

I think more small online business owners are understanding that if something sounds to good to be true, then it likely is and this level of hype should be avoided, unless you are using it very tongue-in-cheek.

A couple of vendors I work with I’ve encouraged to tone down and shorten their blurbs a bit; even just to create a test page that I can send referrals to in order to prove my point, but no takers as yet – they are hanging on to outdated practices.

Anyhow, I just thought I’d point this out if you’re about to launch a software or information product and are considering using some of these over-hyped headlines and 10 mile long landing pages with the order button right at the end. Back off on the enthusiasm a little, keep it real, keep it relatively brief, pepper the copy with “buy now” type buttons and I think you’ll do a lot better with conversions – as long as your product and pricing is good of course!

.. and please, don’t start your sales letter main copy with “Dear Friend”.. I gag whenever I see that one :). Between MySpace and hypey marketers pushing shonky products, the word “friend” means very little these days.


Crafting marketing copy
Creating effective landing pages.


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