The sky is falling
Sensational claims in sales copy gets people’s attention and sparks the curiosity of your reader or viewer.
But be careful, they must be used properly and supported clearly.
And while sensational copy grabs a reader’s attention, it quickly diverts people into two paths - The first are those that say BS and leave and the second are those that are curious and continue on.
The first and quickest are those that say BS and leave.
Now, you may see this path a failure, what, with people leaving, you know you aren’t going to sell them anything.
That’s true, but that’s not a bad thing. These are bad customers for you because they aren’t your target audience. Perhaps they met several of your Avatar’s traits, but they didn’t match them all.
Sure, you didn’t get them to even read your copy to give them a chance to pull out their wallets to buy, but that saves you a great deal of headaches in the backend.
These are the same types of people who will ask for refunds, chargeback, and leave terrible reviews for your offer.
You don’t need any of their crap.
So be thankful that they decided to read your headline, said they didn’t have time for it, and moved on.
That brings us to your readers or viewers. Those that stuck around and decided they were intrigued by your sensational claim.
These are your audience. And you know what? Some of them may leave while reading your copy anyway, and again - that’s ok. It wasn’t for them.
Note: If everyone leaves and you make no sales, then you should review your copy - it has a major problem. I am assuming you’ve already tested your copy here and you know it works.
OK, so you made a sensational claim - The sky is falling - NOW, you have to back it up.
In the story of Chicken Little, an acorn fell on Chicken Little’s head from a bird flying over. Not seeing the bird, Chicken Little believed the sky was falling and went out to tell everyone to prepare for the worst.
Reading this story to my kids, I realize that this is an incredible example of how sensational headlines can make such a powerful movement and push people to action from the moment they hear something incredible - even if it can’t be true.
So how do you support a sensational claim without flat out lying to your customers?
This is really important - I am NOT saying you should lie to your customers - I am not saying that in the slightest.
What I am saying is that getting someone’s attention is difficult, and you have to grab their attention by the throat in order to get them to act.
Sensational headlines are powerful, so you have to explain your sensational headline in your copy.
How is it true? Why did you make the claim? Can you back it up?
Stories are a powerful and truthful way of both supporting your claim as well as explaining how the claim came about.
Chicken Little gives us the explanation at the very beginning, but our desire to see what happens keeps us locked into the story.
The same is true with sales copy.
Once we know that the sensational claim has a rational and believable story behind it, we are bought in and want to know more about the claim and the offer.
Think about fitness ads.
Fitness ads are some of the most powerful examples of sensational claims.
You see the side-by-side images of the same person who has lost an incredible amount of weight simply by being a part of the program being sold.
It’s that easy - you too can have these kinds of results.
So, are they lying? Is it true? Can you really look like that if you participate in their program?
The answer is YES! IF…
Ah, there it is, the powerful IF statement.
Under the images you often see the disclaimer that these types of results aren’t typical.
Ok, well what are typical results? Why can’t we see those?
The major problem with most fitness models is that it relies on the person purchasing the offer to commit to more than they really want to commit to.
And no, it’s really not that hard to achieve those results, but it’s a lot easier to half ass it than commit 100%
The ones that get the impressive results do the program perfectly, as it was designed to be implemented.
PLUS (and this is the important part)
They take full advantage of the meal planning programs.
The major secret is not just the workout, but eating healthy (mostly cutting back on the number of calories and types of calories eaten)
The reason you can’t reach the sensational results is because you aren’t willing to change 100%.
But when sensational claims can be substantiated and can be achieved, they aren’t lies. You can achieve these results, these things could happen, this really will occur…
Getting your reader’s attention with a sensational claim only works when you can support that claim with results and facts.
But if you try to use them in deceitful and underhanded ways, you’re going to create an enormous amount of issues for yourself.
Keep in mind as well, if you are making sensational claims, you may want to get a legal review on your sales copy.
Before Moving On
The core of any offer is the true belief that your offer is going to help someone. To begin your copy with a lie kills your offer dead in the water…
And frankly, you deserve to fail if you are lying to your audience.
But using a sensational headline and claim to get attention and then to substantiate the claim can be a fun and exciting way to get your audience to pay attention and to engage with your copy.
Remember, writing a copy should be fun, and creating the offer should be exciting for you and for the audience.
You’re creating an experience for your audience that is supposed to help them get from where they are to where they want to be - a state of happiness by sharing with them the tools to solve the problem they have.
A sensational headline can be the catalyst it takes to get their attention and make your audience face the emotional challenge of dealing with their problem.
Often times when you see that your problem is not as bad as it could be, or as bad as someone else’s problem, you become more willing to act and to help yourself.
Sensational copy should only be used to help, never to deceive.