By Scott Martin, Direct Response Copywriter
In the past, I have written about my local hardware store, Blackhawk Hardware in Park Road Shopping Center here in Charlotte. You can find a Home Depot and a Lowe's nearby but I always visit Blackhawk, even though, unfairly, some locals believe Blackhawk is more expensive.
Visit Home Depot or Lowe's and good luck finding service from someone who really understands the products. However, at Blackhawk, the store literally wedges you through an area where you must be greeted by two people who welcome you back then guide you to the correct part of the store. By the time you've arrived at said correct part of the store, there's an associate ready to assist. In my humble opinion, every company of any size should visit Blackhawk then model their service after what they discover.
Last week, because I have a semi-blocked drain in my kitchen, I went to Blackhawk looking for a drain snake. I thought I would handle the blockage myself because I generally dislike asking a plumber to come to my home...for reasons I'll crack into at a later date.
Anyway, the man at Blackhawk patiently listened to me, asked salient questions, then persuaded me NOT to buy the snake and try to solve my plumbing problem myself. Yes...the store lost a $35 sale but they buttressed my trust. The man told me how difficult it can be to solve what might seem like a simple plumbing issue. In short, the associate provided honest advice.
There's a copywriting parallel...and it's important. I call it disclosure of limitations. Readers are naturally and understandably skeptical when they read copy. So I believe it's always vital for a direct response copywriter to detail what the product or service WILL NOT do.
For example, if I'm writing about a weight loss product, I will state, "you will not lose 20 pounds in 3 days but you can lose 1-3 pounds a week." Or even when speaking with a potential client, especially one who wants to test, I will say, "I will routinely fail to beat a strong control...but when I do, it will positively impact your revenue and profit." When I write golf copy, I might say, "no, you will not become Tiger Woods tomorrow but if you take the Acme swing trainer to the range for the next 3 weeks and learn to use it, you will discover the joy of longer and straighter drives."
The "admit your limitations" copywriting technique is all too rare...especially in certain niches notorious for terrible copy. Admittedly, there's little or no data to back up my claim but I regularly see the top copywriters use this advanced technique.
I'm a direct response copywriter. I specialize in providing direct response copy for the direct marketing environment for clients around the planet. I specialize in sales page copy, landing page copy and copy that persuades readers to pull out their credit card and buy. Enter your info to the right for my free series: Seven Steps to High Converting Copy. Or contact me here if you have a project you'd like me to quote.
I'm also a Dan Kennedy Certified Copywriter for Info-Marketers.
Disclaimer for the above.
The Dan Kennedy Copywriter for Info-Marketers Certification is awarded to professional copywriters who have successfully completed a course of study of preparation for such copywriting. This Certification has not been provided by an accredited education institution. It does not constitute endorsement of or liability for any individual copywriter by Mr. Kennedy or any companies or organizations affiliated with Mr. Kennedy. The client's relationship is solely with the individual copywriter retained via any agreement.