Being specific in selling

Cliché and common claims have no room in advertising. Because such claims have been used too many times, it no longer holds any weight to the reader. To claim your product is “The Best, The First in the world, The Cheapest” rings deaf to the public. These claims are all expected of any brand.

There is no sincerity. Because the reader knows that these claims are easy to make for any brand. Your claim is quickly discounted and ignored. An ad copy that is exaggerated with superlatives garners no respect from the reader.

The reader of your ads is your customer, and if one treats his customer like a fool, he is surely not going to get a sale.

But when an advertiser makes a specific, measurable claim. He instantly gains the reader’s attention. It takes confidence to make such claim, people expect advertisers to exaggerate, but they do not expect them to lie. So your definite claims are often regarded as truth.

Examples of a general claim vs. specific claim

“Lowest Price Possible!” – general claim

“Our Prices have been reduced by 40%, for the next 24 hours.” – specific claim

The second statement will always outsell the first, why is it so? I have come to believe that the customer likes specificity over generic claims.

It can be seen. It can be felt. It is measurable and it holds the advertiser accountable. Because of this, if you use the second claim instead of the first one, you would have instantly multiplied your impression with the customer.

Treat your customers like a fool and they resent you. Treat them like your lover and they buy from you.

To claim “GOOD” is not good enough. Everybody can use the word “GOOD”. How good is it? Let them know.

Is your product fast? Say it saves your customer an additional 40 seconds of their time.

Is it cheap? Say it is $3.50 cheaper.

Is it durable? Say it is going to last them 12 months longer.

Is it sold across Asia? Say “We are seen across 48 countries, every single day.”

The important part is to ensure you can sufficiently back up every claim you make! Remember that customers usually take a specific claim as truth. And they close their ears on a general and cliché statement.

The Secret is out: Being specific is the key to multiplying the weight of your claim.

Make sure you study the effects of every claim you wish to make about your business. Because your customer is your lover.

Tell your full story

We should never withhold information from a customer. He needs to know everything about the offer to help him make the decision. If you write your ads in series, he will not see. No salesman ever make a “40 percent pitch”, so that he can tell the remaining story the next time he sees the prospect. Chances are he will never see the user again. People are busy with their lives, they don’t read ads in series and parts.

They might do that with TV series, because the purpose of a show is to entertain. It is OK to watch a drama in series, but never an ad in series. Advertising is serious business, writing your ad in sequel is a good way to unsell your product.

You can’t sell with a brief copy

It is as difficult to sell with a brief copy as it is to ask a salesman to do a “half-pitch”.

Both are impractical.

Tell all you need to tell, cover every space available to convey your message. Make it as clear and as elaborate as needed. Put forth your best-selling points and more. If you completely miss the reader the first time, it is hard to re-sell the same person again. Any salesman would be able to verify this.

Unless you are doing remarketing, which is selling to users whom you interacted before. All advertising should be focused on selling to unconverted users. Converted customers do need your separate attention, perhaps you want to write personalized ad copy to them. But the main part of advertising efforts should be used to sell unconverted users. To turn them into customers. If your business model is sound, and you go the extra mile for every customer, re-selling them would be simple with or without the use of advertising.

Tell the complete story, even if it is for the 10,001th time.

You might get bored with the copy, but your customer never does.

Every minute 205 babies are born. No matter how dull and repeated you think your ad is, there is someone who has not seen it! And you can convert them.

Advertising to Change a Habit

On a side note; the reader has been warned that changing habits of consumers is a costly advertising mistake.

To sell something that is against what is widely perceived as normal, is costly and should be avoided.

To run ads telling users they should stop doing “X” and start doing “Y”. Might be a difficult endeavor. If you sell popsicles and you are telling the public to give up morning cereal for popsicles, it is almost impossible. People are hard-wired to their habits, so to launch advertising campaigns correcting habits is a costly venture. They are not going to start eating popsicles for breakfast just because your ad tells them to do so.

It is easier to sell what the public already know and understand.

The result of changing habit through advertising is high cost of conversion. It takes too much effort to change a common perception that advertising is not the ideal way to do it. The best way to know whether advertising is working for a business is always to go back to its fundamentals; cost and result.

It is not wise to sell a $100 product when acquiring a customer cost $125. Because basic math says that the business will lose $25 for every customer they gain. But many advertisers do just that. Unless much of the money is made post-sale, in terms of product maintenance and additions. Or for example, a staple good like cereals and milk, where repeat buying is the norm. Losing money initially to acquire a customer is often used in repeatable purchases because the CLV (Customer Lifetime Value) of acquiring a new customer is very high.

In most cases, losing $25 per customer gained is an unprofitable advertising venture for businesses. One must know how to keep costs down by avoiding folly mistakes.

Click here to continue reading this 4-part series.