My Copywriting Questionnaire, Question #9

My first thought was, “Woah, that’s a good question.”

A top Internet marketing guru was interviewing me before deciding to hire me. He hit me with a seemingly simple question… that still stopped me in my tracks. It went something like this…

“What’s the most important component of writing copy?”

Woah. I’d honestly never thought about it like that. And I suppose it can be answered several different ways.

Many people pick the headline as the most important. And I definitely understand that, I test different headlines more than anything else.

James Brausch, the analytical programmer/scientist/entrepreneur, gave the should-be-obvious-but-is-not answer: the order button. Can’t get many sales without that!

Researching and understanding your market is another obvious (and truthful) answer.

With this guru sitting in front of me, I didn’t want to give an obvious answer. So I thought about it, probably longer than I wanted to, and said…


Sales copy MUST come across as believable to work well.

* If your headline makes a wild claim that’s not believable, you lose them.

* If your copy makes claims that aren’t backed up, you lose them.

* If your offer sounds too good to be true, then you lose them.

If any aspect of your sales copy lacks believability, you’re gonna feel the hurt in your pocketbook.

That’s why I wasn’t surprised when Brausch discovered that testimonials were consistently the most important part of his copy (outside of the order button).

Testimonials help to provide proof, which adds to the believability.

But testimonials are only one form of proof (and I’ll talk more about them in the next entry). And because the entire sales letter needs to be believed, I want as many forms of proof as I can get.

Hence Question #9 in my copywriting questionnaire:

9) What sources of proof can you provide to back up your product’s claims…

When I write copy, I want to back up every claim I make with proof. Both little and small.

If my client is an expert in the field she wrote this ebook for, then I want to know what her credentials are.

Did she have demonstratable success with the topic area? Something I can prove with say… screenshots of proof of income? a photo of her enjoying her new mansion? awards or honors received? a video of success in action?

Does she have relevant credentials? A degree? Is she a published author? Made guest TV appearances on the topic?

I want to know all these things so I can boost the credibility of the seller.

I also want to prove the product works.

Can I have a picture of the finished result? Would a before and after photo set be appropriate?

Can I show a video of the product in action?

Can I construct a solid logical argument backed by facts that the product, does indeed work?

And here’s something that’s a little more creative that can help add proof…

Is there a story or analogy I can use to help the reader believe your product will work…

Success stories can go along way to helping the reader decide, “Yes! This product will work for me.”

The right story can help the reader wrap their head around your product (the solution to their problems) and really start to believe in it. What story do you have for me? What analogy would help the reader make this jump?

Is there a story about the creation of the product that would add believability?

Are there success stories I could use? Maybe an incredible story, like a one-legged golfer who can drive the ball further than most two-legged golfers?

Or maybe an analogy…

I was looking at the Hairmax comb the other day that’s supposed to regrow your hair (fine, I’m losing my hair, if you laugh it’s bad karma!). They compared combing your hair with the laser comb 3 times a week to brushing your teeth, just regular personal maintenance. That’s great!

Dig deep for this as it could play a prominent rule in the copy.

And there are more forms of proof as well. The most obvious one being testimonials as mentioned earlier. But we’ll get to that in the next entry. Until then!

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