I recently read an online promotion from one of the big Internet marketing gurus.
In it, this gentleman—whom I consider a personal friend—stated that “Anything is possible.”
He also said he had a new Web site that would help you “find your super powers”.
That’s hype to a high degree.
And frankly, I don’t believe it.
I could never write something like that for one of my own products and still sleep at night.
Yet I don’t have a problem with this guy, what he is selling, or how he is selling it.
Because he believes in what he is saying and selling—even if I do not.
And that’s the key to making hype work in your copy today: believing in what you say.
There are a lot of complaints today about the incredible level of hype in copy, particularly online.
As an example, take a look at: www.thecopygod.com—a humorous spoof site that pokes gentle fun at the hype style of copywriting.
A lot of copywriters and marketers see hype-filled promotions and have one of two reactions.
Either they hate it and make a deliberate decision to avoid it in their own copy…probably a good decision for them.
Or they think, “These guys wouldn’t write all this hype if it wasn’t working”—and emulate it in their own promotions, usually with disastrous results.
You see, a key to writing successful copy—copy that fills your mail box or shopping cart with orders—is enthusiasm.
Enthusiasm for the ideas…enthusiasm for the product…enthusiasm for what you are writing about…enthusiasm for the wonderful ways in which the product will improve the buyers’ lives.
The masters of hype can be genuinely sincere and enthusiastic in their hyperbolic copy, because they absolutely believe 100% in what they are saying and selling.
Therefore, if you too believe in something outrageous or seemingly impossible…and are sincerely convinced it can help others…you can write hype copy that comes across as energetic, enthusiastic, positive, and even sincere!
On the other hand, if you don’t believe the superlatives and outrageous claims you are making in your copy, the hype will backfire on you.
Your copy will have all the sincerity of a three-dollar bill—and readers will be able to sense your disingenuousness and B.S. a mile away.
Result: your copy will fall flat…and your promotion will generate minimal orders and revenues.
“How can some of these hard-sell marketers believe the hype they write, particularly about money making, business opportunities, investments, self help, and alternative medicine?” I have been asked many times.
It’s simple: each of us has different experiences and belief systems.
What sounds like baloney to you and me may be absolute gospel to our colleagues and competitors.
A year or so ago, two well-known direct mail copywriters, DH and PL, got into an argument in print about the ethics of writing for nutritional supplements.
DH called dietary supplements “snake oil”. PL countered that the pill he was promoting in his copy had worked wonders for those who had taken it.
The bottom line is: market and write about only those products, services, and ideas you think deliver an honest and fair value to the consumer.
Another copywriting friend, RS, often said he would work on any offer that wasn’t “illegal, immoral, or fattening.”
Good advice, but I also think you should avoid working on any product you don’t believe in and aren’t enthusiastic about.
After all, if you aren’t enthusiastic about the product when you write your copy, the prospect is likely to be equally unenthusiastic when he reads it.
Bob Bly is the author of “World’s Best Copywriting Secrets” and has written copy for more than 100 companies including IBM, Boardroom, Medical Economics and AT&T. He is the author of more than 75 books and a columnist for Target Marketing, Early To Rise and The Writer. McGraw-Hill calls him “America’s top copywriter”.