Following on from my recent blog post about the value of deception in copywriting, I thought it would be interesting to do an about turn and share my thoughts on the truth.
Lies are essential to the work of a copywriter. But like a magician covering his slight of hand with patter, a good copywriter employs enough truth to make his lies invisible.
Here are just two of the techniques that I use most regularly to reassure readers that the brand I speak for is an honest one.
Let Your Copywriter Be Frank About Negatives
Whatever the client, and whatever the brand, there are negatives that run alongside every benefit. Although most copywriters are trained to avoid these negatives at all cost, using them sparingly can actually work to emphasise your best selling points.
How many chocolate bars have been sold on the basis that they are a guilty pleasure? Adverts with women who shouldn’t have a bite, but simply can’t resist. There are no secrets here – chocolate makes you a fatty, but all that sugar makes it taste incredible.
Embrace the negative things about your brand and look for the benefit that correlates. If you’re not the cheapest, state the fact – that way, customers will understand how you can deliver the best.
Find The Microscopic Details – Even If They’re Inconsequential
A lot of the greatest copy is drawn in big, broad strokes. A giant image. A catchy slogan. But can you go further to give your website or print copywriting an air of authority? Be specific, always.
As soon as a copywriter starts to explain how a pet insurance service is used by ‘more than 7000’ customers, an element of doubt creeps in. When somebody sees that 7003 customers are already signed up, it’s easier to find the confidence to become number 7004.
You wouldn’t think that three people would make such a difference. But they do. And why not push further for even more precision, even more accuracy?
I’d be first in line for a pet insurance deal used by 7003 customers – and 8032 pets.
An Honest Copywriter
So you see, just as a copywriter can – and should – bend the truth to suit the copy, it’s essential to bring in simple, clear, and accurate truths to reassure your readers.
Whether you make use of intricate details or reveal facts that go beyond talking your brand up, recognising the truth in your copywriting makes your message more potent – and your customers more ready to make a purchase.