Here’s another in The Truth About Ads series. This one may be of slightly more interest as it claims to automate copywriting. It’s a software product that asks you a bunch of questions and then compiles an ‘oven ready’ script.
There’s a problem though. The ad selling it doesn’t use it. Why is that? Because you can’t automate anything useful when it comes to copy (otherwise they would, wouldn’t they?).
The intended audience is idiots (don’t worry if you’ve ever bought anything like this, I’m an idiot too, I’ve bought most of them including Jon Benson’s “3 X Sellerator” for which I paid a staggering $1997 in 2014 (another typical IM product with a 7 at the end).
It was sold with a “lifetime” licence, and yet checking it today the link is redirected to ’emperation club’, which is a malware site. What did I expect!
Anyway, enough of my mistakes, let’s get back to the ad. Here’s the headline:
“POWERFUL NEW SOFTWARE SHORTCUTS THE PROCESS OF WRITING GREAT…
Sales Letters, Emails, VSL Scripts, Webinar Slides, Ads & More!”
And here’s the subheadline:
“No writing or sales experience needed to create sales messages in minutes…”
From there we know it’s software, we know it claims to shortcut the writing process (so it’s leading on speed – a major obstacle for learning to become a copywriter – just remember ‘speed kills’ and you’ll wean yourself off this problem if you suffer from it).
It also tells us we need NO writing or sales experience (another major obstacle for many who believe that writing sales copy is somehow different from writing anything else).
The plus points are that we know what it is, what it does, why that matters, and who it’s for right from the outset – if we’re the target audience, we’re primed and ready to find out more.
The sub lead is on price. As typical with all IM style software launches, the offer is a “Lifetime deal, no monthly fees forever”. As usual, we have no idea who’s lifetime they are referring to (but one thing’s for sure, it can’t be ours as sellers of this guarantee have no idea who we are or how long we’ll live for).
For most of us, we’re happy to take it with a pinch of salt. We internalise messages like this according to our beliefs. We reinterpret and self-justify “lifetime” to mean “great, I won’t be paying monthly or annual fees, and besides, if it’s as good as they say it is, I’ll be earning 7 figures way before then, so it won’t matter”.
That’s a feeling being invoked on purpose by the copywriter. It’s the deeper hidden message in most ads like this. It gets to the heart of hope. “Buy this today and you’ll be able to earn enough money to last you forever” (most of us believe that’s a good thing).
Back in the day, ads used to be more direct. Then the FTC (and other agencies around the world) came in and started prosecuting false claims. So the industry changed, and so-called “FTC Disclaimers” started appearing everywhere (along with the standard “This is not in any way associated with Facebook…” style notices – you won’t find this in mainstream ads – why?).
I’ve covered less than 1% of the text of this ad, but if you’re serious about understanding copywriting, you’ll realise that every word does matter, and needs analysing if you want an ad to compete with all the other noise out there.
Look our for part 4 where I’ll take a look at ads from other industries, that is, ads from businesses who may well survive longer than an average lifetime (but who don’t try to con us on it).
I've spent my working life starting and running a whole variety of businesses, from my first QPL Express Couriers where I travelled over 100,000 miles every year delivering packages on a motorcycle (along with a whole bunch of colleagues) to Accountz.com which made a major in-road in the UK, to ProofMEDIA my current business that focuses on Copywriting and the International Copywriters Association, which helps copywriters learn more about copywriting and the copywriting industry around the world.
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