Website Survey

This isn’t marketing…

I sometimes get business owners sharing this concern in the middle of our first call or email:

Please, I don’t want anything too hyped up…

Poor fellas. They must have waded through a lot of exclamation marks and “Haven’t you ever wanted to…?! Well, now you CAN!” type of copy.

They are right. That’s yucky sleazy hype! And it’s bad for your marketing.

To make sure we’re on the same (dictionary) page:


Basically, hype tries to sell a product without any evidence that it works. This undermines trust in your brand.

Lack of trust = Lack of sales… ’nuff said.

How to absolutely stay away from hype

Here are several rules of thumb to make sure your copy is believable and hype-free.

Rule #1: Show don’t tell

Write these words down: best-in-class, industry-leading, cutting-edge, breakthrough, innovative, revolutionary, amazing, stunning, latest, best, fastest, strongest… < insert any infomercial-era cliché you can think of >

Now print them out in big fat red caps. Never use them. If you can’t stop slipping in gobbledygook, use the rubber-band method to break this habit. :)

I love this guy...
Ouch! I can feel the pain that’s coming…

How to apply this rule

Instead of saying you’re the best-in-class, show off your recent award.

Rule #2: Sound like a human

Good copy sounds a lot like human speech. Hype sounds like something most people would be embarrassed to say in person. 

How to apply this rule

To make sure your copy sounds human, read it out loud and then answer these questions:

  1. Do you truly believe in what you’re saying? 
  2. Would you ever use the same verbiage when speaking face-to-face with a prospect?
  3. Can you deliver on your promises?
  4. Can you prove your claims?

If you answered any or all of these with a No, try to tone down your marketing message, add more facts and figures, add proof, etc… Until it sounds believable. 

Rule #3: Answer the prospect’s questions

Hype tries to glorify the product. Good marketing copy is helpful and tries to answer the questions your prospect is asking:

  1. “Why do I need this?”
  2. “Why are you qualified to solve my problem?”
  3. “Why are you better?”
  4. “Why should I trust you?”

How to apply this rule

Read your website copy, landing page copy, sales letter copy, etc. and see if you’re giving believable answers to these 4 questions.

In closing

Hype undermines trust in your brand.

Hype is insulting your prospect’s intelligence.

People are essentially looking for proof that your product or service will solve their problems. They don’t care if it’s the best-in-class. 

Appeal to the reasons why they want to buy and you’ll have great results.

About the author Gergana Dimova

I use my non-magical persuasion methods to help small business owners, digital agencies, entrepreneurs and consultants get more leads and sales. You can learn more about working with me here.

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