We’ve all seen the iconic imagery of outlaws and lawmen alike, trying to catch some shut-eye with a gun beneath the pillow just in case. One wonders how good that sleep could possibly be.
If it were me in that situation, I think I’d take a different approach.
It seems to me that any intruder might be a little more persuaded to move on if you slept with your gun across your chest, handle firmly in hand. Someone might stop and think about whether you have a gun under the pillow, but a gun across the chest leaves no room for doubt.
A gun across the chest in proactively persuasive.
Now, I’m not all that big a fan of guns myself. But when it comes to shooting down objections, this analogy is pertinent to writing action-oriented copy.
Why? Because when it comes to copy that gets people to take action, you don’t want them to “think about it,” which usually means leaving the page, never to return. You want to proactively address objections right then and there in a way that leaves no room for doubt.
Simulating a Dialogue
Salespeople who work with people face-to-face have an advantage over copywriters. As long as a salesperson is skilled in getting a prospect to share his concerns about the purchase, she can skillfully address each objection as it arises. She also has a whole host of visual and auditory clues as to where the sticking points are.
With online copy, you have to anticipate objections and proactively address them. If you do it well, your reader will feel as if there is an actual personal dialogue going on that just happens to eliminate concerns.
One way to do that without a typical long copy approach is to have a “questions” section. You essentially anticipate the remaining questions that are rummaging around inside the prospect’s mind, pose the questions, and then conversationally answer each one. If you make the questions section interactive, each reader can choose to view only the questions that are pertinent to them with the click of a mouse.
Are Blogs an Exception?
But what about blogs, you say? Isn’t that why we have comments enabled?
Sure, that’s one way to handle unanticipated objections or to provide additional clarity. It’s also a way to get valuable feedback about things you failed to consider in the first place. But remember that most people won’t take the time to ask you a question in the comments, and even those who have the same unspoken question won’t take the time to click-through and look for answers.
And with landing and sales pages, you’ve got to get it right with the copy itself. Fail to address obvious objections, and you’ll see your conversion rate suffer.
So, shoot down anticipated objections with your copy to convert more sales or other desired action. If you don’t, your online ambitions may end up dead on arrival.