A few months ago, I was struggling with writing a sales page for an upcoming program launch, so I showed my draft to my copywriting mentor and asked his advice.
He scanned the page for about 20 seconds, then said:
“You need more proof. This page should be full of stories and case studies about how your approach works. You need to show the real results people get from using this product.”
I argued that adding more case studies would take up a lot of room on the page. He laughed.
“When I write my own sales pages, highlighting the proof is the most important part,” he said. “If I can show people I can get results, the rest of the copy is almost superfluous.”
I know his advice was a bit of an oversimplification — other elements of copywriting still matter, of course — but now I see better conversions on my sales pages because I implement my mentor’s advice on a regular basis.
In today’s post, I’ll share six persuasive techniques for showing proof the next time you need to convince a prospect that you can get results.
1. Case studies
Case studies (also known as customer success stories) tell a brief story about a customer or client who has gotten great results from your product or service.
For example, you might write, “Alexander Manuel used my system and saw a 50 percent increase in email sign ups within one month.”
When you use case studies in sales copy, it’s best to keep them short and concise. Focus on measurable results whenever you can. Numbers are often the most persuasive aspect of case studies for prospects.
If your product helped your customer reduce 300 hours of his workload last year, state that. If your client increased profits when she started using your services, state how much extra revenue she brought in.
Testimonials are written statements from your customers or clients, extolling the virtues of your product or service. Typically, they are quotes from people who have hired you or bought from you in the past.
The best testimonials go beyond just singing your praises and talking about how awesome you are — they explain details about why your client endorses you.
Testimonials, like case studies, are most powerful when they include numbers and/or quantitative results.
Check out these six questions from Sean D’Souza that help you draw out detailed and persuasive testimonials from your clients.
3. Press coverage
Have you recently received praise from a media outlet? Add it to your copy if it’s relevant and helps support your claims.
If you’re going to include press coverage, though, make sure the quote is from a well-known source.
While praise from a small-town newspaper might not do much for your credibility, a few words from a highly trusted magazine might be compelling and persuasive.
When deciding whether or not to include press coverage as part of your copywriting proof, ask yourself if your prospects recognize, like, and respect the source.
4. Social shares
In certain situations, it might make sense to use social media sharing results in your copy.
If you’re a freelance writer, for instance, and you have a track record of writing blog posts that get thousands of Facebook or Twitter shares, you could present those social sharing numbers when you pitch your services to new clients.
5. Research studies
If research studies clearly show the effectiveness of your product, you can use that data in your copy.
The key to using this type of proof is making sure you deliver the information clearly and concisely in layman’s terms.
6. Visual representations of results
Images are powerful. You can use before-and-after photos, charts, screenshots, and other visuals to prove that your product or service works and is worth the investment.
Label visuals with captions if they need explanations, and don’t let charts or other snazzy images overpower your copy. In most cases, visual representations will complement the main part of your copy.
Proof: one of the most important elements in your copywriting toolbox
When you write copy, proof is incredibly important. That’s why it’s one of the 5 Ps of writing great copy: Premise, Promise, Picture, Proof, and Push.
Learn more about the 5 Ps in Copyblogger’s free ebook, The 5 P Approach to Copy that Crushes It.
As you face your next copywriting assignment — for your own business or for one of your clients — don’t forget to include convincing proof. It will help you create compelling copy that brings in more registrations, opt-ins, and sales.