We’ve all seen those ads on TV or in oure-mail in-boxes that make unbelievable promises, such as “Double your income with this risk-free business opportunity,” or “Join millions of other customers who have already experienced the amazing overnight results.” Those ads are guilty of making a fundamental copywriting mistake– using misleading claims.
The objective of copywriting is to communicate the benefits of your product or service to existing and prospective customers. While copywriting can be used to persuade people to make a purchase and increase your profits in the short-term, using misleading copy will only end up hurting your business in the long-term.
The Top 5 Culprits
Here are some of the most common examples of misleading copy and recommendations for how to avoid using these words andphrases in your marketing:
The word”free” is one of the most overused words in copywriting along with similar phrases, such as “no cost,” “no investment,””no obligation” and “no purchase necessary.” Using”free” is one of the easiest traps to fall into because it’s a word that’s often associated with grabbing people’s attention.
A key componentof copywriting is appealing to consumers’ emotional triggers, such as security and trust. So it’s understandable that many entrepreneurs use the word”guarantee” liberally – “satisfaction guaranteed,””money-back guarantee,” “results guaranteed,” and variations such as “or your money back” and “results promised.”
- “Lowest price”.
What consumer isn’t concerned about price? Pricing is one of the easiest ways for businesses to differentiate their products and services from the competition, but pricing claims need to be clarified and quantified to make them believable. In fact, pricing claims have lost much of their power and impact simply because the tactic is overused.
- “Risk-free” or “norisk”.
This is another example of a phrase that has lost its effectiveness because it is used so often. In today’s society, many people, unfortunately, expect to be taken advantage of, so consumers find it hard to believe that a purchase doesn’t have some risk associated with it.
- Up to or at least.
Alone these two phrases are fairly benign, but when they are coupled with an offer or claim,they can be dangerous. For example, “up to 75% off” means only some items are available at 75% off, but the majority may be offered at a far lower discount or no discount at all. Consumers see “75% off” and act, but they could be disappointed when they arrive for the advertised sale and find just one unpopular item available at that rate. Customers are left dissatisfied and unlikely to make a repeat purchase.