Drawing Lines In The Sand
If you want to write good copy, then you’re going to want to draw lines in the sand.
There’s no such thing as sales copy that works for everyone.
Most cold sales copy is going to convert at less than five percent.
If you try and appeal to everyone, then you’ll get a lot less than five percent conversion rates.
In fact, you probably won’t convert.
So, you need to convince some of those non-converting readers to customers and the rest… you need them to disappear.
Drawing Lines in The Sand
Essentially, the quickest way to filter traffic is to stop people from sitting on the fence.
You have to make them decide, “Is this for me?”
This is best done when you take a multi-faceted approach. Within your first few lines, you have to answer the following:
- Is this author for me?
- What about the article I’m reading?
- And how about the product I’m (not) buying?
This process happens naturally anyway, but you need to force the issue. If you don’t, all you’re doing is collecting uninteresting eyeballs that won’t convert into sales for you.
You do this through picking some contentious issue from your niche and writing in absolutes about it. The most common version of this idea comes in the form of “The grand conspiracy” idea.
- You’re not fat because you eat too much. It’s because of this one ingredient you need to avoid that nobody tells you about.
- Making money online isn’t difficult, there’s a secret that Google are trying to keep from you!
- Your boss probably hates you because you’re totally awesome… but luckily, he’s an idiot. If you buy this book, you’ll learn what master persuaders have known for hundreds of years.
Great Examples Of Drawing Lines In The Sand
To see this copywriting process in action, the best places to look are the survival niche and the financial planning niche.
I once subscribed to a finance/wealth protection email list. Every week, I get email headlines like:
- Barry Obama Is Going To STEAL Your IRA
- What If The USA Experiences A Cold War Collapse?
- [Bank Bail-ins] Happened In Cypress… They ARE Going To Happen Here Too
This isn’t even the “crackpot” category of survivalism – it’s a company in the financial planning sector.
The point is that these emails draw a line in the sand – you’re either with the program or you’re not. There’s no in between.
Barry Obama is not going to “sort of” come for your money, is he?
Most people are going to read the above headlines and think they’re stupid. That’s ok. The company (hopefully) knows that. They’re after the people that already know that Barack Hussein is a no-good communist who wants to put you in a FEMA camp and spend your money on demonic things like a healthcare service.
Bear in mind that this email list is targeting people who have a net worth in the mid-seven figure range, and you realise that copywriting techniques work on anyone if the message is right.
To wrap up this section, go and look at wealth protection sites, survivalist sites and other assorted “The sky is probably going to fall tomorrow!” niches.
Added Benefit Of Drawing Lines In The Sand: Your Non-Converting Traffic Becomes Free Marketing
Providing you haven’t been living in a cave for the past few months, you’ll be aware that there was a Presidential Election in the USA a couple of weeks back.
This site is generally a no-politics zone, but something about the election was interesting for the purposes of this article.
The “Lines in the Sand” had a massive effect on the election – and more surprisingly – the media and tech giants who should have understood this basic principle failed to.
Advertising is expensive, and conversion rates are low.
Wouldn’t it be great if those people who were never going to buy your product felt so passionately about it that they went and told everyone about your product instead of buying it themselves?
That’s what happened during the Presidential election. It’s not the only thing that happened, but media companies took lines in the sand; emotionally-charged issues and printed them so many times you couldn’t read the comments on a funny kitten video without someone talking about what an arsehole Trump was or how corrupt Hillary was.
When you draw lines in the sand with your marketing, it’s easy to over-emphasise the message to the point where people will point, laugh and draw attention to your product.
Companies pay good money to draw attention to their product, so having people do it for free gives them the last laugh.
The Only Issue – Don’t Actually Believe It
A lot of people use the above tactic without really understanding it. The approach creates a problem.
There are people who get massively entrenched in the “It’s a conspiracy!” angle that they believe it and it clouds all of their content – and later judgement.
I know one guy who created a health product and did the whole, “The medical establishment doesn’t want you to know this” angle.
This worked fantastically well. Except the last time I spoke to him he literally thought that Big Pharma was going to hire people to assassinate him.
These are examples of marketers, companies and particularly self-help gurus who completely jump the shark happening all the time.
There’s a fine line between appearing controversial and appearing to be mentally deranged. Obviously, you don’t want your marketing (or business) to ever fall into the latter category.
If you want to write good copy, then you need to think about your readers and potential readers as potential customers.
To maximise your customers and conversions, you need to a) grab the easy targets that are always going to buy, b) convince those on the fence that might buy that they’ve got to do it, and c) get rid of the people who are never going to buy – hopefully using those to solidify A and B’s choices.
Drawing lines in the sand for your audience is the first step to doing this.