Some time ago, I heard a story about a man who was standing in the middle of a bridge in London and trying to hand people 10 pound notes — for free.
You’d think there would be a line of people queuing up to take one, right?
In fact, they were so sceptical about him that they walked past from a distance, probably thinking that it was too good to be true.
This brings me to a trick in copywriting that you rarely see being used.
Overcome Your Customer’s Scepticism With ‘Reason Why’
Have you ever found yourself thinking after seeing an advertisement thinking: “that can’t be right — I don’t trust these guys.”
Maybe you even thought that when you first landed on my website? ‘Why would I trust this digital marketer for what he says he is?’
That’s because we are naturally sceptical of businesses at first. And skepticism is the #1 reason for people not to buy. That’s why you need to be able to pre-empt and answer thoughts like:
‘Where’s the catch?’ or ‘Why does this sound too good to be true?’
So here’s a way to overcome this scepticism and turn the doubting prospect into a warm lead — it’s called ‘Reason Why’ copywriting.
If you are not using this copywriting technique, you are missing out on a critical factor of persuasion in your marketing message.
This is not a trendy advertising buzzword or digital marketing jargon. I, also, can’t take any credit for it.
Reason Why copywriting is a technique that is more than 150 years old. It was developed by John E Powers, an American copywriter, who was famous for focusing on facts.
In fact, he was so truthful in his copy that one of his famous advertisements written for Wanamaker’s said:
‘We have a lot of rotten gossamers and things we want to get rid of.’
On the day the ad appeared, the customers bought out the entire gossamer surplus by noon.
Here’s another ad he wrote for a near-bankrupt clothing company in Pittsburgh:
‘We are bankrupt. This announcement will bring our creditors down on our necks. But if you come and buy tomorrow we shall have the money to meet them. If not we will go to the wall.’
This resulted in an immediate surge in sales, and the struggling company was saved from bankruptcy.
Here’s How To Write Better Ads, Websites And Landing Pages Using ‘Reason Why’
There are three steps you need to follow if you want to use Reason Why copywriting technique effectively.
If you want to write better ads, websites or landing pages give your customers:
A reason why your product or service is better than other solutions out there.
We are able to sell this so affordably because we get the product straight from the factory and there are no middlemen.
The forklifts we build are much more durable than our competitors because all the parts go through rigorous durability testing.
I am able to give much more attention to your digital marketing campaign than a digital agency because I only maintain a small portfolio of clients at one time.
A reason why something you claim is true
We are a trusted and experienced building company because we have over 800 happy clients
Your personal information is safe because your data is converted into unrecognisable code using industry standard data encryption
A reason why your reader should take action right now
Purchase now as the sale is on only until tomorrow.
We only take 3 new clients a month, so, to ensure there is space for you, fill in the form now before the spots are gone.
Now let’s look at some more examples
Which one seems more convincing to you?
- Get 50% off all our products
- Get 50% off all our products because we are closing down our business
One gives a reason for why there is a sale — the other one doesn’t. The first one is much less motivating for you to act on, because there isn’t a specific reason why the sale is on.
This is why ‘Clearance Sale’ works much better than just ‘Sale’.
If you are in e-commerce, you will notice how this will make a difference. But please don’t be one of those businesses that have a year-long clearance sale, as this wears out. Use common sense.
Now let’s look at another example:
Let’s say you have a construction business and your call to action is “Free Consultation” on your website.
While this might sound like an irresistible offer, the truth is that most people can tell that it’s just another name for a sales call. It also doesn’t stand out from any other home builder companies blasting the same offer.
But if you want to overcome that objection, you can try something along the lines of:
Get a Free Consultation with a building specialist (not a salesperson) who will answer any questions you may have regarding building your own house,
We offer this for free because so many people who get the consultation are so happy and impressed that they want to become a client.
See the difference?
Not only you are giving the customer a reason, you are being fully transparent and more likely to gain their trust.
The bottom line — Why ‘reason why’ copywriting works
A well-known principle of behaviour is that when we ask someone to do us a favour we will be more successful if we give that person a reason why we need that favour. People simply like to have reasons for what they do, and to know the reason why other people are doing what they do.