The Internet is filled with hyperbole.
Every business wants to stand out or make an impression, and often this is done through exaggeration or overstating of facts. However, when you use this sort of technique, it can have the opposite of your intended result.
“If your web copy is filled with hyperbole, your business may appear to many to be insincere, and therefore untrustworthy.
— Meg Stefanac
Do not underestimate the American public.
People, by and large, are not as gullible as many advertisers would like them to be. Yes, you have a product to sell; and yes, it is a competitive market. But if your business is a good one and your product is one that you can stand by confidently, exaggeration should not be necessary to make a sale.
Let your product stand on its own merits and be truthful when explaining to people why they need it. Not only will you appear more credible in the eyes of prospects, you can avoid potential lawsuits for misrepresenting your products or services.
You may feel that you are grabbing attention and going in for a hard-sell when you make offers that go beyond what the consumer can reasonably expect, but in fact, you are likely turning potential clients away.
Most people realize that if sounds too good to be true, it probably is – and if they think you are being untruthful, they will assume you are also untrustworthy.
These people are far less like to click on the “contact us” button.
Remember, you want to appear to be an authority in your industry. You want people to feel comfortable turning to you for advice or solutions to their problems. If you lack credibility, that’s not going to happen.
Companies do it all the time. Everyone claims to be the best, but obviously the position of “best” is reserved for one company only. People can see through exaggerated claims of greatness. You can still tout your value, but don’t do it at the expense of honestly.
For example, do not say, “We are the #1 [business type] in the state” unless you have something to back that up; and even then, back it up within the statement. For example you can say something like “Our business was voted #1 in customer service by the readers of [local] magazine!” – provided, of course, that the statement is true.
Likewise, do not call your company “world famous,” “innovative,” “unrivaled” or “award-winning” unless you are prepared to back that up through hyperlinks or within your text.
“People do recognize corporate buzz-words for what they are.
— Meg Stefanac
Accreditation by the Better Business Bureau and an ample supply of customer testimonials should be sufficient to display your business’s solid reputation.
I once edited some Web-copy for a roofing company in which the writer stated, “Maintaining your roof is the most important way you can protect your family.” Obviously, that statement is not only not true, it’s ridiculous and it plays on people’s fears for their loved ones in an obvious way that can turn off a potential client. I edited it to say “Keeping your roof in good repair is one of the most important things you can do to maintain the value of your home,” which not only is true, but better explains the importance of having this work done.
You have a product or a service to sell. Do that by explaining how the product or service and enrich the lives of those who are reading your copy. Believe it what you are selling and describe it honestly.
Honesty and sincerity go a long way. Keep your landing pages informative and truthful and those who read them will have a far better impression of your business. They might not realize why they trust you, but they will. It is far more likely that your prospects will convert to leads if they are not rolling their eyes while reading what you have to say.
Take the time now to look through some of the Web copy your company currently has published. Look for instances of hyperbole and fix them. You may be surprised by the difference it makes.
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