Make Them Laugh or Make Them Buy


A discussion was burning up the bits and bytes on a few of the popular advertising forums.  The subject of heated conversation: Whether or not to add humor in earnings copy.

A few of the members assert that comedy could be a disarming and refreshing solution to the caveman approach to copywriting - i.e., bludgeoning the reader to shock and entry with strong declarations and exclamation points.

Reduce the hard market and require a more favorable and convivial strategy, they state.  Be sociable, be enchanting, be humorous!

Makes sense.  In this declining market, in this awkward political surroundings that doesn't want a fantastic laugh?

Others go farther.  Revenue copy needs to possess character.  And they are, also!

But me thinks they might confuse character with comedy.  With a character doesn't equate with being humorous.

David Ogilvy, John Caples, Claude Hopkins, all needed identifying, no-nonsense, cut-to-the fast personalities and imbued their earnings copy with lots of the exact same to great remunerative impact, nevertheless I don't believe anybody can accuse themor their backup, of being humorous.

Then comes this stretch: sales letters sound the exact same nowadays... hackneyed.  They then website letters which lead having an amazing benefit, an incredible offer, or even a rags-to-riches, failure-to-hero narrative.

And the purpose they're earning is legitimate.  The marketer, throughout the copywriter, has to distinguish himself and his merchandise.

However, do you do so by creating Celtics laugh?

This 's the issue...
How frequently have you gone into a comedy clubor observed a late night or primetime comic fall flat on his face when providing a punch line?

Therefore, if you're thinking about using humor in your sales copy answer this question :

What makes you feel you're amusing?
Perhaps in person, yes, in the dinner table, from the pub, at the locker room; and perhaps you've written something in a blog article, post, or within a spec script that you sent to Columbia Pictures that struck some funny bones or twice or twice.

Recognizethe first and foremost objective of a sales letter would be, what?  
Therefore, with all the required components necessary for salesmanship in print, you build a rhythm, a voice, a tone - a slick pitch by another name - which keeps the reader curious, excited - scrolling or flipping pages, finally bringing your reader into the correspondence 's actual punch line: the submit button, or even the BRC (the Company Answer Card at a direct mail advertising ).

But what do you believe will happen to the trance-like momentum that you 've worked so artfully to make if, all of a sudden, you slide in a laugh, a little bit of comedy, which 's perceived by the reader to be inappropriate, distracting, and worst of allnot funny?

The bubble pops!  
All right, let's state your delivery is a little easier; you're in a position to control the transition out of Caples into Conan using a little more aplomb.  The question that you then have to answer is that:

Is adding comedy essential to close the purchase?

Ormore generally phrased, a sales letter must just be provided that it should be to be able to have the reader to state "Yes, I'll purchase! "

  So, President Lincoln wrote the Fantastic general a brief, polite letter:

"My beloved McClellan,

Should you would like 't need to use the military, I should like to borrow it for some time.

Yours respectfully,
Anyhow, the point I was making: compose , or not, than is required to complete the purchase, and also you risk killing the purchase.

Therefore, whether you can easily slip into a little bit of comedy now becomes a matter of if it will help you or not.

When it's unnecessary comedy, and just contained to showcase your character, '' I say...

Better to be clever than humorous 
Since it is, just a little, quite small, percentage of subscribers will respond to the very best written sales letter - even though it had been composed by the present reigning, albeit retired, godhead of copywriters: Gary Bencivenga.

So why take the chance of decreasing your conversion rate even further by adding what some may perceive as humorous, sophomoric, or merely unnecessary comedy.

Imagine if you're funny... all the time?
Well then, in case your readers know you, adore you and expect you to be humorous, or at least come near...

By not adding a little bit of comedy on your own instincts, you'll divert them out of your advertising message as they start to wonder why you've switched gears and be so severe (dull ).

To put it differently, if comedy is part of your copywriting or advertising character, don't alter it with no fair warning and decent reason.

However if you're writing to a cold record, one that doesn't understand you, doesn't care about you personally, and essentially finds out your sales letter an invasion, robbing them of the valuable, precious time... I believe cracking a joke in the start, or at the center, or even at the very end of your sales letter - or if you request them to send you cash - isn't something I'd recommend.

Which brings me to my final point:
  1. If you believe separating somebody from her or his hard-earned cash can be humorous...
  2. Look no farther than your next credit card bill to get your response.  Does reading your announcement set you in stitches?
  3. No?  Well, how about when they added a really funny piece of comedy beside the line that reads "minimal balance due"?
  4. Could you're rolling in the aisles and excited to pay your invoice then?
  5. Didn't believe so. 

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