Flash Facts and Stats
A fact is a powerful thing. While a prospect can be justifiably suspicious about a product claim or understandably skeptical about an overhyped description of the benefits (“Great tasting chicken. Crisp, tender, and juicy. Cooked to perfection!”), a fact is immutable. It doesn't require belief. Prospects accept it as truth. That's why flashing facts, stats, and other evidence throughout your copy is so important.
Strangely, a fact doesn't necessarily need to relate directly to a product benefit to add power to your copy. “The Gizmo 9000 is produced at our 14,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Chicago.” The size and location has little to do with the product benefits. Yet the very mention of these extraneous details makes the copy more convincing.
Facts in your copy are like nails that hold a house together. If you don't have enough in place, your entire structure will fail to stand up to scrutiny. Like a house of cards, even the slightest wind of skepticism will blow the whole thing down.
Consider the following example:
Our friendly customer service staff is here to help you.
Do you believe that claim? Or have you heard that one, or something like it, so many times before that it no longer has any impact? Now read the revised version of this copy below.
Our full-time customer service staff of 15 is here to help you, 8
Isn't it amazing how adding a few simple facts makes the copy more convincing? Notice that there still isn't any hard evidence that the customer service staff is friendly or helpful. But just by adding facts — even the fact that this customer service department hasn't earned a CSA award! — makes the copy more persuasive.
Here are the types of facts that can add substance and credibility to your copy:
Sizes, colors, shapes, styles, dimensions, and quantities
Explaining how the product is made
Explaining how the product works
Compliance standards met (“The Acme ZXL is ASA tested and certified for use in construction raised platform applications.”)
Beware of facts that seem too good to be true. Can the new time-management system really cut two hours off a manager's busy day or is that just the hopeful thinking of the marketing manager (or copywriter) promoting the product? If you have a fact that will likely ignite the skepticism of a prospect, be sure to back up that fact with other facts and outside endorsements. For example: “An independent survey concluded that 82% of managers who used this time-management system were able to cut two hours off their day.”