A sin to be avoided in sales copy is using words that remind the prospect you are, in actuality, selling a product, not just educating or helping him out of the kindness of your heart. One of the words on my forbidden list is “product.” Today, I heard a radio spot for JointFlex, an arthritis supplement, that repeats the word many times.

The announcer says: “Doctors love the product, patients love the product, you will love the product.”

Why call it “the product”? Why not be more specific and use the name?

My rewrite: “Doctors love JointFlex, patients love JointFlex, you will love JointFlex.”

A yacht salesman refers to his top-of-the-line model as a “yacht” or “she.” A car salesman refers to a sports car as a sports car, automobile, or “a beauty.” You never hear a good salesperson say “our product” or “my product.” Neither should a good copywriter.

“Product” instantly breaks the spell of enticing copy and says to the prospect, “Don’t forget, we want your money.”

[Ed. Note: Even so-called “experts” in advertising forget the rules. But you can get a refresher course from three master copywriters at ETR’s 2008 Information Marketing Bootcamp. Bob Bly, John Forde, and Charlie Byrne will be revealing some of their juiciest secrets to writing money-making sales letters.

For expert insights into the world of direct marketing, be sure to sign up for Bob’s free monthly newsletter, Direct Response Letter. Do so today and get over $100 in free bonuses.]

Bob Bly

Bob Bly is an independent copywriter and consultant specializing in business-to-business and direct marketing. He has been hired as a consultant by such companies as Sony, Chemical Bank, J. Walter Thompson, Westinghouse, and Prentice-Hall. Bob is also the author of more than 50 books including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Direct Marketing (Alpha Books), Targeted Public Relations, Selling Your Services, How to Promote Your Own Business, and Keeping Clients Satisfied. A phenomenal public speaker, Bob will share with you how easy it is to start your own business. Whether you’re ready to quit your job or are just looking to make a little money on the side, you’ll want to hear Bob’s advice.

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