Establishing Credibility With Your Customers

Here are some techniques copywriters use to quickly establish credibility when they’re selling a newsletter. See how many of them you can adapt to your own promotional efforts:

1. Show a picture of your company’s building to prove you’re more than just a mailbox.

2. Link the specifics of the newsletter editor’s background to reasons why this particular background enhances his value as a researcher and analyst.

3. Cite any awards the publication has won or favorable third-party reviews it has garnered.

4. Get and use testimonials from subscribers and the media. The best testimonials are specific rather than superlative, and support the key points you are making in your copy.

5. Stress the editor’s credentials and experience. List the books he has written (and their publishers) and the periodicals in which his articles have appeared. Also, list his major speaking engagements as well as academic or business affiliations.

6. If the editor is not an expert in the field and the publication is not built around him, promote the credibility of the publisher instead. Tell how many publications the company has and why it has such a great reputation in the market it serves.

7. One way to get around an editor or publisher credibility problem is to create an Editorial Advisory Board. Have three to five experts agree to be on this board, and then stress their credentials and achievements in your promotional copy.

Don’t forget standard credibility stuff – like the number of years you’ve been in business or the number of subscribers you have. “Our 20th year” impresses some people. And look for other statistics that can boost your credibility. For example, perhaps you still have your first subscriber who started with you 12 years ago when you published your first issue.

– Bob Bly

[Ed. Note: Bob Bly is the editor of ETR’s Direct Marketing University: The Masters Edition – a program to help you start your own successful direct-mail business.]