When you’re marketing your products and services, it’s critical to establish trust with your prospective customer. That was one of my biggest “takeaways” from ETR’s Info Marketing Bootcamp this year.

Michael Masterson spoke at length about how to develop trust with your marketing messages. Here are three of the suggestions he offered that I’ll be sure to work into my own efforts for Total Health Breakthroughs (ETR’s natural health newsletter).

  • Keep the sales copy long.

Don’t think you have to keep your copy short to hold your reader’s attention. Sales copy should be as long as it needs to be to build trust.

Michael pointed out that, all other elements being equal, long copy usually out-pulls short copy. It may sound counterintuitive, but people tend to respond better and buy more when they are presented with a longer sales letter. Long copy has been tested against short copy thousands of times. And long copy almost always wins.

  • Appeal to your prospect’s emotions as well as his logic.

When people read longer copy, Michael explained, it has a positive effect on the part of the brain that handles fundamental emotions: the “limbic system.” Now he didn’t go into why it has that effect, but perhaps it triggers a subconscious justification for buying the product. Of course, any good copywriter knows to include hard, quantifiable things in every sales letter to help the reader logically justify making the purchase – things like proof that the product works… testimonials from satisfied customers… a reasonable price … the credibility of the writer… But the longer the copy is, the easier it is to satisfy the reader on an emotional level.

  • The lead is a major factor.

Michael defined the lead (the first part of the sales letter) in a way I’d never heard before. He said it is the amount of time your reader gives you before making the decision to continue to read. And he said that even though it typically takes up only 10 or 20 percent of the letter, it has the greatest impact on the eventual sale.

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