Question Marks in Copy

Now some folks will tell you that beginning sales copy with a question is bad form. After all – any question you ask could be answered in a way that is not helpful to your objectives. And your sales letter could wind up in the trash.

But not necessarily. Recently, Health & Healing sold a boatload of subscriptions under the headline “Is there anyone left we can trust?”

Of course, it really wasn’t a question at all. It was a proposition. That brilliant headline created instant bonding with prospects by placing the spokesperson in the same boat with them. And then it answered the question by presenting the credentials of Health & Healing’s editor.

Still, I try to be careful when I use question marks. Like a good lawyer, I avoid asking questions when I’m not sure I already know the answer.

Like when I’m using a particularly powerful persuasion device called “Socratic Reasoning.” That’s where I ask a series of questions, the obvious answers to which inevitably lead my prospect to the desired conclusion. Here’s an example:

If you really think drug companies are in business to make you healthy, just ask yourself, “If prescription drugs make people healthier…

“Why is there more heart disease in America than there was 10 years ago?

“Why are cancer rates skyrocketing?

“Why is there an epidemic of diabetes, arthritis, and other degenerative diseases today?”

Now, let me ask you: If you were the chairman of a big drug company… if your only responsibility was to make your shareholders richer… wouldn’t you want MORE people to get sick – not less?

… Or when I want to quickly answer a question my reader is probably asking himself about my proposition:

Why don’t doctors, surgeons, hospitals, drug companies – or anyone else in the mainstream medical industry – tell you this?

Why wouldn’t they want you to know about natural supplements that are clinically proven to work better than drugs – and without the high cost and miserable side effects?

Simple: Because when you prevent disease or heal yourself naturally, they don’t make a red cent!

Each question hooks the reader into reading what follows, moving them down the copy and to the inevitable conclusion that buying this product is the only logical thing to do.

[Ed. Note: Master copywriter Clayton Makepeace publishes the highly acclaimed e-zine The Total Package to help business owners and copywriters accelerate their sales and profits. Claim your 4 free moneymaking e-books – bursting with tips, tricks, and tactics that’ll skyrocket your response – at

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Clayton Makepeace

In many of the 34 years since Clayton Makepeace began his career, his marketing brainstorms and sales copy have generated over 100 million dollars in sales for his clients - all told well over a billion dollars so far! Clayton's copy has generated as many as TWO MILLION NEW CUSTOMERS for a single product in just 36 months and doubled, tripled - and on four specific occasions, quadrupled - the number of paying customers on his clients house files in as little as a year or two.He has increased his client's sales revenues by up to 1,000 percent in a single month, and multiplied monthly sales revenues by up to 4,400 percent in one short year.Clayton's direct response copy has pulled in as much as $3.6 million in sales over a weekend $5 million in a few weeks and $16 MILLION in a single month!