While ideally you have some sort of proof direct in your headline and ad, your persuasiveness argument relies on how well you prove your point. You see, it’s ultimately about belief and feeling.
As heavy hitter Gary Bencivenga says:
Almost everyone in the world, in every field of human endeavor, is desperately searching for someone to believe in. Be that person and you can write your own ticket. Belief is today’s most overlooked yet most powerful key to boosting response to any ad, in any medium. Harness it and you unleash the core atomic power for exploding response.
Most prospects want to believe the claims you make in a landing page, yet the claims challenge their world-view and the status quo. You need proof, ideally proof that resonates emotionally, in order to get them to take action.
A landing page, or a salesletter, is like a one-to-one conversation between you and the prospect. You put various things on the landing page, designed to instill a particular reaction in the reader’s mind.
Imagine it as a phone conversation with a friend. They call you. They bring up a problem they’re struggling with. You say something surprising. You empathize with their pain. You talk about an approach you’ve used in the past or a product you can recommend to address it, as you know it will help them out. At the end, you help them buy the product or implement a solution in their lives. Empathize with your reader in the same way you’d empathize with that friend on the other end of the line.
Direct response progenitor Eugene Schwartz puts it well:
It is the facts that the prospect believes in and accepts, and the way that he passes that acceptance along from one fact to another, that determines the ad’s development, the arrangement of your claims and your images and your proofs, so that there is a step-by-step strengthening, not only of your prospect’s desire but of his conviction that the satisfaction of that desire will come true through your product.
You are building up the emotional weight of your argument as much as you can. You want the solution to become real in the prospect’s mind.
When you are making claims about the benefits your product has, your prospect is likely to not believe a claim that you make. It’s that “yeah, right” knee-jerk response. On the phone, you might be able to tell based on voice tone. Some prospects might tell you outright that they don’t believe you.
Proof counters that pushback. It’s your job, as a product creator or founder, to provide strong counter-arguments to this type of objection. In other words, your copy explicitly addresses the prospect’s objections. Show exactly how your solution can solve his problem. Or hers.
Well, the best type of proof is a poignant detail that knocks out a line of questioning or thinking. That’s why direct response copy that sells is clear.
If you want to know what types of proof you can use, I’ve got your back. In its next update, Launch Tomorrow will include at least 38 different types of proof you can include on your landing page.
You can get a copy over here.
To be crystal clear, most of the 38 different types of proof don’t require you to even even have a customer, much less a success story.
Even on a landing page MVP, it all comes down to knowing how to present your product.