It's said that assumption is the mother of all f-ups. And they'd be right.
One of the main problems we notice regularly in performance advertising is the lack of specificity. Where claims, statements, and assertions are not specific.
Claims such as:
"NOW, MORE SO THAN EVER, THE NEED FOR [PRODUCT OR SERVICE] IS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT."
Where are the facts? Why now? What's different? How is it critical?
You cannot hope a prospect will take your word for it. To them, you're just an advertiser. And people don't tend to trust advertisers without good reason. Particularly ones who ask them to hand over their hard-earned cash.
So, give them reasons to believe.
Consider each claim you make, each benefit you offer, each feature you have – can the way you present them be more specific?
Why should you do this? Because the most persuasive information is specific information.
For example, which of the below is more compelling?
"SAVE MONEY AND PROTECT YOUR LOVED ONES WITH FAMILY LIFE COVER."
"SAVE UP TO £378 IN THE NEXT 30 DAYS AND PROTECT THE ONES YOU LOVE WITH OUR FAMILY LIFE COVER."
Both headlines make the same claim, but one is general and nonspecific, and the other has teeth.
Its effectiveness is its specificity. The prospect now understands that their life cover will save them a precise amount if they respond in a defined timeframe.
And because they now know exactly what is in it for them, the advertiser is now less vague and slightly more trustworthy. Helping to make the reader feel more at ease and potentially open to your way of thinking.
Whereas if you’re not specific, your prospects would probably think along the lines of:
● this seller is more interested in themselves than me;
● they're just trying to sell their product, not solve my problem;
● they don't know anything about what I want;
● and they haven't made any effort to find out either.
This is why generic claims are kryptonite for advertising and should be avoided at all costs. They make it unappealing, bland, and tedious. And force the prospect to work harder for what matters to them, which just isn't going to happen. They couldn't care less and they've already moved on.
The fact is your prospects are way too busy and have much more important things to think about. Like taking the dog for a walk, picking the kids up, or fixing the downstairs toilet seat. Y'know, life stuff.
So, the next time you're reading your own advertising, ask yourself, are you being specific enough? Are the points you make compelling? Do you have some specific facts you're not talking about? Essentially, does your advertising have teeth?