The Cover Said “Read This or Die” (Copywriting Tip #7)

Quick Copywriting Tip #7: Clarity is Critical.

Entrepreneurs often spend their energy building a “better mousetrap” and promoting it as such.

The most effective persuasion, though, starts by building bigger mice (to borrow a line from Breakthrough Advertising).


Your reader may already see the symptoms, but it’s up to you to make sure he knows what those symptoms mean.

It is important to understand the details about your product/service/solution. It’s usually more important for him to have  clear understanding of the reality, severity and immediacy of the problem he’s facing — and a clear picture of what’s at stake if he ignores you or procrastinates too long.

copywriting tip clarity rutz

Beneath the headline of the Jim Rutz’s “Read This or Die” promotion, you learn that “Today you have a 95 percent chance of eventually dying for which there is already a known cure somewhere on the planet.” If that statistic is anywhere near accurate, don’t you almost HAVE to read more?

There is no question what’s at stake. If you don’t heed the warning, you know exactly what’s going to happen. No alternative interpretations are possible.

Rutz then takes 52 pages to prove his point, build trust and offer a no-brainer solution.

Is your marketing message THIS clear? Do you address the problems your potential client is facing THIS plainly? Are you willing to be bold enough to tell the whole truth?

Naturally, most businesses don’t deal with life-and-death situations. But every business does solve a problem or relieve some kind of pain. You can still spell out reality, severity and immediacy of the issue, as well as the consequences of inaction in vivid detail.

We’re not in the business of scaring people. But it’s our responsibility to warn people about difficulties we can help them avoid.

Read all 13 Quick Copywriting Tips.


How to Pick Your Target Audience, Quick Thoughts

Many business owners think that everyone is an ideal customer for their product or service.

Sound familiar?

They’ve probably heard that they should focus on a certain customer type, but it can be hard to choose one.

Here’s a quick tip. If you have trouble choosing a specific audience to target your business and marketing towards, ask yourself this:

Who is the most likely person to buy this product? (Who wants it? Who can afford it and is willing to pay for it.)

That’s a good place to start.

Create a character out of that imaginary customer. Give him/her a name. How old is he? What does she do for a living? Where does she live? What are his biggest problems and fears? What goals and dreams does he have? What does she want out of life? Etc.

Asking and answering these questions seriously will help clarify in your mind who your best customers are likely to be. You may also learn something about what it is that you’re really selling.

You’re not selling suits. You’re handing out confidence and prestige.

Now that I think about it, even if you have a pretty good idea of who your target market is, this little exercise could still be informative. Give it a try!