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Clarity Trumps Persuasion

I thought I’d pass along this little tidbit of marketing wisdom that I’ve suspected for a while, but that was reinforced and proven a few times recently. You need to know this, too. I’ve recently been watching the webinars that Marketing Experiments conducts. Wow, they sure do put a lot of effort into figuring out […]

I thought I’d pass along this little tidbit of marketing wisdom that I’ve suspected for a while, but that was reinforced and proven a few times recently.

You need to know this, too.

I’ve recently been watching the webinars that Marketing Experiments conducts. Wow, they sure do put a lot of effort into figuring out what works and what doesn’t work in online marketing.

My only gripe (and it’s not really a gripe) with them is that they are more focused on the larger, corporate marketer than they are with the online entrepreneurs — marketers like you and I.

In any case, they shared a little nugget the other day that I thought was important enough to share with you, too. And here it is:

Clarity Trumps Persuasion.

Now, this came up in the results of a test they did on effective emails. It turns out that emails written in such a way that…

* The intended audience is obvious, and
* The reason for the email is real, and
* The message in the email is clear

…is a much more effective email than when any one of those factors is missing.

And what they usually see are emails that are either poorly written with confusing technical terms, lists of features, and the merchant’s perspective on the world…or they are emails that are so obviously written by a copywriter, using all the best persuasion techniques.

I don’t mean to scoff at copywriting (Not at all!), but it turns out that the short emails with the clearer message — even when written by amateur copywriters — beat out the professionally written ones almost all the time.

So, in the event that you were worried about writing “persuasive” emails, or a perfect sales page, do yourself one favor right now.

Resolve to write meaningfully, honestly, simply and clearly.

That, my friend, is real copywriting.

Your readers will appreciate the difference…and you may even make more sales in the process.

I’ve got a little more to say about this, so stay tuned for the next few days. I think it will help you tremendously.

To Your Success,

–Mark Widawer

P.S. My friend Tellman Knudson gave me some list-building wisdom the other day, which frankly is all about Trust. What he told me sparked me to immediate action.

I’ll give you my take on what Tellman told me real soon, but if you want to get it directly from Tellman, then go check out his list building system that takes you from beginner to expert list builder faster than anything I’ve seen.

Click to watch Tellman’s Free List Building Video

If you haven’t ever heard this before, then let me be the first to tell you…”The Money is in the List”. Tellman proves it.

9 replies on “Clarity Trumps Persuasion”

Hey Mark,

I had to comment because THIS is the same realization that I’ve come to.. this same discussion is coming up again and again in the Video Boss training (most impactful training I’ve ever bought btw, kudos AJ) and I’ve realized that the reason my marketing hasn’t been really kicking is not because I don’t understand my customer.. but I hadn’t PICKED one of them.

This has really clicked and as a result my effectiveness is through the roof because now I have one select person I’ve decided to work long term with.

Anyways, just wanted to comment and I back you 100 percent on Clarity Trumping Persuasion as that has been the catalyst in my own business.

Christopher Dittemore

Thanks Mark, but how do I get started?
How do I (an internet idiot) get things going?
I have no list, I have no idea how to get one.
I have no product to sell.
Do eBooks really sell? or are they DOA now.
I am so conflustered…

Hi Mark,

Love your wisdom about listbuilding!

One comment however. I’ve joined Tellman’s listbuilding club in 2008. It was okay material, but the customer service was a disaster. I had a hard time to get an receipt (administration purpose). Also, no information about how to cancel the subscription. Plus, they started to bill me for stuff I didn’t want.

I’m sure they have no bad intentions, but I was disappointed about all this. Your customer care is an example for Tellman…

Mark, I still love your ‘Get List Power’ the most:
http://www.getlistpower.com

Mark,
You’ve confirmed what I’ve suspected all along. If you know your product and truly how it benefits your audience, then the best copy simply describes in very honest terms how you help. Simple. I’m putting this technique to use this week actually. On our website we had been taking people to a sales page for a DVD following opt in for a free video course. We are now going to test an approach where after the opt in we’ll confirm and then suggest to the prospect that there is benefit to having the DVD copy of their free content and let them decide if they want to find out more on their own. This is also a great way to understand the audiences preferences as well as respect them.

Mark,

They say history repeats itself.

This post proves the point.

Your historical advice is as great as this enlightening post.

Thanks for the high-quality advice over the years.

Just bought you a cup of coffee.

One day, I’ll do that in person.

I for one, think you are great.

– Aaron

Hi!

Thanks for this information.

A comment on “…/clarity-trumps-persuasion/#more-539”:

– When my Internet Explorer window is narrowed, your left-hand text butts immediately against the window’s border. This looks crowded. I would insert a one-space margin.

Also, I’m confused by the last words of the 4th paragraph. It seems to suggest that we are also not concerned. “…as are you and I”, maybe? “…as are you and me”? “…like you and me/I/we are”?

Sorry for being such a nerd.

Please do not add me to your mailing list.

Best wishes,
Rob

Hello Rob.
You can be nitpicky if you want.
There’s not much that I can (or want to) do about the left edge. With marketing, as with any endeavor in life, you’ve got to pick what’s worth working on, and what’s not worth working on.
It’s the old 80/20 rule. I’d rather spend my time replying to you than fixing minor glitches in my wordpress theme.
That said, it took all of 20 seconds to fix the grammar you referred to.
-Mark

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