What's in Kim's Mailbox?
Yesterday's "What's in Kim's Mailbox" breakdown of the anxiety supplement promo generated this question from a Copy Insider I'll leave unnamed...
I just have a question about how much of the copy in this type of ad that you just covered, the long sales letter or magalog, has to actually be true. For example, it says things like there is a new medical clinic in Texas and there are doctors in the picture. I understand, of course, that actors are hired and photos are taken, but can copywriters actually make up everything? I mean if there is an actual medical clinic, then it really puzzles me as to why the copy does not include more reference to that and like you pointed out, why it does not attach real names in the bylines. Is there really a clinic? And if there is, then are those the actual doctors or are those actors? I realize that my ignorance might be funny and if so, it is ok with me. hah! Thanks again for all the great materials. My response was this: No, it needs to be true. If you encounter a client that wants you to make everything up, RUN. It's easy enough to google the clinic to see if it's real (I didn't). Sometimes medical doctors shy away from using their names in promos if they're concerned about their image in the medical community or legal issues. Hope that helps! And that leads us to today's ad breakdown. I'm not going to go in-depth on this one, in part because I'm running out of time this afternoon before I need to go to the gym to get my butt kicked by my trainer. But I felt I should at least feature the following sales page, since none other than Justin Goff let me know it's the #1 performer on ClickBank right now. That means it's kicking butt! I originally clicked on the link to the promo (do it if you dare here)...and got this scary notification on my desktop computer:
So I decided to pull it up on my smartphone instead. While googling it, I came across a "scam" webpage about this program that claimed there was in fact NO Carly Donovan and NO fitness center that she owned, as claimed in the VSL/sales page.
But upon checking that page out further, it looks like the San Diego Consumer Action website isn't what it appears to be, either. SO many scams, so little time!
Is there really a Carly Donovan? And is her story 100% true? I have no idea. It's not uncommon to have a spokesperson with a made-up name, who--for the reasons I presented in my answer above--may want to stay anonymous. It doesn't mean the background story isn't true.
(However, if the whole thing is just one big made-up story, well, it might make sense as a copywriter to run in the other direction and not look back!)
In general, I've shied away from writing weight loss promotions, but that's because at least when it comes to the supplement niche, they're by far the riskiest. The FDA scrutinizes them the most, and they're also more likely to generate complaints to the FTC. Any of this can make your fat royalties vanish in a snap if your client gets a "cease and desist" letter, or worse.
But this appears to be an information product. And it's following the proven "personal story" formula...with a lot of "Cinderella" branding (that personally makes me want to gag) thrown in. I started off watching it on my phone as a VSL, and it's got lots of produced action scenes going on, which hooks you right in.
However, the lead strained the bounds of believability early on when it acted as if the spokesperson was shocked to find she "suddenly" gained 84 pounds of fat. Seriously? How many of us just "wake up fat" like that? I can get not weighing yourself for a long time, but you'd clearly notice you were getting fatter...
The copy does all the usual female-insecurity-agitating, formulaic stuff that personally drives me crazy and repels women like me, but that unfortunately works. And the story goes ON and ON and ON.
By doing so, it does weed out those who are "just looking" or not potential buyers. The graphics throughout and the emotional saga of Carly's story keep those who are the true prospects reading and engaged.
There's good use of proof throughout to back up the story, with several photos of Carly at different points of her life (assuming she's real), as well as her mission to uncover the "secret" to why Japanese women don't get fat... (it would be nice to see a photo of the actual check!)
But it doesn't just stop with this secret to weight loss. The unique mechanism is made up of several food "pairing rituals", all of which give you everything the typical 30- or 40-something woman dreams of enjoying to her heart's delight...including chocolate and wine!
The graphics do a good job of laying it out, though it does start to be a bit overwhelming and hard to keep up with at this point...but if you're the target prospect, you're likely hooked by now...
Along the way, the copy does a great job of using the prospect's own language to describe the parts of her body she "hates" and wants to fix... (this is where reading online forums, scrolling through comments on related Facebook ads, and talking to actual prospects really comes into handy, so you know their language).
There's also great use of testimonials throughout, including here where they're shown as actual social media snippets...
After about what feels like about 564 pages of copy, you finally get to where they present the product, "The Cinderella Solution" and the first call to action and order button appears...
But wait...there's more! The copy goes on to pile on 3 more things you get with this offer, along with more savings...all of which is visually presented at the end of this section...
They've done a good job here of creating an irresistible offer. And as with any successful Clickbank or other online promo, they've got lots of upsells that follow that allow this to scale as a profitable offer.
I didn't buy it, so I didn't personally see the upsell offers presented, but if you're willing to invest $37, you might find it worthwhile so you can study their funnel. I did find this online "review" that reveals what their upsells and downsells are, if you don't want to bother buying it...
Because this is one of the top promos being used online right now, I felt I'd share it. Personally, it's not my cup of tea, but that doesn't matter... If you write in the fitness or weight loss niche, there are a lot of good lessons here to emulate...nothing terribly "breakthrough", but a good "meat and potatoes" example of a promo that's working well in that niche.
Yours for smarter marketing,