Asking Obvious Questions to Plant Doubts

by Lou

One rule for powerful copywriting you often hear is to leave out modals (would, could, might, etc.) and conditionals (if) from your ads. Which of the following seems stronger to you?

• What would you do if the economy collapses?
• What will you do when the econony collapses?

Pretty obvious, is it not? The second one changes a possible to a definite. However, there is a way to use the modal “would” to create a form of parallel logic that’s quite powerful.

Would you (SOMETHING UNUSUAL/UNLIKELY/STUPID)? Then why would you (SOMETHING THEY’RE PROBABLY DOING OR THINKING ABOUT NOW) to (WHAT THEY WANT)?

EXAMPLES:

“Would you hire a window washer to do your taxes? Then why would you hire an ad agency copywriter to write your website copy?”

“Would you build your house out of toothpicks? Then why would you only use features and benefits to put in your advertising?”

“Would you try lighting a barbecue with gasoline? Then why would you spend all the money you do on ineffective pay-per-click ads?”

And because this advertising language pattern is an excellent use of parallel logic, the first question can use examples that aren’t even related to what you are selling. It’s also fine to use the first question for metaphors suggesting futility, extremeness, brokeness, and other negative nominalizations.

But notice your internal experience when you read this language pattern. It brings a strong state of doubt to bear on what follows. That makes it perfect to change a belief.

How would it feel if you use this NLP language pattern in your ads or on your website and notice a sharp jump in your conversion rates?

======================================================

Comments are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: