Be Specific Please…

Which do you think sounds better and more convincing?

“Lose 20 pounds in 10 days”

Or

“Lose a lot of weight in a short period of time”?

If you are like most people, of course the first statement sounds better and more convincing.

Why?

Well, it’s because the first statement uses specifics. Losing 20 pounds in 10 days is much more specific than simply saying “lose a lot of weight in a short period of time”.

In fact, the latter statement sounds very vague. How much is a lot of weight? What is considered a short period of time?

For someone, losing 20 pounds is a lot whereas to another person it may be very little.

For John, a short period of time is less than a week while Peter thinks that one day is a “short period of time”.

Do you see where I’m going with this? And do you know why practicing specifics are much better than not using specifics (of course this depends on the situation, but in the example above, it’s certainly a lot better to use specifics)?

It’s because when you are specific, it adds more credibility. The more specific you get, the more detailed the information will be. People trust you more when you are more specific. :razz:

Think about it for a second.

If you were an overweight person looking for ways to reduce your weight, and you were presented with the above two offers, which one would you buy trust more and eventually buy from?

Of course the first one, which is “Lose 20 pounds in 10 days”!

Generally speaking a person who is lying will find it more difficult to practice specifics, compared to someone who is practicing specifics based on true events that happened.

Don’t you agree?

So how can this benefit your business?

When constructing offers, be it sales letters or squeeze pages, it would be a lot better if you use specifics as opposed to simply providing general information which anyone can just come up on the top of their heads.

For sales letter, I’m pretty sure that if you were to add some specific information (especially numbers) to your marketing message, you can increase your sales percentage.

For squeeze page, the same principle applies. The more specific you get, the more credible it will be, and provided everything else stays the same, I’ll bet that your opt-in rate will increase.

When you are setting goals or targets, be specific as well. (By the way, the beginning of the year (which is now) is always a popular time to set new goals and targets for the year ahead). When your goals are specific, it will be easier to achieve.

For example, if your goal is to achieve a net profit of $5000/month from your business, it is going to be easier to achieve than if your goal is to simply “earn more money”.

Do you see the difference?

When you set a specific goal, your mind can visualize easier and hence work toward that goal much more efficiently. If you merely set a goal to “earn more money”, your brain will be confused as to what exactly constitutes “more money”. :roll:

Does earning $10 more per month constitutes as earning more money? It certainly is in English terms!

20 Responses to “Be Specific Please…”

  • Edward on April 24, 2012

    While I agree that using specifics is the way to go. You must always ensure your marketing is believable.

    Using your weight loss example, you will push more potential customers away by stating “Lose 50 Pounds In 1 Day”

  • Carla Rondeau on April 23, 2012

    Totally agree! I believe specific goals are more achievable than broad and “unlimited” goals. It applies in our day-to-day living. Thanks!

  • Tommy Deragac on December 1, 2011

    This was like a tutorial on copywriting.

    I just read Dan Kennedy’s “Ultimate Sales Letter” and he reckons adding specific to offers increases sales as much as 100%.

    Another tip: use uneven numbers to make your offer sound even more credible. For example,

    “Lose 19 pounds in 11 days”

    Is even better than “Lose 20 pounds in 10 days.”

    Would you agree?

  • Anne on October 21, 2011

    I agree completely. Specifics also can help in bringing clearer images to mind whereas general terms can leave vague impressions. I have an additional suggestion: brevity and succinctness. Guess I like to assume that people get the point the first time around. But I may be wrong.

  • Bobby on October 8, 2011

    I totally agree with you on that note. Some bloggers lack that specificity on their articles reason why readers go astray upon reading it. It’s actually a waste of time on our end.

  • Shelia on September 18, 2011

    Yes, ‘being specific’ always carry a strong message to the customer. For headlines or tags it is even more important to convey the message in short and specific manner. I have experienced this issue while working in the marketing department.

    While selling an extended warranty for a car, when we talk about what can go wrong with the car, customers tend to purchase that warranty. Being specific in business always rewards you to a great extent.

    Much thanks,
    Shelia

  • david on July 26, 2011

    I prefer simplicity in all things. Sometimes I am amazed at how boring and long-winded a passage of copy can be. Keep it SMART

  • Baron Smith on September 2, 2010

    It is better to use simple words because the reader will easily understand its meaning. Many people prefer to use simple but straight to the point words and phrases.

  • I support what Rojesh and Rob say. When it comes to Internet marketing and creating sales letters, we have to keep SMART and simple.

    I especially promote using casual/conversational English when it comes to writing because it will make readers more comfortable, avoiding the use of too much technical jargons.

  • Waffeleisen on March 28, 2010

    I love this:
    S – Specific
    M – Measurable
    A – Attainable
    R – Realistic
    T – Timely

    Thx very much for the illustrations Welly.

  • Kaviar on March 25, 2010

    Hi Marian,

    i want to sax iam using Flock also and on my side welly’s blog is shown correct. I don’t know if you are using any different types of modules, but in most cases this isn’t the blog owners fault.

    Pls check your settings! In most cases on Ubuntu running systems it’s just a little setscrew to adjust.

    Thx for this great article welly and the perfect
    S – Specific
    M – Measurable
    A – Attainable
    R – Realistic
    T – Timely
    mnemonic device to Rajesh.

    bye from Germany

  • Marian Smith on March 17, 2010

    Hi I just wanted to let you know, I really like the written material on your blog. But I am using Flock on a computer with version 8.x of Crashbang Ubuntu installed, and the display of your web site isn’t correct. Not a serious problem, I can still read the articles and look for for info, but just wanted to notify you about that. The navigation bar is a bit hard to use with the config. I’m running. Keep up the good work!

  • Rob on March 16, 2010

    I coudn’t survive online without using project management and defining/ setting realistic goals. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be working online, I’d be back in a day job. I also believe in the statement “Keep it simple stupid”, it’s true if you don’t waffle, use concise and good copy then the sales come flooding in.

  • Welly on March 1, 2009

    @Tranque: I like it when you said the feedback is your opt-ins and sales.

  • Tranque F on February 28, 2009

    Thanks for the great article Welly! Ah, copywriting. It seems so simple . . . on paper! But it is an art that truly takes time to master. The beauty of it though, you’ll get feedback right away if your copy is poor . . . NO OPTINS or SALES. So just look at this as just what it is: Feedback. Make another version (you should always be split-testing anyway) and go through your copy; replace vaugueness with specifs (Welly’s article); read it aloud to make sure you’re writing just as you would be speaking to a friend about a subject; if it doesn’t flow like that change it! Remove unnecessary words! Don’t try to sound “smart”; sound REAL instead. Keep bullit headlines short and punchy – try to create curiosity! Finally: tell them what you have; tell them what it will do for them; than tell them what to do next.

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  • Welly on January 7, 2009

    Hi Rajesh – SMART can definitely help you set your goals so that they have a higher probability of being achieved. :)

    Khozinul – Glad you liked the article. Be back here alright? :mrgreen:

  • khozinul asrori on January 6, 2009

    thanks this info is good, probably not a time I will visit kesinilagi.sebagai beginner’s Learning adsenseblackmagic also require that you own seriousness.

  • Rajesh Mago on January 6, 2009

    Hi Welly,

    First, accept my wishes for a prosperous 2009 with a good :smile:

    I read a long time back about SMART goals while reading some self improvement material.

    S – Specific
    M – Measurable
    A – Attainable
    R – Realistic
    T – Timely

    Unless, one’s goal is SMART, the probability of reaching that goal successfully is less and I completely agree with this philosophy from my real life experiences.

    Thanks

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