Details Have Convincing Power, But…
by Antone Roundy | 1 Comment | Advertising, Podcast
Have you ever seen a sales letter where the headline claims that you can "Make up to $10,276.84 a month by exploiting this little known loophole?" Have you ever wondered why the amount is so specific?
The reason the number doesn't get rounded down to $10,000 is that more specific numbers are trusted more than round numbers. We assume that if a number is specific, it's because it's the exact, actual number. Round numbers, on the other hand, obviously aren't the exact, actual number. So who knows whether "$10,000" was rounded up from $5,003, or maybe even made up completely?
However, if you're like me, the made-up headline above rubbed you the wrong way. If you've read enough sales letters, those exact numbers may or may not have started setting off your hype-o-meter. But that's not the problem I have with that headline.
The problem is that it's claiming a precise number for the upper limit on how much you could make. If it had stated "Discover the loophole I used to make $10,276.84 last month" or "Discover the loophole I used to make an average of $10,276.84 per month last year", that'd be different -- an exact number would have made sense.
But how on earth could anyone possibly know exactly how much I have the potential to earn? Is it really impossible to earn more?
When I read a headline like that, I figure it's either hype or just bad writing. Perhaps it started off as something that made sense, like "Discover the loophole I used to make $10,276.84 last month", but somewhere in the process of brainstorming or split testing headlines, somebody decided to try "Make up to $10,276.84 a month..." without switching to a less specific number.
It may still be an effective headline for a lot of prospects -- only split testing could tell you for sure. But it'll backfire if you use it on me.
March 1st, 2011 at 3:20 pm
These types of sites also put me off, yet they must work or they wouldn't be used to often. I'm assuming someone, somewhere, is actually testing these and seeing they work.