Tell me if this sounds familiar.
You sit down to write copy for your workshop, coaching business, or online course.
You know you’re supposed to make it about your reader. And talk about the benefits they get for joining.
The problem is, there are about a billion benefits for joining. People join for different reasons and get totally different results.
For example, say you’re a men’s coach. You’ve been at it for years and have helped guys get fit, find love, improve their marriage, land a new job, find their passion, be more confident — on and on.
Your brain is bursting with all these benefits you offer. But you don’t know how to get them out of your head and onto the page in a clear, persuasive way. So your sales page becomes a confusing, rambly, clusterfuck (I’ve been there.)
As a copywriter in the personal development market, a lot of the sales pages I’m asked to critique make this mistake. They unload a barrage of benefits and the reader is left trying to make sense of it all. But I’ve found a simple solution. It’s called French Fry Persuasion.
Here’s how it works.
Imagine you’re at a restaurant. You can’t decide if you want chicken parm or a grilled cheeseburger.
But then you think:
“Hmm, the burger comes with fries. That sounds good. I’ll go with that”.
*nom nom nom*
You can do the same thing in your sales copy. That is, make a single, clear promise with your most compelling, meatiest benefit. Then tack on the others as a secondary promise. Make them the french fries, soda, and apple pie that goes along with that cheeseburger.
By dividing what you do into one big, primary promise, along with one or more secondary promises, you clarify your message. And it’s easy for your reader to see why they should buy from you.
Here’s a great example of this method in action. It comes from one of the top men’s coaches in the game, Tripp Lanier, host of the The New Man podcast.
From what I gather, Tripp can help guys do all the things we described earlier in our imaginary example.
Take a look at the copy on his home page. Notice how, instead of rifling off a dizzying array of benefits, he boils it down to a single clear promise. Then tacks on additional benefits on the side. Take a look:
People hire me initially for results – to make great money doing what they were put on this Earth to do. That’s why they write the check.
Along the way we create something far more powerful. Their lives are no longer a rollercoaster of pressure, striving, and self-criticism. They’re no longer dragged around by the fear, bullshit, and drama that drowns so many others.
Tripp leads with a clear, tangible promise: Make more money doing what you were put on this earth to do. That’s the meaty benefit every reader can get behind.
The more intangible benefits, relieving pressure, overcoming self-criticism and fear, etc., are tacked after. They’re the side order of fries and a shake to go along with burger he promised before.
How to make French Fry Persuasion even more powerful
Tripp follows this up by tossing in praise from successful people in the industry. Such as Brian Johnson of En*theos. Here’s a screencap of how that looks.
This is great. It gives Tripp clear authority. Though there’s one thing he could add to make this page even stronger. Especially to people who don’t know who Brian Johnson and the rest of the people giving testimonials on that page are.
He could backup the benefit he claims with hard proof.
For example, he could throw in a scroll bar of quotes from men who got the results he promises.
Men saying things like:
- “I make $10k/year more”
- “I found my calling and got the courage to open a wine shop in Australia”
- “I used to feel anxious and worthless at work but now I’m more confident than ever”
Backing up his claims as he makes them means there’s less room for the reader to doubt him. He becomes more credible and trustworthy instantly.
One company that did this well is The Art of Charm. They make the promise on their homepage that they can help you “Create and deepen personal relationships”.
Right below that is a section of scrolling testimonials, including this one:
“I am so much more confident in my ability to attract and connect with both men and women.”
This backs up their claim exactly.
But you know what? Even that could be stronger.
A testimonial saying “I feel confident in my ability to connect” is nice. But the reader doesn’t want to merely “feel more confident in their abilities”. They want tangible results. So a testimonial showing a real outcome, such as “I used to be afraid to meet people but now I’m making new friends every time I go out” would prove their claim even better.
Now since we’re talking about homepages and both Tripp and Art of Charm are already very successful, these changes won’t move the needle for their business.
But if this were a sales page, with huge sums of money on the line, and skeptical readers looking for any excuse to keep their credit card in their pocket, it’d be worth tightening up those loose ends.
For a sales page, you want to back up every claim with proof. The more specific the proof, the better.
4 steps to nailing a clear, compelling sales message
If you want a clear, compelling sales message people believe, here’s how you can create one using French Fry Persuasion.
1) List 5-10 benefits that people get from your product or service. (Increased confidence, more productive, etc).
2) Identify the single most desirable benefit. The one that’s universal and enticing. This will be your primary promise, or “cheeseburger”. (It may be helpful to score each benefit on a scale of 1-10 in terms of both “universal” and “enticing”. Then add those two scores together. Whichever benefit has the highest score is your primary benefit.)
Filtering out your primary benefit gives you a single message to focus on. This alone is often enough to make it easier to write clear, compelling copy.As for exact placement, this primary benefit can go in a few spots. For example, it may fit into your headline. If you’re writing Dream Copy (a simple yet powerful technique I walk you through here) you can use it there, too.
As for exact placement, this primary benefit can go in a few spots. For example, it may fit into your headline. If you’re writing Dream Copy (a simple yet powerful technique I walk you through in the free guide to the right of this post) you can use it there, too.
3) Introduce the “side benefits” after you’ve introduced the primary one. A great place to include these is in the sales bullets when you talk about the product.
By introducing your primary benefit first, it’s easier for the reader to organize what you can do for them in their own mind.
4) Prove every claim you make. Testimonials work great. But you can also prove you’re capable of helping people get those benefits in other ways. For example, share your own journey of how you got those benefits for yourself. Then explain how they can follow your process/techniques to get the same results.
Having one clear, primary promise will make it easier to focus when writing your sales copy. And keep your reader from getting overwhelmed or confused. From there, you can pile on the “side orders” one-by-one until buying from you becomes a no-brainer.
For more on how to get your reader to crave what you’re selling, check out my free 11-page guide on how to write Dream Copy. You can download it free (and join my weekly newsletter) here.