Deadly Questions: 'Oh yeah?' and 'So what?'

Whatever you write whenever you communicate with people, never allow for either of those questions to pop up.
The moment your listener thinks that, you’ve lost him.

Just received a reply from a client, after sending him his first Mentorprise copy critique review:

“Crikey, there’s a lot in there!”

Yep, there is.

That’s what you get when you ask a guy who’s done persuasion daily for 25 years to review your writing for you.
You get a lot of advice.

I thought I’d share one of the points in his report with you now.

Never let a reader think ‘Oh yeah?’ or ‘so what?’

In the copy I reviewed, my client had written: ‘Load testing is complex’.
That there is a disastrous line.
The statement might be true, but on its own it’s deadly for copy.
Just in case you’re not on the technical spectrum of business: This client tests big new websites before the public get access, to ensure that the systems can handle the load of many visitors without crashing.
Healthcare.gov should probably have hired him, but it’s too late now – they’ve already launched.
Anyway, the sentence – however true – can’t be used like that.

Why?
Because it allows critical or skeptical readers to pose a question: ‘Oh yeah?’.
That’s terrible news, because then it’s followed by things like: ‘Never been complex for me’, or ‘Who’s he to say so? Guru X tells me it’s easy’ and so on.

If their reading a statement triggers such a reaction, you have a problem.
They might read on, but they might also lose interest and get distracted.
And even if they do read on, they’ll be a few degrees less on your side, which means they’re going to be less open to the next things you’ll say.

All that works against your ultimate goal: a conversion

When you write, you must make sure to preempt that question.
Never allow a reader to think: ‘Oh yeah?’

Remember: your every line must be worth reading.

Another one: ‘So what?’
It’s all well and good to state: ‘Video marketing is taking over the internet’, but it’s much better to say ‘Why video marketing is taking over the internet and how your business can benefit’.
Nobody would answer ‘so what?’ to that.
If a reader goes ‘so what?’, you failed to imprint importance on him. And that means he’ll pay less attention from there on in, be less interested, less open, less trusting… not good for business.

Just one of the little gems you get to see hundreds of when you get copy critiques from me.
So get on board, and book yourself a cabin aboard Starship Mentorprise.
Get yourself weekly copy critiques from Captain Stellar, and learn how to write emails that get you sales.
Embark here: http:martinstellar.com/starshipmentorprise-writing-critiques/

Godspeed.

Martin

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