Does fictional stories in sales letters send up a red flag for you?

Rob Whisonant

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Stories sell. No doubt about that. So many sales letters use story telling to get you excited and buy what they are selling. These stories fall into two categories.

1. True stories. These stories can be about the seller or someone else who has been successful using what is being sold.

2. Fictional stories. These stories are not true and are totally made up. Fictional stories can fall into two categories. Blatant lies and "picture this" types of stories. Picture this type of stories don't try to hide as real stories. The seller tells you straight out that it is fictional.

Do you research the stories you read before you buy to see if they are true or not?

The major problem I have is when a story falls in the fictional department is this... If the product works so well, why can't the seller find at least one person that has been successful using it and tell their story?

What are your thoughts on this subject?
 

SEOPub

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The major problem I have is when a story falls in the fictional department is this... If the product works so well, why can't the seller find at least one person that has been successful using it and tell their story?

What are your thoughts on this subject?
I am skeptical by nature, and totally agree with your point, but there are some cases where I can see it being tough to find any "real" stories to use.

For example, if I created the perfect solution for Herpes. Great. But now I have to get people to admit they had Herpes in order to give a testimonial.

I have a client with a product that helps people through the symptoms of opiate withdrawal. They get tons of reviews and testimonials from people, but the majority are anonymous or things like just a first name or first name and last initial. In order to get a "real" testimonial, someone would have to admit they have an opiate addiction, which most would consider a very personal thing.

When it comes to internet marketing products and courses though, you are spot on. If their product or solution works and can make people money and/or make things easier in what they are trying to do, there should be zero reason to make up a story.
 

Rob Whisonant

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Rob Whisonant
In situations like this I personally would not have a problem with a "true" story being told anonymously. What would make it even better is if the story was backed up by an authoritative third party. In cases like this, a doctor, nurse or even close friend.
 

Muzzamil

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Stories sell. No doubt about that. So many sales letters use story telling to get you excited and buy what they are selling. These stories fall into two categories.

1. True stories. These stories can be about the seller or someone else who has been successful using what is being sold.

2. Fictional stories. These stories are not true and are totally made up. Fictional stories can fall into two categories. Blatant lies and "picture this" types of stories. Picture this type of stories don't try to hide as real stories. The seller tells you straight out that it is fictional.

Do you research the stories you read before you buy to see if they are true or not?

The major problem I have is when a story falls in the fictional department is this... If the product works so well, why can't the seller find at least one person that has been successful using it and tell their story?

What are your thoughts on this subject?
Fictional stories rarely work because most people can see through the lies and made up thoughts. This happens because people really do pay attention and think deeply when it's time to take out a credit card and spend money.
 

Ron Killian

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I have a client with a product that helps people through the symptoms of opiate withdrawal. They get tons of reviews and testimonials from people, but the majority are anonymous or things like just a first name or first name and last initial. In order to get a "real" testimonial, someone would have to admit they have an opiate addiction, which most would consider a very personal thing.
In a case like that, I wonder if they put something like: "Due to the sensitive nature of our services, our clients request we keep their names private. I am sure you can understand". Well, something like that. I am tired. And I am no copywriter. :)

In situations like this I personally would not have a problem with a "true" story being told anonymously. What would make it even better is if the story was backed up by an authoritative third party. In cases like this, a doctor, nurse or even close friend.
That's a good idea right there. Look how may people "borrow" Dr. Oz's endorsement.

But as SEOPub mentioned, how to do you find real stores, or know they are real. Sadly, I think few people know if the stories are real or not.

It all goes back to story telling can be powerful though. One of those things I have yet to master.
 

ivanab

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copywriter job is to make you want it :) so if a copywriter is really good, you won't know if it is really a true story or a fake one... Well unless you see they just used rehearsed words multiple times (which in that case it was not done by a copywriter)

So they can research a bit, find push buttons for the audience, and twist it into a story, and story will sell.

Cool tip I just got from a very well known copywriter.

Go over to amazon, look at reviews of top books, look at the bed and the good reviews and you will get TON of push button text for your salesletter :)
 

Rob Whisonant

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Rob Whisonant
This has become a major problem for buyers. They don't know who they can trust and who they can't. So many fall for lies and deception from fake stories that are being passed off as "real."

This type of pure deception is why the FTC has stepped in concerning testimonials.

I have seen some fake stories that could easily be considered criminal. Fake stories also give Internet Marketers a very bad name.

I actually do copywriting on occasion for clients. If they ask me to spin a fake story I basically tell them what they can do with that fake story. :)
 
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