Marketing Copy Cop-Outs

You’ve seen them – copy points in ads and brochures that say the same thing the other guy says. Steve Cuno, president and creative director of Response Advertising Inc. calls them copy cop-outs. He says they are, “platitudes masquerading as claims.”

Two things are critical in good copy points:

  1. They succinctly, creatively communicate your unique marketing messages in a manner that leads prospects to take action.
  2. They describe features or benefits on which you can truly deliver.

When you think in your prospect’s perspective, it becomes easy to see how too many of the same messages can make potential buyers confused or perplexed as to the real differences between you and other breeders. It can make them frustrated as they search for a farm or ranch that has the specific image or niche they are looking for. Here are five copy cop-outs I see in alpaca industry ads and marketing pieces, and how to improve them so you stand out from the crowd.

  1. Outstanding bloodlines. Way too generic. Be specific. Are they diverse bloodlines, select colors, champion pedigrees, exclusively Chilean or Peruvian? Keeping bullets brief is wise, but making them specific to your herd’s uniqueness is also necessary if you want to hold your prospect’s attention.
  2. Friendly service. Though you may truly provide friendly service, recognize that everybody says this in one way or another. Your prospects don’t believe them any more than they believe you. Your ads will be more believable if you describe what you mean by using a phrase such as, Friendly, knowledgeable service when you need it. For shorter bullets, try being what some advertising professionals call “edgy”.  For instance, which is more unique and makes prospects want to know more, Knock your boots off service or Friendly service?
  3. Dense fiber. LOTS of alpacas have dense fiber. Though yours may be extraordinary, it is not a unique copy point. Something specific would be more compelling, such as Off the charts dense fleece or Touch-me dense fiber.
  4. Perfect conformation. Perfect according to whom? Though your colleagues may understand the value of this, new breeders probably won’t get it from this copy point alone. Phrases such as, Show-stopping conformation, or Judge’s pick conformation tell prospects much more about exactly where your alpaca’s conformation can take them.
  5. Ongoing customer support. Really? Your prospects are thinking, “I’ve seen this before. Does this mean I can always get you when I need you or that once I buy from you I should expect to get your voice mail and hope for a call-back in the near future?” Being specific doesn’t mean you have to have lots of copy. Small farm attention was an ad bullet I once saw that said it all in three compelling words. (Don’t use this one, it’s taken.) Create your own copy point that communicates the uniqueness of your customer support. Here are some to get you started:

    Support well beyond the sale
    Here to help you succeed
    Support you can rely on

    These tell your prospects what they really want to know… that you’ll be there when they need you.

Find the unique benefits of your alpacas and the way you conduct your business. Then think in your prospect’s perspective. Create marketing and advertising copy points that set you apart from other breeders in the minds of those prospects.  You’ll be amazed at how taking the risk to make your copy points different from all the rest can make your potential buyers realize you are just that.

Julie Wassom
“The Speaker Whose Message Means Business”
Marketing and Sales Speaker/Consultant/Author
Call me: 303-693-2306
Fax me: 303-617-6422
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