When I was in middle school, I asked my parents to give me money for the “End Of The Year” school trip, school dance, and yearbook. Rather than just buy me everything like my friend’s parents, mine wanted to teach me the importance of making money for myself. So they bought me a box of candy and had me sell it to the other kids at school.
The box was $15 with 30 chocolate bars. I sold each candy bar for $0.50 and would double in profit every time I sold a box. It wasn’t long before everyone in school was looking for me.
Adults took a little more convincing. But not much. When I told them that I was raising money for the end of the year festivities, they would end up keeping boxes in their classrooms!
I remember one of the unique promotions I would offer (actually, it was more common sense than anything), was buying 2 candy bars for a dollar. I would tell my friends this as if they couldn’t do the math on their own. But like a charm, they always walked away from me with 2 candy bars.
It was pretty genius. (I tried to get my sister to help me, but she kept eating the whole box before selling…).
I didn’t know what it was about telling people about my “2 for $1 promotion,” back then. But I would eventually learn that I was tapping into the lucrative strategy of propositions.
Learn how to keep things simple in the blog: How Keeping Things Simple Makes You More Money.
The Power Of Why
So what does this all have to do with copywriting?
Well, propositions take the money-back guarantee to another level. Just like why people offer things for free, sometimes the money-back guarantee isn’t enough to close the sale.
A proposition, however, even takes offering things for free a step further…
“If your offer is so crazy, then why are you giving away this and that?”
Therein lies the true power of the proposition: it harnesses the power of “why.”
For example, when teachers and counselors asked me why I was selling candy, I would share my why in the form of a proposition:
“Hey! My parents said that if I sell candy to raise money for my Knott’s Berry Farm trip and 8th-grade dance, they’ll buy my yearbook for me! But I have to raise the money before the deadline for the yearbook! So if you give me a dollar, I’ll give you two candy bars!”
It always worked (even though they were supposed to be teaching kids healthier food alternatives!!!).
I’m older now, so I guess if a 13-year-old with brimming promise with a smudge of naivete came to me with a similar cause – I’d probably give him 2 dollars!
Ads and commercials do the exact same thing:
“Store Closing! Everything Must Go!”
“This is our beta test system! Take advantage before we launch our full program!”
“If I Don’t Get Rid Of This, I’m Going To Get In Trouble For My Boss!”
It’s Veteran’s Day! To Thank You For Your Service, This Is For YOU!”
However they’re written, they’re all propositions that help boost the sale.
Learn how to write a killer guarantee in the blog: How To Win Customers With A 100% Money-Back Guarantee.
Everyone Loves A Deal
Needless to say, I raised all the money I needed to go to fully indulge in my end-of-the-year festivities. More importantly, I learned valuable lessons of entrepreneurship (thanks, parents!).
Oh, and one more thing:
In order for propositions to be effective, they have to be real. If they’re unbelievable or faulty, they’ll completely backfire on you and possibly damage your credibility.
You don’t want that.
For more copywriting tips and secrets, check out the blog at joshwrotethat.com