Double-Sided Persuasion & The Art of the Takeaway

When you’re writing copy for a product or service, it’s so easy to talk about how great your selected product is. But you know what’s even better? Comparing your product with its closely similar competitors – and proving why your product is better!

Drew Eric Whitman calls this “Using the peripheral route to persuasion.” And the reason why it works so well is that when you use the peripheral route, you have no choice BUT to stand out from your competition.

I like to think of it as playing Devil’s Advocate…

Think about it: How many of your competitors are going to use their ads, sales letters or advertorials to only talk about THEIR products? Why in the heck would they use their resources to talk about any other product?

And that’s where you come in. The fact that you’re comparing and even complimenting your competitors shows that you’re giving your readers value. It shows that you want them to make the right decision, regardless of who they choose, which in turn makes you an honest authority that they can trust.

Other than that, there’s a number of reasons why marketers and copywriters do this:

  • One – It makes you look thoughtful and credible as a source, as you’ve taken the time to do your research to understand the strengths and weaknesses of whatever products you’re comparing (and why your product is stronger than all of them.)
  • Two – Let’s face it: people are lazy. They don’t want to have to do the research for your product if they don’t have to. So if you can make it as easy as possible to make a decision by providing “extensive” research on the product, you make it even easier for them to take action and buy.
    Comparing ads could be as simple as this:

The Macbook Air and the Zenbook UX305LA are both great slim laptops. When it comes to the MacBook Air, it’s got an ios processor that allows for speedy web browsing and can stay powered on for up to 12 hours. The Zenbook has an i7 processor and can stay powered on for the same amount of time. However, unlike the Macbook, the Zenbook comes with touch-screen features that allow for even faster web browsing and proves unanimously to be much more user-friendly…”

Something like that.

(Note: For MacBook or PC users, chances are these stats are inaccurate, and I apologize in advance! LOL)

Show Why Your Product is Better

This may sound a little counter productive, but your goal isn’t to bash your product’s competitors. After listing all of the benefits of the competing product, all you have to do is list why your product is better! Maybe the product you’re writing about is more durable, faster, easier-to-use, and so on. This is your chance to really flaunt your product’s best assets!

The Takeaway (For When You DON’T Have A Competing Product To Compare With)

If you don’t have a product to compare with your own, you can play devil’s advocate with yourself! How exactly do you do that? By performing the art of the takeaway.

Simply state the benefits of what your prospect could experience, so long as they take some sort of action (like buying your product), you could say something like, “Be Forewarned: This product is for SERIOUS inquirers only.” or “If you’re not serious about changing your life with this product and benefits, stop reading now…” or something to that effect.

It’s a known fact that humans want what they can’t have. So when something appealing is presented to us and we’re told we can’t have it, it makes us want that thing even more. So not only are you adding fuel to your prospects’ burning desire, but you’re also proving to be an even more credible authority by telling them what they should and shouldn’t buy.

You can also use the takeaway when you’re comparing your product with other competing products!

If you make a habit out of comparing your product with others and combine it with the art of the takeaway, you’ll be a powerful authority in your niche!

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