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Make a Promise, Grab a Sale

By: Kevin Nunley

Kevin Nunley provides marketing advice, copywriting, and promotion packages. See his 10,000 free marketing ideas at Reach Kevin at or 801-328-9006.

Cross my heart and hope to die; swear on my mother's grave; the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God. These are all promises. Whether these statements are used to make a false promise or not, they all do one thing; they make the promisee feel secure.

One of the quickest ways to get a potential customer's attention is to make a promise. In marketing, that promise should be the first thing they see, so it should be embedded in the headline.

A headline should appeal to an immediate need. Regardless of who your target audience is, all people have the need to feel secure; to know that an advertised product or service can fulfill the advertised claim. That is where the promise comes in.

Now, this doesn't mean that you should say the words "I promise," only that they should be implied. Offer a benefit and phrase it in a way that says, "We are completely confident in what we claim."

But beware the false promise. Though plenty of advertisers make them, a false promise will only sell a product or service once. If you want to create long-term customers, make a promise that your product or service can fulfill. Once they see you are as good as your word, they will feel utterly secure. And security is what really sells a product.

© 2003

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