Sometimes good copywriting advice can seem to contradict itself.
For instance, here’s an absolute truth about copywriting: “The essence of WHAT you’re offering will always be more important than HOW you word the offering.”A gifted product is mightier than a gifted pen.”
In other words, WHY you say is more important than HOW you say it. There’s really no bad way for me to tell you that you just won $100 million. Nor is there any super-crafty way that I could “sell” most men on the wonders and pleasures of knitting.
On the other hand, the fine art of causing someone to realize the truth for themselves, rather than merely telling it to them can transform a failed product or failed campaign into an instant winner. I’m reminded of the clever copywriter who stopped calling his client’s products “fruitcake” and started calling them “Native Texas Pecan Cakes” and managed to increase sales by 60% as a result.
So, yes, HOW you say it is important too. Word choice and fine nuances of meaning matter, no matter how many skeptics might demean this factor as “semantics.” And nowhere is that more clear in this recent contest. Can you guess which ad won?
And the winning factor, in this case, hinged on the difference between “Arcade Quality Joysticks” and “Arcade Joysticks”. A small nuance of meaning, but it makes a big difference.
It’s a big difference because lots of things can be hyped into being “professional grade” or “professional quality” without actually being of the durability or ruggedness or providing the kind of performance demanded by professionals. So it makes sense that buyers would be skeptical of claims for “arcade quality,” but would be excited at the prospect of buying actual and genuine “arcade joysticks.”
It sounds like a fine shade of meaning, but it makes a big difference — an 83% increase in performance difference, in this case.
So the take-away is to pay attention to and test fine nuances. Don’t turn your nose up to “tweaks” of your copy that might be suggested by your optimization team. Sometimes those “tweaks” can yield outsized results.