Today I have a special copywriting "Lead" for you: the Proclamation Lead.
It’s the last major lead type I'll be covering.
Previously, I covered the secret lead by Motley Fool in another post.
That was a great example of how to address problem-aware audiences. They have a burning problem but they aren’t ready to buy something.
Today’s lead is a great example of how to address cold, skeptical audiences. They don’t know about the problem and couldn’t care less about your solution.
And the best part?
I chose a really interesting sales letter to demonstrate this from none other than Agora Financial, the true behemoth of direct response copywriting.
Also known as ‘Prediction Lead’, it uses bold declarative statements to engage the audiences and back the claims with proof.
Then you finally reveal the product.
Since this case study is pretty long, I've broken the video down into 2 parts:
Prefer video instead? Watch Below!
“The most dangerous crisis America has faced in 89 years”
Imagine reading that.
Who can ignore the news about “the most dangerous crisis America has faced in 89 years”?
Also, can you ignore the insider warning that this imminent crisis might make you lose 50% of your portfolio, like in 2009?
That is alarming!
It implies a worst-case scenario for investors and creates a desire to find out what they can do to save themselves from tremendous losses.
The sub-heading qualifies people who are mostly senior citizens with conservative views and who fear being scammed by Wall Street, big banks, or the establishment.
Next, there are arguments that prove that the claim is true!
“The Trump effect is gone
The Fed has abandoned investors
And we are headed for a massive reset of the American economy that will wipe out millions”
Everyone knows that the stock market overachieved during Trump’s time. So the statements reinforce the pre-existing beliefs of the target audience who are mostly republicans.
With zero interest rates being offered, investors had no way of getting meaningful returns around the business climate of 2021.
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Appealing To Mass Desires And Fears
As per Eugene Schwartz, you cannot create new desires or fears in people. However, you can channel mass desires and fears.
This is ultimately what a successful promotion aims for.
You must know your target audience extremely well to nail their voice. Hence, a successful copy is the result of extensive research.
Let’s check how the lead accomplishes this.
“Are you struggling to make heads or tails of the market these days?
Trying to find a reason to hang on for one more rally on Wall Street
But nervous if you wait too long, you’ll lose much of what you’ve made during the nine-year bull market”
Here, the copywriter establishes an immediate connection with the reader as they feel understood.
Similarly, someone who understands the audience well is more likely to have a solution for their most pressing needs.
This promotion was written during Covid times when market uncertainty was at its peak and investor confidence was at its lowest.
Hence, the proclamation lead was really effective for a financial newsletter promotion at that time.
Philosophical Questions To Strengthen The Argument
Any bold promise has to be backed with substantial proof.
This is why the copywriter builds his argument around how people are being led to a false perception of the economy when the facts show otherwise.
There are a bunch of “philosophical” questions to strengthen the argument and validate pre-existing beliefs of the target audience.
‘Why did the markets begin to collapse as 2018 came to a close?
How can we have a stronger economy with many job openings when the average paycheck hasn’t budged in decades’
Then, the copywriter states that we are heading to the worst financial crisis in the history of America.
It will make the 2008 financial crisis look like the good old days!
The copy hints at the worst of the worst to come and makes the audience envision the experience as well.
That, in turn, successfully shocks the reader from the zombie state.
Now we know why this sales letter was so successful!
Check the video for a detailed analysis and comment with your key takeaways from this sales breakdown.
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