Does Your Copy Pass the ‘Forehead Slap’ Test?

One of the most repeated rules of writing compelling copy is to stress benefits, not features.
In other words, identify the underlying benefit that each feature of a product or service provides to the prospect, because that’s what will prompt the purchase.
This is one rule that always applies, except when it doesn’t.
We’ll look at the exceptions in a bit.
Fake benefits
The idea of highlighting benefits over features seems simple. But it’s often tough to do in practice.
Writers often end up with fake benefits instead.
Direct response copywriter Clayton Makepeace asserts that fake benefits will kill sales copy, so you have to be on the lookout for them in your writing. He uses this headline as an example:
Balance Blood Sugar Levels Naturally!
That sounds pretty beneficial, doesn’t it? In reality, there’s not a single real benefit in the headline.
True benefits
Makepeace advises to apply his patented “forehead slap” test to see if your copy truly contains a benefit for the reader. In other words, have you ever woken up from a deep sleep, slapped yourself in the forehead, and exclaimed “Man … I need to balance my blood sugar levels naturally!”
I think not. So getting someone to pull out their wallet to buy that so-called “benefit” will be difficult at best.
Here’s how Makepeace identifies the real benefit hidden in that headline:
“Nobody really wants to balance their blood sugar levels. But anyone in his or her right mind DOES want to avoid the misery of blindness … cold, numb, painful limbs

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