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If you’ve ever downloaded an eBook (which in the world of internet marketing is kinda like saying “if you’ve ever rode in an automobile”) you have probably come across this strange phenomenon:

•    Making your purchase
•    Opening your eBook
•    Scanning through 26 “introductory” pages telling you all over again why you need that particular e-book, and why the author is the greatest expert ever

That just happened to me – with a PDF from a top internet marketing guru.

Think about how you’d feel if Vince from the “ShamWow®” commercials had personally sold you a Shamwow® at the local farmer’s market – but instead of handing it over, he kept on selling and selling, continuing to tell you why the product was so good, and why you were right to buy from him.

Now picture yourself wanting to smack him and grab that ShamWow®.  The emotion feels pretty realistic, eh? (Even without the smack).

Yet internet marketers do this to their customers all the time.

Where did this “I must prove my customer needs my product before I give it to him but after I’ve taken his cash” phenomenon come from?

From the very first burst of “proof”, you can practically see whoever wrote your eBook of the moment – guru or paid copywriter – hunkering down, earnestly ready to persuade you all over again that the thing is worth what you paid for it. Hunched over the keyboards, shrewdly imagining your supposed tirade of scorn as you challenge them to prove you’re actually going to deliver the simple “How To” information you bought the book expecting to read…

So why don’t they just deliver the goods?

I don’t know about you, but this trend of long, rambling “I’ll prove this book was worth it” eBook introductory pages drives me straight up the wall.  By the time I’ve waded through all the “I’m going to tell you about… but first” teaser stuff, I’m mentally exhausted.

When I finally reach the main course, my tiny overloaded copywriter brain is far too stuffed with carcinogenic, fatty, deep-fried, sugar-glazed, donut-’n’-fake-chicken bites to move.

Let alone tackle my dinner.

Ya know, I wouldn’t mind so much if the 26 pages of appetizer actually proved to be high-value, tasty bites of citrus-soaked Pacific salmon and herbs on cedar, or wafer-thin prosciutto wrapped round fresh Honeydew melon.

But they taste more like fried white bread and sugar blobs.  And lots of ‘em.  Bleaugh!

Somewhere, long ago and far, far away, some evil person must have written a Special Report on how to create the perfect eBook.  (I suspect it’s the same one, recycled over and over and over again).  And somewhere in there, someone got it confused with “How To Write The Perfect Sales Letter 101″ (point number 6, “anticipate your customer’s objections, and answer them before he asks!”).

The average reader doesn’t need 26 pages of “proof” before they bite the goodies, once they’ve clicked that “Buy Now!” button.

They’re hungry.  They want the meat.  And they’ve already paid for top filet mignon, thanks.

Any eBook introductory lead-in should deal with what you’re about to deliver. Too many fried white bread and sugar blobs forced down a surprised gullet, and your glutted and irritated reader may never make it to the main course.  They’ll walk away, stuffed but queasy, saying: “That was lousy quality – wasn’t worth the money I paid. I’m not going back there again.”

Which is probably just as well – because far too often, all that hype was there to hide what you were suspecting all along:  The book had nothing new to deliver.

The writer was just desperately trying to trick you into believing it did with a lot of dynamic rhetoric.

But I’m starting to repeat myself. I’d better go before you get 26 pages of…

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Filed under: Internet MarketingSales Copywriting