In this article, you'll learn...
- When you should and shouldn't use humor in sales letters
- Whether it's better for your sales letters to be smart or funny
Some forum members argue that humor can be a disarming and refreshing alternative to the caveman approach to copywriting—i.e., bludgeoning the reader into shock and submission with exclamation points. Drop the hard sell and take a more friendly and convivial approach, they say. Be sociable, be charming, be funny!
Makes sense. In this economy, in this political environment, who doesn't need a good laugh?
Others go further and suggest that sales copy must have personality. And right they are. But methinks they may be confusing personality with humor. Having a personality doesn't automatically equate to being funny.
Advertising greats David Ogilvy, John Caples, and Claude Hopkins each had distinctive personalities and imbued their sales copy with plenty of the same, but I don't think anyone would accuse them or their copy of being funny.
Then comes this refrain from other forum posters: Sales letters all sound the same these days. And they go on to cite letters that open with an over-the-top benefit, an unbelievable offer, or a rags-to-riches, failure-to-hero story.
They make a valid point. The marketer, via the copywriter, must differentiate himself—and his product. But do you do that by making 'em laugh? Here's the problem...
Laughter is serious business