You know you've got a good product, one that is much better than the offerings of your competitors.
You know that your company has hired very skilled and knowledgeable employees who will do their best to support your customers and make your product fulfill their needs.
You know that your product and company is truly the best choice for customers ... so why can't you say so in your sales materials?
If your marketing content goes through a legal review before it's published, you have probably learned that lawyers really don't like two types of words:
- Superlatives: Adjectives like "best," "leading," and "unrivaled" can cause problems because they may be in breach of advertising laws about creating a false impression in the mind of a potential buyer. In addition, new actions by competitors could quickly invalidate these claims.
- Absolutes: Words and phrases such as "only," "always," "in any situation" are problems because they create an implied warranty that likely can't be fulfilled by the product or company.
Have you noticed that the largest technology companies rarely (if ever) use superlatives and absolutes in their marketing language? They understand the potential legal ramifications and as a result, have established writing rules about acceptable words and phrases.
But if you can't use superlatives and absolutes, how will you stand out from the competition and attract the interest of prospects? It can be done, but it means being careful about the copywriting in your promotional content.
The following tips and techniques can help your copywriters develop marketing copy that captures a prospect's attention and may help you avoid potential legal concerns:
- Use strong adjectives, but not superlatives. Look at the book Words That Sell to find many compelling (and more believable) alternatives to "best."
- Substitute terms such as "many" and "most" for "every "and "all." Look for words that will convey a sense of broad coverage or applicability, without using a word that conveys a sense of "complete."
- Avoid "ensure" and "assure" because these words convey an absolute meaning. A slight adjustment in wording -- "help to ensure" -- conveys the strength of your product capability or commitment, without creating an implied warranty that your company won't be able to meet.
You might also want to read the in-depth discussion of legal issues that affect copywriting presented in my book, Copywriting That Sells High-Tech.
Are your sales materials subject to other legal concerns or restrictions?