The Power of “If”

“If” is a decidedly powerful term in copywriting which marketers can always turn to for a quick and effective headline. This can take an ad which seemingly promises too much at first glance and then make it much more believable just by the power of the “If”. Let’s take a look at some before and after examples so you get a better idea of what I’m talking about.

“Learn How to Get Any Job You Want With These Secrets”

Okay, here’s a decent headline which promises any job applicant the ability to land their dream job using the advertised “secrets”. Not a bad start, but we can make this headline a great deal more credible with the power of “If”, so let’s revamp it.

“If You Give Me 10 Minutes, I’ll Show You My Secrets For Landing Your Dream Job”

This headline just got a great deal more credible because now there’s an exchange on the table. Whoever is reading this is thinking that with minimal effort, they can get their dream job. This is in contrast to the first headline which was a bit too good to be true and required nothing in return. People are wary of these, so asking for a bit of effort from your audience is actually exactly what they’re looking for to legitimize an offer in their minds when they read one of these ads.

Additionally, the 10 minutes implies that these are quick secrets which won’t require a lot of time or effort to learn and enact, making the offer that much more attractive.

Let’s take a look at another one.

“Lose 20 Pounds in 20 Days With These Proven Weight Loss Techniques”

(Groan) We’ve all heard this one or some variation of it before. Arguably more ads tackle the subject of and target the audience of weight loss than anything else, so we’re completely inundated with these kinds of ads to the point where very few headlines will break through. Let’s try it again with the power of “If”.

“If You Have 5 Minutes, I’ll Teach You How to Lose a Pound A Day With My Proven Technique”

Again we’re establishing a give and take scenario. If the person interested in weight loss can give the person behind the ad just a few moments of their time, in return they’ll learn the proven technique for losing a pound a day. Establishing the give and take grounds this ad and makes it a great deal more believable.

Furthermore, in this ad I tried something different by simplifying the terms to a pound a day. This removes the limit which the first ad established, so presumably you could lose a pound a day for as long as you wanted to get to the desired weight. I also amended the “techniques” to just one “technique”. People are much more inclined to pursue a cure to their problem if it’s simple, so one effective tip which cures your problem is much more attractive than having to consider and apply 10 tips.

This ties in well with our 5 minutes, as well, as this again implies that it’s a very quick fix and therefore your audience will be much more likely to fulfill any offer you have.

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