Dark Sentences

Some copywriters are masters in the art of using… the bible calls them… dark sentences.

These copywriters are masters at hypnosis and NLP.

They’re more than adept at applying cognitive biases.

They’ve memorized Cialdini’s “Influence.”

Yet they still can’t close the deal.

Why?

Because they’ve forgotten on of the most important rules in copywriting…

To write like you talk.

No they’d rather impress you with their linguistic wordplay.

By now, you’re probably wondering where I’m going with this.

Did you catch that little embedded command “Buy now”?

Did you also catch the inception “You’re probably wondering…”?

It’s stupid, I know. I couldn’t help myself.

(Yikes, I did it again. Now I’m getting carried away. I’ll stop, I promise.)

But you do see how weird it is, right?

Personally, I prefer to have a meaningful conversation with someone who’s in the market for what I have to offer.

That’s how I sell on paper.

Sure I know all that stuff. I’m “certified” in all these persuasion technologies ten ways from Sunday.

But I have to admit, when I write copy using “dark sentences,” I don’t know about you, but…

I always feel a little bit “icky.”

Sure, I’m all for optimization. But if I have to use covert language to get my point across?

These days, I’ll pass.

I want people to buy for their reasons, not mine.

I want them to come to the right conclusion without having to rely on “dark sentences.”

If that squeezes me out of a deal or two, so be it.

I have to sleep at night.

–Matt