Argument Weak – Talk **LOUDER**!!!

    May 5, 2003

Have you heard of the preacher (there are probably quite a few of them fitting this description) who wrote in the margin of his sermon Argument weak – talk louder!’? Well, as with sermons and speeches, so with ads for your online business – talking louder won’t convince anyone if your fundamental argument is weak.

You know what I mean by talking louder’ in an online context – it’s all those exclamation marks!!! and CAPITAL LETTERS and **asterisks**. If what you have to say is convincing, if – dare I say it? – it’s actually true, you don’t need to shout. Which opportunity’ would you be more likely to investigate – MAKE $25,000 in **TWO** Hours without LIFTING A FINGER!!!’ or Earn a realistic part-time income working from home for a few hours every week’? All right, in certain frames of mind one wouldn’t investigate either of them, but I’d certainly be more inclined to hit the delete button on the first without giving it another thought. And the shouting’ technique makes it even less believable, not more.

OK, so I made up those two examples but here, taken at random from my inbox, is the genuine shouting article:

Lead Lightning Takes the Internet by Storm!!!! 25 Ad Fr*ee Autoresponders, Ad Tracking, and more! A MILLION DOLLARS YEARLY!!

When you’ve seen this about a dozen times, it can only make you laugh (or scream). There’s certainly nothing at all convincing about it – particularly as it seems so anonymous. One knows nothing about the actual experience of the person trying to convince you to join this program. Why should you take their word for it just because they’re shouting at you?

If you have a tendency towards exclamation marks and capital letters in your ads, or if you’ve been given some like this to use, what I would suggest you do is:

Write out the ad again, leaving out all exclamation marks, asterisks and capital letters;
Read it through, and see if it still sounds good to you or whether the argument is indeed weak;
Strengthen the argument where necessary, not by hype but by stressing what the benefits have been for you personally – and at this stage still keep all exclamation marks and so on out of it;
When you’ve got the right wording and you’re satisfied that your ad makes sense, then – and only then – choose the most important word to highlight by the use of asterisks or capital letters. If you must, choose two words, but no more. And allow yourself an absolute maximum of one exclamation mark!

Virginia Rounding is a published writer whose website of
Internet Resources for Writers looks at additional ways for
writers to earn money, in the hope of making it possible
for them to keep writing without having to resort either to
full-time employment or to destitution. For a selection of
free resources or to subscribe to her new ezine Poetry
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