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Tuesday, Mar. 10, 2009 at 7:51 am

Are Two Products More Credible Than One?

By Jeff Sexton
March 10th, 2009

After my initial post on blog-ified and geographically falsified landing pages, I ran into a few more such pages and they all shared the “2-product combo with a free trial of each” strategy.

So it’s only fair to ask: can you get sophisticated and wary audiences to buy pseudo-snake oil simply by switching from extolling the virtues of a single miracle product to praising the miraculous combination of two semi-wondrous products?  As in this teeth whitening example:

Well, yes, actually.  The tactic works because having to use two products is a type of downside.

By implying that the promised miracles are too big for just one product and that you’ll need to combine a couple of wonder-products to get the results, the copywriter is tacitly admitting a downside to the strategy: you’ll have to buy two products instead of just one.  And admitting the downside boosts credibility.

Moreover, the “housewife just like you who stumbled into a miracle cure of the decade” bit (the part that’s “enhanced” by the false home town claim) comes off as a lot more credible because more people can see themselves discovering a combination of existing products than discovery a single miracle cure.

But, wait: I can get you a trial sample of both for free!

Ah the copy writer givest a downside, and then the she taketh it away – almost.  If I can get both products for free, it’s not much of a downside that I need to combine the two of them, is it.  Plus, I can see if the combination really works before having to buy.

And then the auto-renewal on your credit card snags ya.

P.S. As a follow up to the Jenny Perfect Skin article, Grok reader Steve Chase snagged this screen shot from Calcutta and it seems that Jenny has a twin sister living there!  And she ALSO figured out this amazing skin combo.  Incredible, huh?

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Comments (12)

  1. did you notice that cathy lived near by to you? I looked at the code and found this service being used to say “she” lived close by.
    http://dev3.maxmind.com/app/ip-location

    Thoughts?

  2. did you notice that cathy lived near by to you? I looked at the code and found this service being used to say “she” lived close by.
    http://dev3.maxmind.com/app/ip-location

    Thoughts?
    OH! You’re my new favorite blogger fyi

  3. Jonathon,

    If you check out the first link in this post, you’ll see that Jenny’s cheesy use of the “same hometown trick” was what started this little rant. Cathy/Jenny/Amy live nearby to everyone, even if you live in Calcutta.

    - Jeff

  4. [...] 2 produse sunt mai credibile decat 1 [...]

  5. thats what those temporary credit cards your CC provider gives you are for. They are good for one time use only and only for a certain dollar amount. Great for when a site requires your credit card just to register or get their free sample.

  6. Well, I fell for it, too, and I’m a Mensa member! Yuk. Got my “membership” cancelled, but on condition I return the “free samples” within their 14 day window. Who wants to bet I don’t even RECEIVE the samples in that window? Live and learn, but I will fight to the death to get the charges off my card!

  7. another great post by you. I too believe that the 2 products thing adds to the credibility.

  8. Very interesting, especially about the credibility.

  9. Never thought about the two product dillema before, danke.

  10. Jeff, they are more credible when you see the format for the first time. However if you spend any time on the web you will see the formula in use everywhere. Caveat emptor.

  11. I think your right, especially if one of the products has a good rep. It’ll leech it’s rep to the newer unknown product.

  12. Interesting post. I hadn’t thought about this before. Yes this is definitely the case. This formula is used very widely.

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Jeff is a Persuasion Architect, Web copywriter, blogger, and instructor of FutureNow's Persuasive Online Copywriting workshop. Follow Jeff Sexton on twitter

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