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Complaint Copywriting

Published by: David Garfinkel on 06-01-2020





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Last week I got this really intriguing email. It led to a website with this copy on it:

“Look, I know everyone hates saxophones. And with good reason. Excluding Colin Stetson’s amazing work, and Tom Waits of course, I also tend toward hating on saxophones myself.

“But is it really fair to judge an instrument by it's past misdemeanors ? Can the sax be rehabilitated and made sexy again ?

“Here at Sound Dust we say HELL YES!”

I’ll tell you more about this soon. For now, I want to point out that this was not just negative copy. Not just hater copy. This was a complaint. A complaint about saxophones.

Now, whether you like saxes… hate ’em… or have no opinion at all about saxes, there’s a really good lesson in this copy. And it has to do with something we’ve never covered on this podcast, even though this technique is used all the time… and quite successfully, I’ll add.

The technique is what I’m going to call “complaint copywriting.”

Now, to be clear, we’re not talking about “compliant copywriting,” which is also important but an entirely different thing. Complaint copywriting is important because it is at the heart of what motivates customers deeply. Not all the time, but when it hits, it’s a home run. A grand slam. Big payoff.

We talk about:

1. How complaints are different from ordinary objections, and why answering them in the right way is so much more powerful than merely overcoming objections

2. What complaint copywriting looks like in real life, and how people have used them or can use them to make a lot of money in their copy

3. How to put complaint copy together — a short (but complete) step-by-step process

4. Three unique things about complaints, and why you should seek them out (even though, it’s true, it’s not always all that much fun to listen to them).



Keywords: copywriting for complainers

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