The “prince of paradox” secret to believability

Jan 5, 2021

What’s in Kim’s Mailbox?

As we shut (or shall we say SLAM) the door on 2020, I’m breaking down a “poop-y” promo that keeps showing up in my email inbox. So here’s Part 2 of the “What’s in Kim’s Mailbox” issue I sent you yesterday afternoon.

Let’s see…where did we leave off? Oh yeah, this colon cleanse supplement promo was finally getting the main letter started, after introducing the spokesperson, Lee Euler.

By this point, the sales page copy is hooking the target prospect in and practically forcing him or her to read further. That’s thanks to all of the following so far (that I covered yesterday):

the catchy, Shakespeare-inspired main headline (“Out, out, damn poop!”)…

the tease about “extremely graphic medical photos” that triggers insatiable curiosity…

identifying the main pain points and putting them in the prospect’s own language…

broadening out to common, stubborn health problems and symptoms related to the hidden cause

agitating further, and thus creating urgency about the need to eliminate this hidden cause…

and making a big promise which includes a strong speed of result claim.

Now that the promo has done all that plus introduced who’s talking, it’s now adding more heft to the argument that the cause of the prospect’s constipation woes–along with everything from memory problems to fatigue to excess weight gain–may be due to this “build-up” within the bowel.

That’s because it’s crucial early on that the prospect is convinced and believes that this may well be the hidden cause that’s gone undetected, that their doctor is missing, and that’s not getting addressed (and explaining why everything else they’ve tried hasn’t worked).

It’s similar to a quote by the English writer and philosopher Gilbert Keith Chesterton, who has been referred to as the “prince of paradox”. Chesterton once said, “Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.”

Let’s take a look at how adeptly the copywriter who wrote this promo (I think I know who it was but can’t say for sure) tackled making the prospect believe the unbelievable in the next section of copy…

By this point, the copywriter is really agitating the dire (and disgusting) threat of this “old poop” build-up. As I said yesterday, it’s what Gene Schwartz wanted his prospect to think to him or herself while reading one of his promos: “Am I really in such grave danger?”

In identifying the 3 key points above, it’s also weaving in those common symptoms the target prospect may be experiencing–further enhancing the prospect’s ability to believe what they’re saying.

It then segues to the belly fat/excess weight connection, something that probably two-thirds of the target audience suffers from (think of it as another way of saying “It’s not your fault”). And that leads to a smooth transition to the next section…

Now we’re really getting into the scary stuff…making it feel increasingly urgent to get this disgusting build-up out of one’s colon! (I mentioned yesterday that even though I’m not the target prospect, I found myself wanting to take this product for this reason.)

This is a great example of dimensionalizing the hidden cause of the problem and tying it back to symptoms and problems that trigger an emotional response. The copy taps into the prospect’s fear of pain, vanity (fear of looking old), fear of dying, and other dominant emotions.

Now that the copy has magnified the dangers of this “poop” build-up, the next step is to give it a name. It may not be an official or widely-used name, but by naming the problem (or hidden cause) it gives it even more believability…

Once again, after introducing the name of the syndrome, the writer is tying it back to those seemingly unrelated problems and symptoms. It’s then making the leap “from constipation to…early death”, throwing in a question mark (and using italics) at the end to acknowledge the unbelievability of that statement, which ironically makes it more believable.

These tactics combined with the ones used earlier, should really have the target prospect convinced at this point that something they never had thought of as being related is now the explanation they’ve been seeking…making them far more receptive to the solution when it’s introduced later. It’s masterfully done!

But it’s also, in the section of copy above, finally starting to give the prospect some HOPE…”when everything seems hopeless”. (More of this comes later in the promo).

Let’s look at what comes next…

Here we have what appears to be a sidebar (this promo also mails as a direct mail promo), but it’s perfectly positioned within the running copy to make it a seamless transition into and out of it. (Be sure to watch out for when you insert sidebars and inset boxes that interrupt your sales page flow, and make sure they don’t trip your prospect up and potentially confuse or lose them).

The sidebar gives this toxic swollen colon syndrome even more believability by tying it back to two well-known celebrities (especially for the older audience this promo is targeting). The stories are quite dramatic, adding even more to the urgent need to get this toxic “poop” build-up out of one’s body.

The promo then goes on to talk about why you can’t solve this problem–i.,e., remove the toxic build-up–by taking laxatives or other things. This is called “sealing off the exit doors”…

Once you’ve convinced the prospect this is the hidden cause of their problems, you don’t want them to think “Oh, I’ll just do this instead.” You need to know what the alternative solutions to your product are and provide convincing arguments as to why they won’t work, just like is done above.

Alright, we’re going to look at one more page of this promo. This comes much later, after the product and all of its ingredients have been introduced. This appears within the close copy…

What I want you to look at here is how well the writer is doing “future pacing” and going beyond relief of constipation and removing the toxic “mess” in your colon, to dimensionalizing the dramatic, life-changing benefits of using the product.

See how the copy paints a vivid picture of how much better life will be with this product…and taps into all the dominant emotions that will potentially motivate the prospect to take action–i.e., order!

There’s plenty more to study here. That’s why I recommend you click on any of the photos in this email, which will take you to the actual sales page. That way you can read through the entire promo yourself.

If you find these kinds of copy breakdowns valuable and you haven’t gotten my Million-Dollar Control Breakdown Master Class yet, this is a great time to do so. When you act by midnight tonight, you can get it at the rarely-offered 50% savings that you’ll enjoy when you use BYE2020 as your coupon code.

Copywriter David Lowenthal says it’s “like the ‘director’s cut’ of copywriting”…Derek Schmeh recommends it “for anyone who’s looking to level up”…and Roland Eva says “if you want to write better sales pages, you NEED this!”

And if you haven’t had a chance to scoop up my Copywriting Velocity or Virtual LA Boot Camp Intensive yet, you won’t want to miss this chance to get these A-level copywriting training programs at 50% savings. Simply use BYE2020 as your magic discount code (and act by midnight tonight!)

Yours for smarter marketing,


P.S. If you love Copy Insiders and these “What’s in Kim’s Mailbox?” issues, my Copy Insiders 2018: The Complete Collection is packed with dozens you may have missed. You can get it here at half-price with the same BYE2020 code.

And my “Buy ’em All Complete KKS Promo Swipe File” is waiting for you here at 50% off when you use your magic code (which vanishes at midnight tonight).

I’ll be back at you later with a special New Year’s wish as we all say Farewell 2020 (and Good Riddance!) Until then, make the most of this LAST day of the year…