People believe they are in touch with the world around them.  They feel they are aware of what’s going on and what information is available to them.  Because we make decisions based on emotion and seek out logical validation for those decisions, naturally we all have an emotional attachment to our decisions.

When we see an advertisement that says something is the best, we have two subconscious, psychological reactions to it…

First, we instantly reflect on past experiences when we believed when something or someone said it was the best and we became disappointed.  Each similar experience lends us to having less and less trust for anything that says it’s the best product or superior service.  Ultimately, when we see something claiming it is the best, we are instantly skeptical and lower our level of trust.

Second, because we truly believe we’re aware of the world around us, when we discover something new that says it’s the best (which is most of the time because we don’t remember ever seeing the last 20 ads for it over the past month), our initial reaction is, “Well, then, how come I haven’t heard of it, especially if it’s so great?”  Remember, all decisions are made with emotions (see: irrational), not logic.

We automatically reach a conclusion connected with our first reaction, that anything that says it’s the best makes us untrustworthy because ‘everyone’ claims to be the best.  Furthermore, because we now hold less trust, we determine that the reason why we haven’t heard of it before is because it really isn’t that great after all and this is just a ploy to get us to buy whatever is being sold.

The reason why this matters is because when potential customers don’t trust us, they’re unlikely to buy from us.

So, how do we fix this problem?  Conspiracy theories.

The mind of the consumer must be taken by the proverbial hand and lead down the path you want them to follow.  The easiest way to do this it by giving reasons why.

To prevent our potential consumer from reaching the wrong conclusion after asking “Why haven’t I heard of it,” we must provide a reason why.  This is where the conspiracy theories come in to play.

The conspiracy theory reason satisfies the need to logically validate our deep-rooted emotional insecurity (that each one of us has on some level) that we’ve been left out of something.  We can validate that the reason why we didn’t know about something and its superiority is because of a conspiracy theory.  “Whew!  It’s not our fault.”

We can tell our reader:

“…this secret formula has been passed down only among our family for generations…”
“…a little-known method that’s been used behind closed-doors for years…and is now available to…”
“These powerful techniques have only been shared with the most elite Navy Seals teams.”

Even when they’re true, not only does using conspiracy theories in your marketing provide emotion validation for your reader, it also lends to some appealing storytelling, which makes the best sales letters of all.


Mike Lewitz is an innovative marketer who truly ‘gets’ the mental and emotional buying process of consumers. He’s shown thousands of global business owners proven, cutting-edge marketing methods that bring abundant results.  Mike is formerly a Google Certified Advertising Professional and holds two Bachelor’s degrees (business & marketing) and an M.B.A. in Management.

You may freely distribute, copy & share this article with acknowledgment/referring link.

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One Response to “Copywriting: Sales Letters and Conspiracy Theories”
  1. Excellent, Mike. You truly get it.

    I’m currently on a drive to help freelance writers to sell their services in a way that separates them from the “crowd” of others… and so many of them make the same classic mistake you highlight. They use phrases like “high quality”, “professional”, “best”… when everybody else uses that same language.

    How do you know who is the best, when everyone else says they’re the best, as well?

    You have to stand out in other ways, such as the way you described (the “conspiracy theory” angle).

    I think I’ll be retweeting this blog post @copysnips.

    Paul Hancox

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