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Forehead slap is a neat trick to ensure that we talk more about benefits in the copy than the features.
A good copy focuses on benefits to the reader rather than the features of the product or service. This is common knowledge. The challenge, however, is to make the benefits come out properly in any copy. This is where the Forehead slap method comes to the rescue.
Forehead slap method
The “Forehead slap” method was devised by the copywriting legend Clayton Makepeace. It basically forces the copywriter to focus on the benefits the user of the product or service gets rather than the features his product/service offers.
The way you do this, is to take the key message from your copy and them imagining your perfect customer waking up in the morning and slapping his forehead and saying your message. If that scene seems off for you it means, you haven’t touched the real pain point in your message.
Let’s take an example. Say you are selling an Air Conditioner.
Let’s say the most prominent feature in your AC is fast cooling with low electricity consumption. Now, a novice copywriter might prominently write something like this in the copy
“Industry-leading cooling technology with 5-star energy rating.”
This means nothing to the end user. Imagine a consumer waking up in the morning and saying
“*forehead slap* Ah! I wish I had industry-leading cooling technology with 5-star energy rating in my AC”
In contrast, let’s think what could he say waking up. How about this:
“*forehead slap* I wish my AC was cheaper to use.”
BETTER? You bet!
Or imagine your consumer waking up in the middle of the night and saying:
“*forehead slap* damn! why is this AC taking so long to cool the room?”
Improving your conversions
So, how will you improve the version 1 of your copy. Well, you use the end benefit as your prominent message. In our example, you could say something like:
“An AC that cools your room faster than you change your pajamas!”
OR “AC that doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket”
“That Means?” trick
You can further iterate on this by asking the 2-word question “That means?”
Let’s run this question on the above copy headline.
So, an AC that doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket.
That means? Well you sleep more peacefully.
That means? You wake up well rested and happy
That means? You have a productive day at office.
That means? You make more money at your job.
You see how one feature can be broken down into so many benefits. Now you can pick any of those benefits and use that to improve your copy.
For example, how is this for a copy headline:
“An AC that makes you money”
How’s that? For sure better than,
Right? Of course! They can’t even be compared. It is like night and day!
You see how a simple trick can help you drastically change the way you pitch to your potential customer.
Forehead slap method (along with the “that means” trick) can be a potent method to improve your copies. Use this and let me know if you see any results.
You read my other copywriting blogs here. Trust me, they are gold! 😛
A video explainer
Until next time,