Influence people

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Blurbs Shoudn't Blather


At the 1907 convention of the American Booksellers Association, a speaker handed out copies of his new book with a fake jacket covered with fulsome praise. He borrowed the layout of a toothpaste ad for the back of the jacket, and gave the model in the ad a name, Belinda Blurb.

Hence the word "blurb" was born.

The blurb is every marketer's mainstay. But too many marketers fail to leverage these sweet-talking charmers.

Instead of keeping them brief, punchy and authentic, they pile them with clich├ęs no real customer would mouth:

We have received a robust product, customized to our specific needs, which meets our requirement and which has received the endorsement of the president. Our team was extremely satisfied with professional interactions, the speed and efficiency with which you provided feedback and a positive response to all our queries. Having spent much time with you reviewing the product as we have progressed with the development, we are convinced that we have incorporated a highly complex concept into a simple, user-friendly application and we cannot think of any issues that have been overlooked or missed. Without a doubt your team has provided us with a comprehensive evaluation tool that has received the full support of everyone who has tested it, so we have no reservation in confirming you. We are certain that we now have a unique performance evaluation tool, specific to our current needs, but with enormous scope for the future as we move forward with our talent management plans. It has been such a pleasure to work with your team on all levels, your patience with our requests has been exemplary, and we thank you for your dedication to our project.

The marketer could have published instead:

You've created a simple, user-friendly performance evaluation tool that leaves nothing out. As a result, you've won the confidence of everyone who's tested it (even our president loves it). Thanks to your team, we're ready to move forward with our talent management plans.

Take it from Belinda: blurbs shouldn't blather.

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