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How to use numbers to convince your readers

It’s an exciting day over here…

Because today, I’m exactly 29 and a half years old.

September 23rd, 2016 — my last half birthday in my twenties. Eek!

Semi scary…semi intimidating…semi freaking awesome at the same time.

Now, this fun fact wouldn’t be nearly as fun if it was kind of, almost my half birthday.

If I was 29 and a half…ish.

It’s impactful because today is THE day. The exact day I’m half an orbit away from my 30th b-day.

It’s the specificity that makes that fact compelling.

And I bet you didn’t have any trouble believing me when I said it’s my half-birthday, did you?

There wasn’t a part of you that thought “I wonder if Whit’s just making that up.”

You took me for my word…because why would I make up something that weirdly detailed?

This is important to understand because you can apply the same idea to your persuasive copy. (It’s an especially effective strategy when creating launch copy.)

In this video, I’m talking about why incorporating specific numbers into your copy is a fast way to add a sense of credibility to your claims.

 

The main takeaway?

 
Use. Specific. Numbers.

Ivory soap’s claim that it was 99.4% pure is way more compelling than if they said “over 99% pure,” “nearly 100% pure,” or even “all-natural.”

That’s because the specificity makes it feel real.

It’s easy to use platitudes and say things like “I have lots of experience in this industry” or “I’ve worked on many projects of this nature.”

But when you get all specific on ’em and say things like “I have 11 years of experience in this industry” or “I’ve worked on 152 projects in the last two years,” it strikes a much stronger chord.

Because when you cite a specific number in your copy, there are only two options:

1. You’re telling the truth.
2. You’re lying.

When you use vague generalities, there’s a third possible answer: you’re fibbing.

You’re not straight-up lying, but you’re stretching things a bit.

There’s no fibbing with specific numbers.
You’re either lying or you’re telling the truth.

The answer your readers think is up to you.

If you’ve built a good relationship with them, they’ll have no reason to think you’re lying.

They’ll believe your numbers and they’ll make an impression. And that will give you a big leg up when it comes to compelling them to action.

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How are you going to incorporate this into your copy?

What’s one vague generality where you can swap in a specific number?

And how do YOU celebrate your half-birthday? Are you a dork like I am, or do you let it pass by like any old day?

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© Whitney Ryan LLC

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