Dead Simple Method for Adding Instant Credibility to Your Sales Messages

Tom Slipkus
4 min readJun 20, 2021


Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

85% of consumers perform online research before making a purchase.

That means that despite what we copywriters might expect, the chances of getting readers to go through the entire sales page and purchase without leaving to read more are slim at best.

And that’s a big problem.

When the prospect leaves your page, you lose the ability to control how the information is presented. The points that are emphasized. And you can’t even be sure that they’ll return at all.

But the good news is you can actually leverage this fact to your advantage.

The WYSIATI Effect in Copywriting

In the excellent book, Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman talks about the WYSIATI (What You See is All There Is) effect.

Basically, it describes how our brains are wired to form impressions and make judgments based on the information we have available. And that can lead to many flawed outcomes because when our brains don’t have the complete picture, they tend to fill in the blanks with answers that are the most immediate and the most available.

In the context of copywriting, that means that even if your prospects leave your sales page and start doing their own research, they will likely make decisions on a very limited set of data.

Most online consumers will go to Google, type in a few queries, and scroll through the top results.

What they see in those results will shape how they perceive your offer and your claims, which can cause a problem. But it can also be a massive opportunity if you leverage it.

If you know what they are likely to see when they go on Google, you can address the arguments they are likely to form head-on.

For example, when you know they’ll read about the advantages of your primary competitor, you can offer counterarguments, either by disproving the claims or showing how your product is better in other aspects.

You could even strengthen your USP by turning those weaknesses into an advantage and positioning your product for a specific group of people that might benefit from it the most.

You’d be presenting the information your readers are likely to find in your own copy, leveraging the opinions they might form and shaping them to fit the narrative you are trying to create.

But how would this process look in action?

Let’s look at it step by step.

How to Leverage Public Information to Boost Your Credibility

Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

The internet is a massive resource. And for someone motivated enough, there’s virtually no limit to how much information they could gather on any given topic.

But for most people, that’s not what will usually happen. Most will rarely go past the first few results on Google, which they will use to form their opinions on the subject.

Here’s how you can take advantage of that in your copy:

  1. For this to work, you must have a detailed profile of your ideal customer. This profile should include everything they might already know about your product and your field.
  2. Using that customer profile, you should “put on your customer hat” and go perform research the way they likely would. That means typing in similar queries in Google and looking through some of the results.
  3. Then, write down the most common and most prominent arguments you find. These can be things like:
  • Arguments supporting your products
  • Arguments against your products
  • General ideas about the industry
  • Expert opinions
  • Common knowledge
  • Objections
  • Risks
  • Competition

4. Once you have a list of things your customers are likely to see, consider how to add them to your copy. If it’s positive, you can use it to reinforce your claims and make them more believable. If it’s negative, you can reframe the arguments and reposition them in your favor.

Bottom Line: Your Copy Doesn’t Exist in a Vacuum

This method is just one way to boost credibility and get your readers to trust you. Social proof, risk reversals, and brand awareness will all play a role in how skeptical your readers will be.

But if you use it effectively, your copy won’t seem isolated from the current events and the recent developments in your niche.

To expand on the method even more, you can use news, talk show, and even pop culture references relevant to your niche to illustrate the points you are trying to make.

That will not only make you more convincing but will also make you more human. And that can be just as important in connecting with a reader on a landing page.