Nightmare story VSL leads suck - there, I said it

Uncategorized May 22, 2024

Hey Copy Gangsta, 

We just launched another VSL here at PaleoHacks for a product called the 21 Day Blood Sugar Reboot…

Looks like another huge winner. 

That makes 3 winning VSLs in a row so far for me since we switched from cookbooks to VSLs.  

And I wanna just come right out and say… 

I think nightmare stories are lazy copywriting.  

I really want to share all the split tests, lead tests, and email creative tests from these 3 VSL wins for you here… 

But unfortunately, I am going to wait on that for a few months.  

I believe our team has a leg up on the rest of the health industry right now, and I want to keep our top secrets close to the heart.  

Here’s what I will share: 

If you want to keep an eye on the PaleoHacks email list and Mike Geary’s Nutrition Watchdog email lists… 

You can do your own “business espionage” on these VSLs.  

(They’re easy to find, just Google PaleoHacks or Nutrition Watchdog and put in your email to start getting these offers in your inbox).  

The offers I’m talking about are: 

  • Thyroid Renew (first thyroid offer ever to scale into the top offers on NW)
  • Glucobalance Pro (blood sugar offer that is hot right now)
  • And the 21-Day Blood Sugar Reboot (just launched TODAY and it’s looking big) 

All 3 are VSLs from Bright Naturals (PaleoHack’s supplement brand).  

For all 3 offers, we tested 4 leads each upon launch.  

For “conventional copy wisdom” sake, I included a nightmare story for each one.  

But all 3 leads that won were all food curiosity leads.  

For today’s launch, the nightmare story lead BOMBED, it was the worst performing one.  

Now, I’m not sure if it’s just cuz I’m bad at writing nightmare story leads… 

(I don’t think this is the case) 

But honestly, I kinda just find all of them cheesy. 

Maybe that means I have “bad copy energy” when I’m writing them, so they end up falling short… 

Maybe not.  

But whenever I see a VSL that starts with a grandfather blacking out at their granddaughter’s dance recital and then waking up on an ambulance bed… 

I just start rolling my eyes.  

THIS again.  

Guys, there’s a way to write winning copy without cheesy made up stories intended to make the viewer feel bad.  

Take a look at Golden Hippo’s VSLs…  

They’re positive, curiosity inducing, and they’re the top converting VSLs on the internet.  

If you find the 3 VSLs I wrote, you’ll see they’re all full of interesting facts, and the angle is always “I’m a doctor educating you on your health problem.” 

It works.  

It’s out-converting the cheesy ones on the Mike Geary email affiliate network.  

In a lot of my copy coaching, I emphasize teaching students to think and strategize instead of blindly following templates.  

The copywriter that thinks will win in the age of AI… 

Because what does ChatGPT do if not follow templates from the past? 

So I want to challenge you to really think about what your readers and viewers respond to… 

And what makes them BUY. 

Categorize the big winning copy pieces in whatever niche you’re writing in. 

Study the patterns you see.   

For example… 

In biz-op, the main selling mechanism is “new way to make easy m0ney.” 

(It’s not a nightmare story.) 

In survival, people really like cool gadgets and things that help them survive when sh*t hits the fan. 

(Nightmare stories do work here because it’s a fear-based crowd…  

But hey why not use a REAL one instead of something cheesy that’s made up?) 

In weight loss, people just need proof and before / after pics to show a new way that works.  

(Nightmare stories still pop up here in weight loss VSLs…  

But I’d argue that it’s the story of transformation and losing weight backed by strong proof and before/afters that sells a weight loss supplement… 

NOT a cheesy made up humiliation story.) 

I guess my point with all this is… 

I like positive copy.  

I’ve proven over and over again that positive, benefits based copy wins.  

I TOLERATE negative copy.  

But I feel icky writing it.  

And I want to feel GOOD when I write copy.  

I want to feel GOOD knowing that I’m selling something that actually helps people.  

That’s good karma m0ney coming my way… not bad karma m0ney.  

I don’t feel good when I’m purposely writing something with the intention of making the reader (or viewer) feel horrible about themselves… 

So they buy a product with dubious efficacy.  

So I don’t do it.  

I think that’s an over-used copywriting strategy that’s going to quickly become a thing of the past… 

As compliance networks get tighter and tighter.  

And I think a winning strategy is to sell an amazing product that actually outperforms when it comes to helping people… 

With copy that highlights how awesome it is.  

I guess it just depends on what you resonate with.  

Keep an eye on your email inbox, fam… 

I got a really exciting project I’m working on that I’m launching in June.  

And if enough people ask… 

I may share some more of the behind-the-scenes secrets of these VSL wins. 

To positive copy… 

Your copy coach,

Ning Li


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