How to Avoid Losing Your Business to a Massive Lawsuit
It’s important that the claims your copy makes; deliver. This is essential for gaining your customers’ trust and keeping them loyal. But, there’s an even more important reason why you have to back up your claims – it could mean serious legal trouble if you don’t.
In their legal departments, large companies have people who review all of their copy to make sure they head off any potential legal problems. Other businesses hire an attorney to look at their copy.
But, for a small business, it’s simply too expensive to get legal consultation for each piece of copy that you write. You will have to do some, if not all, by yourself.
How do you do this? When writing your copy, you have to take every single statement and make sure that you can back up whatever claims you make. Your copy must be free of outright lies or deceptive wording. A few things to be careful about are:
- Claims of something being free or offered at a deep discount. Don’t create a bait-and-switch kind of scenario where you’re calling something free that technically isn’t.
- Money back guarantees and refunds. Your policies on this should be clear and stated up-front. Don’t claim that you’re more generous in your copy. Whatever you offer, you have to honor.
- Superlatives such as “best,” “lowest-priced,” “fastest,” etc. Only use these words if you’re confident that you actually are the best, lowest-priced or fastest. Instead, it’s better to explain exactly how good, fast or low-priced your offering is with real data.
- Social proof that isn’t actually proof. Never hire people to write fake testimonials for you. In getting your social proof, do it honestly and transparently, as if you’d be okay with providing full details if someone asked for them.
- The phrase “no questions asked” should be avoided unless you’re really not going to ask any questions.
- No obligation and no purchase necessary. Again, only use these phrases if there truly is none. That means zero. All of this may seem like common sense. After all, what business would purposely make false claims in order to earn a profit?
But remember, copywriting is creative work. It’s easy to get carried away and misrepresent something slightly. But even a slight misrepresentation could turn into a full-scale lawsuit if somebody questions it, (and has a good legal team). Check out this helpful article by the FTC regarding truth in advertising.
If you have a good product, know your audience, and have some copywriting skills, there’s never any reason to do anything deceptive. Being honest, transparent and authentic is the only way to write copy ethically and safely.