I would say it is almost impossible to avoid having to promote weight loss products if you are involved in any kind of personal health business.
This is because body weight, especially too much of it, plays an important role in general health and in particular with respect to the progression of disease.
People already know what to do to lose weight in terms of eating better and spending more time being physically active. The trouble is, it’s hard to do for so many different reasons.
This is why the “magic pill” will always have a leg up on any other proposed non-pill weight loss solution.
So, if you feel pressured to give the people what they want you might as well assuage your guilt and give them the best magic pill the market has to offer. For me, this came down to promoting the weight loss dietary supplement from RealDose Nutrition. It is called Weight Loss Formula No.1
I like the approach RealDose takes to product design. In essence it boils down to this:
- Start with good science
Find placebo-controlled, double-blind human clinical trials focused on testing the efficacy of a single natural (generally herb-based) ingredient for a single well-defined health-related goal (like losing weight, eliminating symptoms of menopause, improving digestive health, etc).
- Identify ingredients that delivery results
Identify those studies, and therefore the associated active ingredients and dosages, which result in significant positive outcomes.
- Ensure reproducibility through sourcing
Create a dietary supplement which combines two or more of these ingredients sourced from the same ingredient supplier used in the corresponding study.
- Ensure reproducibility through dosage
Ensure the supplement dose of each ingredient matches the dose quoted in the supporting study.
RealDose follows this approach so that its customers can rightfully expect to achieve the same results (on average) as the participants of the original studies.
So, your job as a copywriter is going to be relatively straight forward when it comes to promoting products from a company which operates like this one does. It is just a matter of finding interesting angles to keep the reader engaged while you highlight the supporting science.
Here’s the breakdown on the three-part email sequence I came up with.
PROMO #1: The time I plagiarized an entire campaign (no, really, I did that)
For the first message in this promotion I did something I would not normally do. I borrowed copy directly from a promotional email sent by RealDose to its customer list.
It just so happened that the theme of the message matched fairly closely with the thoughts going through my head at the time. It is that magic pill theme I mentioned at the beginning of this article.
Now, one way to include the original message from RealDose would be to add a lead which introduces the topic and hands it off to the narrator of the original message. This is done frequently when vendors of health offers purchase advertising space in a newsletter. But this presents little in way of novelty or otherwise good reason for the reader to plow their way through the attached message.
To address this issue I introduced the idea of “annotated remarks” to be added to the original message. This allows for points of agreement and potentially contrasting points of view to be anticipated by the reader.
So, the first half of the message is designed to warm the reader to the narrator’s point of view on magic pills (which is the belief that such pills are surely a mirage), and tilt the emphasis towards weight loss for the purposes of improved brain health.
Then the second half of the message offers supporting evidence in the form of a doctor delivering his verdict on basically the same subject. Conveniently, he does the preselling of RealDose’s Weight Loss Formula No.1 for us. He even provides the call to action.
As a copywriter looking for a way to promote someone else’s product it cannot get much easier than this. Honestly, it almost feels like cheating…
But hopefully you will look at this augmented tongue-in-cheek promotion and agree that it is a little more interesting than a straight read of the original message from RealDose.
Hey NAME, it's Carolyn Hansen
of Ageless Brain fame (ok... so I'm still
working on that).
I have a quick question:
Have you ever listened to someone speak passionately about a subject you care about...
And realize it's like they're reading your mind?
Yeah, that happened to me today when I was reading a message from Dr. Steven Sisskind.
Now, if you've read the sales page for my program Ageless Brain you'll know that one of my key messages is that there "ain't gonna be" no magic pill that saves your brain at the last moment.
No looking out the window at age 70 and thinking to yourself:
"Yup. It's time to start reversing that brain damage. Judith, dearest? What's available over the counter these days for that?"
Simply put - try as they may, the big
"would be brain saver" pharmaceuticals
just cannot figure out how to come up
with a chemical solution to brain decay.
There's no reverse switch for neural circuitry gone wrong.
But long before it gets to that point there are other biological processes which come into play...
Processes that do play a BIG part in how fast your brain wears out.
And these processes *can* be intercepted with "pills and powders" to good effect.
In my Ageless Brain program I discuss the issue of obesity and its effect on the brain.
Basically the lesson can be boiled down to the following pithy maxim:
Big body, little brain.
By which I mean your brain shrinks faster in the presence of high levels of body fat.
If you want to improve your chances of staying sharp as the years go by...
Then lose the excess body weight!
Dr. Sisskind reminded me of this today.
What he had to say was so to the point that for the rest of this message I'm simply going to let you hear him explain in his own words what it *really* takes to stay lean in a world obsessed with "instant" solutions to brain health and weight loss...
But, I'll annotate with a few comments of my own [ in brackets, like this ] :)
From Dr. Steven Sisskind
I hate to break it to you...
If you're looking for a magic pill, I don't have one for you. You'll have to try your luck elsewhere. [ Oh, he's tough. No messing around with this guy! ]
Sure, the RealDose nutritional supplements I've formulated are amongst the best in the industry in terms of quality, labelling accuracy, and results. [ It's true. I have some of his pills and powders in my refrigerator. ]
We've also received hundreds of five-star reviews, doctor reviews (and approvals), all while helping thousands of RealDose family members take control of their health, recover their youthful energy levels, and lose thousands of pounds of fat. [ Meaning: slimmer body, bigger brain! ]
But, none of that matters (yet). There's something you must understand if you're going to be successful with your weight loss goals.
While what we do here at RealDose can absolutely help, we don't work miracles.
Popping a serving of Weight Loss Formula No. 1 with each meal isn't going to help you control your cravings if you carry on mindlessly eating the donuts Leanna brought into the office because "they're there." [ Note: the key word there is "mindlessly". Confession: Even I will down the occasional dreadful donut! ]
And tossing back a serving of Super Critical Omega-3 isn't going to work in a vacuum, instantly eliminating the pain and inflammation from your shoulders, elbows, and knees [ and brain! ].
If you're the kind of person who hopes and believes taking a pill or powder on its own will do the trick, that's the bad news.
Here's the good news:
Each of those results I mentioned above...
Transforming your health from "in the gutter" to great...
Controlling and kicking your cravings...
Eliminating the pain and inflammation from your shoulders, elbows, and knees... [ and of course that big ol' brain ]
They are all very possible, and very attainable if you're willing to make a certain few changes in conjunction with taking your RealDose nutritional supplements.
If you do make these changes, in the order I suggest below, you'll put yourself on the fast track to great health, weight loss, increased energy, and less pain in your body.
[ And I guarantee it will mean sharper thinking, greater recall, and far better mood, focus and attention span. ]
Here's what you need to do (in this order):
1. Start eating more whole/unprocessed foods, and little to none of the processed, packaged crap in the grocery stores. [ I tell you, Dr. Sisskind is like my brother from another mother. I'm not joking, NAME. ]
2. Move your body regularly (walking, running, lifting weights, yoga, pilates, swimming, hiking, etc).
And once you're doing the above, move onto the next step, which is:
3. Complement your diet and nutrition with the nutrients and supplements necessary for great health.
If you're on step three, adding in a daily serving of Weight Loss Formula No.1, which you can find here:
It's not a magic pill... but it does kill appetite
... will make for a great complement (and boost) to your weight loss goals.
[ And don't forget, significantly reduce your risk for cognitive decline in the years ahead. ]
To your good health!
Dr. Steve [ and "Dr. Carolyn" :) ]
PROMO #2: Blind them with science
The heart of any sales promotion consists of strong proof of product efficacy. In other words a demonstration that the thing works.
With weight loss the market is sophisticated. You can assume they have seen everything under the Sun offered as a means of forcing their body to shed weight. And of course none of it has worked for them or they wouldn’t be bothering to read yet another email about some new approach you think they should take a chance on.
So the “proof” you offer needs to be convincing and it needs to be novel.
One way to provide that proof in the case of dietary supplement promotions is to point to the results of human clinical trials. But quoting studies can sound a little, well, clinical. If the institution associated with the study has a recognizable name behind it, like Harvard, it may be worth taking note of that. Or if the result of the study is surprising in some way, again it might be worth elaborating on that.
But the studies associated with this product are not intrinsically interesting in my opinion.
Another way to provide the needed “proof” is to give an explanation of the mechanisms behind the efficacy claims. “It works because it contains ingredients ABC which have been scientifically proven to have effect XYZ on your body.”
In this case it’s not the studies you are drawing attention to, it’s the logic behind the decision to go with ingredient ABC rather than something else.
This is essentially the basis of the second message in the sequence. Recite the list of active ingredients and explain why they were chosen to go in the bottle. Because the goal of the supplement is to help people lose weight, we are going to need to find the mechanism for the weight loss associated with each ingredient – or at least allude to it.
In this message I capitalize on the fact that the audience has already been educated in earlier messages about the importance of the growth factor BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) for the maintenance of brain health. That means I can use a connection between cortisol (one of the weight loss hormones targeted by WLF #1) and BDNF. These two are antagonists. When the amount of one is up in the body, the other is down.
I also take advantage of the association between big brains and little bodies which was developed in the previous message.
Can you guess what other essential bodily
process I'm about to take issue with?
It's one you are almost certain to be confused about because very few health professionals ever connect the dots between fat accumulation and the health of your brain.
Hey, it's Carolyn Hansen, the optimal brain health lady.
If you guessed *metabolism* was the process I was referring to then you guessed correctly.
In a previous message I alluded to a strange association between how much you weigh and how sharp you tend to be mentally:
"Big body, little brain."
The more excess fat you carry on your hips, thighs, butt and midsection, I told you, the faster the rate at which your brain will shrink.
One of the reasons for this: excess body weight is highly correlated with lack of exercise, and exercise is known to pump up the amount of BDNF in your brain.
If you remember, BDNF is "brain-derived neurotrophic factor".
It is probably *the* most important protein associated with brain health.
It promotes brain cell survival...
It builds out more brain circuit infrastructure...
And it rewires existing connections so that you can keep on learning new things regardless of age...
But BDNF levels *plummet* and the synapses (the connections between your brain cells) begin breaking down when levels of cortisol surge in your body.
Cortisol is the stress hormone, the pesky brain chemical that has you running to the refrigerator late at night, rather than be mindful of your weight loss goals.
Cortisol and weight gain (especially around the midsection) tend to go hand in hand...
Thus one of the consequences of being stressed, avoiding exercise because of it, and stress-eating your way to a bigger body, is your brain literally begins dissolving at a faster rate.
That's why one of the key ingredients in Weight Loss Formula No. 1 from RealDose Nutrition is a cortisol killer.
It's an herb harvested from Siberia called Rhodiola rosea.
Rhodiola rosea has been proven in study after study to reduce general anxiety and stress.
That's fantastic for mood, but it's also great for lasting brain health.
That's why, if you're at all worried that the excess weight on your midsection could be setting you up for increased risk of cognitive decline in the years ahead...
Then WLF #1 could be one supplement that is actually worth adding to your daily regimen:
But Rhodiola rosea is not the only
ingredient in the bottle.
RealDose added two more hormone-balancing ingredients critical to the war against unwanted weight gain.
One of those ingredients is a patented blend of Piper Betle leaf and Dolichos Biflorus seed extracts.
These extracts work two ways:
They increase adiponectin (the hormone which stimulates fat cells to burn energy).
And they decrease ghrelin (the hormone which dials up hunger).
The other ingredient RealDose added to their formulation is a patented green coffee bean extract from Madagascar which helps prevent carbohydrates (sugars) from turning into fat.
It's called Coffea canephora.
Coffea canephora is high in the same polyphenols and chlorogenic acids that make coffee such a powerful metabolic stimulant (but without the caffeine).
So that's *three* clinically-tested natural ingredients known to rebalance the hormones responsible for maintaining proper body weight.
RealDose has put them into a single supplement.
And if you're not sure that this is something that might work for you because you have "tried it all" before when it comes to "downsizing"...
Then go check out the dozens and dozens of 5-star customer reviews at the bottom of this page:
Fact: RealDose selects ingredients based on results of human clinical trials
In fact, there's more than 1,000 reviews you can inspect if you have the time.
Carolyn "little body, big brain :)" Hansen
PROMO #3: Justify The Impossible
Well, not quite the impossible, but something really rather difficult to pull off. Losing 40 pounds of unwanted body fat.
This time I wanted to try to get away from the science of weight loss and base the piece on an actual case study involving a RealDose customer.
Now, one way to do this would be to peruse the customer testimonials for WLF #1 mentioned at the end of the second message. It is possible I would have found a great story doing this. Instead I chose to highlight the results of a case study brought to my attention by Dr. Steven Sisskind.
My guess is he selected this particular story for the same reasons I found it compelling:
- Non trivial outcome
The amount of weight lost is not trifling, it is significant. So this is probably not due to the placebo effect where someone will lose weight just because they think they have been handed a “magic pill”, regardless of whether or not the weight loss aid (supplement) actually contains an active ingredient.
- Story backs up suggested regimen
The woman in the case study, Marsha, followed at least in part the suggested regimen spelled out by RealDose. In her case she combined the supplementation with calorie restriction (so there’s some logic to the result which we can borrow to make our case).
- Results came slowly
The weight loss did not kick in until the second month, which sounds a lot more realistic than: “The weight started coming off by the second week!”
- It’s the only thing that worked…
When it comes to weight loss strategies, Marsha has “tried it all before” and this has proven to be the only weight loss supplement that has worked for her. What are the odds everyone reading her story will be nodding their heads in agreement. “Nothing has worked for me either!”
I came across this case study while studying one of the short sales video promotions for WLF #1 that RealDose uses as an upsell for another supplement.
While reading it I was struck by that “didn’t work for me until the second month” remark. Because I too had purchased WLF #1 at one point and had a similar experience.
It was right after I purchased a course on how to run your own dietary supplement business from the founder of RealDose Nutrition. I purchased two or three bottles (I do not remember) and told myself I was going to both lose some weight and learn more about how the company interacts with its customers.
But somewhere along the way I decided I wasn’t seeing any noticeable results on the bathroom scales so I stopped the supplementation. I do not recall doing any calorie restriction, along I might have been exercising at the time.
Anyway, here was Marsha reminding me that maybe it takes a certain amount of sticking to the plan before you see the results. OK that would have been good to know at the time. So that will be going into message number three…
Also, in the upsell video I watched I noticed that Dr. Sisskind stressed the importance of the active ingredients in WLF #1 for helping Marsha achieve her success, so as with message number two I focused on the mechanism again. In other words, this amount of weight loss might seem like magic, but it’s actually supported by the same science that achieved the results of the human clinical trials on which WLF #1 is based.
NAME, I don't think I stretch
the truth too much when I tell you that
I have been a life-long advocate of
I was even a physique competitor for a while.
And as you might imagine, in pursuit of the win I spent a *lot* of time in the gym trying to figure out how to stay lean.
Which is why I get kind of annoyed when I read about the success some people have reported using RealDose Nutrition's dietary supplement Weight Loss Formula No. 1
Like Marsha L. Holland who left a comment on Facebook about her experience:
"At first I thought it wasn't going to work, but the second month it kicked in... Maybe my body needed a build up of all those wonderful ingredients, I don't know. All I know is the weight started falling off... 40 lbs of it!"
Admittedly, I have no idea how long it might have taken for Marsha to see that last pound come off.
Regardless, it was an impressive result.
However, the weight did not "fall off" just because she started taking WLF #1.
She combined the supplementation with calorie restriction.
In fact that's how RealDose recommends you use their product.
When you combine it with exercise and diet you see the best results by far.
Their claim is that compared to diet and nutrition alone the "wonderful ingredients" that Marsha talks about have been shown in human clinical studies to double the amount of weight that comes off.
The ingredients in WLF #1 make this possible, says Dr. Steven Sisskind of RealDose. They were specifically chosen because of their ability to:
1. increase fat burning
2. curb appetite
3. reduce fat storage
4. relieve stress and boost mood
Now, practically every dietary supplement is going to suggest it does these things.
What's different about this formulation, I've found, is that the guys at RealDose design their products around ingredients which have been proven to be effective in double-blind, placebo-controlled human studies.
They also guarantee to provide the same ingredient dosages found to be effective in the clinical trials.
And they source their ingredients from the same suppliers as quoted in the studies.
Why go to all this trouble?
So that their customers can have every expectation of getting the same results as the study population did.
So while Marsha might have been able to report especially good results with her effort to trim down, she wasn't bucking the expected trend.
And those "wonderful ingredients" she attributes to her success?
One is LOWAT, a patented combination of Piper betle leaf and Dolichos biflorus seed extracts responsible in the studies for:
- Boosting the fat-burning hormone adiponectin by 15.3 percent
- Lowering the hunger hormone ghrelin by 17.3 percent
That means the end result is you burn
more fat while feeling less hungry.
These hormonal changes might sound small percentage-wise (you might not even notice their influence on the way you feel) but their effects add up over time.
On the 2,000 calorie/day diet followed in the study, those who took LOWAT doubled their weight loss compared to the control group which received a placebo.
Notice that the two hormonal effects just described correspond to the first two on our earlier list - increased fat burning and appetite suppression.
RealDose selected two more ingredients and added them to their formula to stimulate the other two effects: reduced fat storage and stress/mood relief.
One of those ingredients is a decaffinated green coffee bean extract from Madagascar which stops excess glucose from entering the blood stream.
The other is a Siberian herb which reduces cortisol, the stress hormone.
But rather than tell you more about how
exactly these ingredients contributed to
Marsha's impressive weight reduction, I'll
let RealDose fill you in on their approach:
Click to learn more about what Marsha used to trim down
The important thing to remember is that while Marsha has said: "[I]t's the only thing that has made the difference for me and I have tried it all!" she did heed the advice RealDose offered. She reduced her calorie intake.
Presumably because her "curbed appetite" made that easier to do.
So it's not that these ingredients magically cause the unwanted weight to fall off.
There's a cause and effect behind it all and that's why I can recommend products from RealDose Nutrition.
Because, in my opinion, they are always backed up by good science.