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Is Your Sales Copy Like a Dutch Polder?

introduce a mountainA Dutch polder.

It’s boring for cyclists, because it’s flat and everything is straight.

Sure. It has its beauty, but it’s not a good cycling trip.

It’s the same for your sales copy. Features, specifications, and even benefits are boring. Because they’re like a flat ride. Straightforward. With only positives. And nothing grabs your reader’s interest.

So you need a mountain to create excitement.


Introduce a problem.

Because a problem grabs your reader’s attention. Makes his heart rate go up, and gets him excited. And that makes him pay attention to how you solve that problem.

So talk about the hassle you prevent; the headaches you cure; and the glitches you avoid.

It will make your copy more persuasive and more fascinating.

Like a mountain in a Dutch polder.


  1. Funny thing is, I lived In the polder (Almere) and cycled there a lot. Training for the triathlon. And I loved the flatness & straightness. . Cycling for hours, getting “in the zone”, no worries about traffic, busy crossings, or waiting for traffic lights.

    But I get your point and I think you’re right. Probably my site is a dutch polder too. And most of my (potential) customers will not be training for a triathlon.

    And thanks for your input on Kitty Killian’s webinar tonight

    • I know what you’re saying. I like swimming, and I can swim length after length after length. The problem is it bores the hell out of most other people.

      And that’s the same with websites. We need to wake people up now and then – by talking about problems or using emotional language.

      And nice to “meet” earlier today. 🙂

  2. Its a million dollar advice! I am in awe ever since I read this post. Introducing a problem and then providing the solution is a technique which sales men from yesteryears have been doing. And now, its the time that we Online Marketers and Bloggers adapt this strategy. Excellent post, Henneke!

    • Yep, we can learn a lot from advertising legends. Most of their tricks work on the web, too.

      Thank you, Mohul.

  3. Hi Henneke, interesting advise!
    Can relate to it as I live in The Netherlands 🙂
    But not every product raises a problem, does it?

    • Hi Helga

      Thanks for stopping by. Of course, there are exceptions – cheap fast moving consumer goods often don’t avoid problems. But a lot products and services avoid at least some kind of hassle or discomfort.

      Even if – for instance – you sell fashion: you could talk about problems of buying clothes that don’t match (that’s why you might offer a personal shopping assistant); buying something that may go out of fashion soon (the style you offer is classic); or of turning up at a party and someone else is wearing the same (you only offer a few items of the same design). If you’re writing short copy, you may not want to talk about problems. But for longer sales copy, you could drop in a couple of potential issues that keep your reader alert.

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