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Not <I>the</I> question&#151;but a question mark can make you advertisement more powerful.

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This story appears in the December 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Want to make a strong claim in your advertising-one you believe is true, but your finger-wagging lawyer insists you water down for lack of proof? Consider posing the claim as a question.

For example, if you're selling a health product you believe improves customers' chances for longevity, you might get rapped on the knuckles if you make the claim, "Enjoy good health through age 100." Now pose it as a question followed by a qualifying subhead, "Enjoy good health through 100? It's more possible than ever when you use (product or service name)." It's the provocative wording that arouses interest, but makes the claim plausible instead of certain. That's the approach I'm recommending to Susannah Lacagnina, a professional nutritionist in Santa Monica, California, who specializes in dietary therapies for cancer and diabetes patients.

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