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Measuring Up

Side-by-side comparison ads can persuade prospects to buy in the blink of an eye.

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This story appears in the December 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Dial-up vs. DSL. Oven vs. Microwave. Horse and buggy vs. auto.Whatever the innovation, whenever the era, wherever there'sbeen a clear difference in speed and efficiency, a comparison adhas been all-powerful. Indeed, any demonstrable advantage inconvenience and/or effectiveness between your widget and that ofyour old-school competitors deserves to be on display, front andcenter.

Recently, a replacement-window salesman came to my house with aneye-opening comparison: He brought in a sample of his company'sdouble-pane window and a sample of my single-pane window. He heldthem side by side and then put a heat lamp behind one, then theother. He asked me to put my hand in front of each. It was aslam-dunk demonstration of how much better a double-pane windowkeeps out heat.

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