Some say that the pen is mightier than the sword and it’s very much true, especially in marketing. In our case, we don’t wage or instigate war with our words. We rather convince and convert our customers.
With the help of words, we are able to be persuasive and be more influential. We can learn to talk to our visitors in such a way that it truly speaks to them and influent their beliefs.
So, what techniques can we actually leverage to be even more influential in our visitors decisions? How can we convert even more visitors?
Copywriting is very much about psychology and the way we read, understand and act is very much a result of how we are wired as humans. It’s about our brain, the environment and how our species has evolved over the million years we have roamed the globe.
So let’s get down to business. Let’s learn some techniques that can boost your copy!
A human has a set of needs that needs to be fulfilled, most importantly access to food, water, housing and rest. These are our basic physiological needs we need to function and survive. But what comes after that?
The Hierarchy of Needs pyramid, as presented by Abraham Maslow adds 4 more levels to these basic needs. Safety, belongingness and love, esteem and self-actualization. All split into basic needs, physiological needs, and self-fulfillment needs.
By incorporating each level of the pyramid in your copy, you will speak to the inner needs of most individuals. There will of course, be differences between people so your need to identifiy where you visitors sit and where they are striving.
Give someone something and he or she will feel obliged to give something back. This principle dates back to when we were hunters and gatherers. Moving around cost us energy and receiving help and giving help at the end of the day cemented this behavior.
Giving something away for free has been a staple in digital marketing long enough that you should have come across it many times.
Some useful ways of using this technique is:
Give your visitors any of the above and frame it in such a manner that you are more likely to have a favor returned and it can be a powerful tool.
If it is less likely that I can have something tomorrow and I will regret that I did not get it the day before I’m more likely to fall for an offer. Add to the fact that if me having it will put me in advantage compared to other individuals, the force in this one (no pun intended) is strong.
Scarcity can be used in a variety of ways, including limiting the actually number of your products, spots available to your service, or webinar or anything else that you can limit (and show it to the user).
If you can limit the number you can create scarcity.
Urgency is a sort of the little sister of scarcity.
Just like with scarcity you limit a factor, but in this case time. Rather than just limiting a the availability of something you also limit the timeframe in which someone needs to act.
Have people buy, download or subscribe to something within or before a certain timeframe will have them sensing a feeling of urgency.
Social influence is a very powerful factor when it comes to persuasion. People do change under the pressure of influence and how they want to be perceived in the eyes of their peers and influencers. Mostly and they do it for three reasons (the first two being most important to us):
Conformity – We want to fit in. That is why if someone else does or have it we also like to do or jave the very much same thing. We want a sense of belonging and acceptance from peers and authority figures.
Compliance – When someone is asked to do something we do so because of compliance. We can choose not to comply, but we will always weigh in on the social factors we either gain or lose by compliance.
Obedience – This one is different from the two above as they are more about obeying an order because they are an authority rather a choice and possible positive outcome.
You can use these techniques in your copywriting by implementing things such as:
Testimonials – from peers or users using your service/product
Testimonials – from authority figures that endorse you
Command rather then ask – don’t ask for their email, command them to give it or anything else to you
Brands – use the authority if brands to add social influence
A very important part of how your copy is perceived is your level of authority. We are taught from an early age to listen to authority and those who are in charge.
If you can present yourself as credible you are very much more likely to be perceived as an authority, and thus listened to.
Always try to provide any evidence that can support your figure as an authority in your field. It can be anything from education, job experience, partners or anything else that can lend authority to your figure.
If the pen is the sword, words are its edge. Different words have different meanings and can as such be used in many different ways. Try to incorporate words that is know to invoke the correct mindset and message.
In terms of psychology, we can separate words into 3 common categories:
God terms – These are words that signify power, progress, and value. Example words are words that convey safety, control and understanding among other things such as ‘guarantee’, ‘strong’, and ‘truth’.
Devil terms – These words invoke much disgust and are maligned. Examples are ‘fascist’ or ‘nazi’ or any other word with a very strong negative, connotation.
Charismatic terms – These terms are intangible terms such as ‘freedom’ and ‘contribution’.
Consult the website at Changingminds.org for even more ultimate terms. And be vary, use these words with style. Don’t overdo it!
You should, as much as you can focus any copywriting around your visitors pain points. You need to identify what where you visitors hurt the most. It does not matter what industry or niche you are in, they have a problem they need to solve.
Ask your visitors:
What is your greatest frustration with ___?
What problem do you want to solve with ___?
Ask these questions and your visitors will immediately start dropping issues that you can expand upon and frame together with you product or service.
Whenever you try to communicate with your visitors about your product or service you should always focus on the benefits gained from using it, the immediate reward. If you offer 24/7 services that
If you offer 24/7 services that is a feature, the benefit is that you can be reached anytime and it gives assurance that you will be available whenever the client needs you.
Many take the other way around and focus on the features that actually provide the benefits. However, while, not being totally unimportant, they are secondary as outcome is why we buy into something. Benefits sell, features support.
What are you secret techniques and strategies to write awesome copy? Let me know in the comments!
Image: CC BY-SA 2.0 / Andy Smith
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