Have you ever wondered how great copywriters are able to gain millions of dollars every time they write a copy?
How are they writing that everything they touch changes to gold?
The simple reason for this is that they know their way to human emotions. They know which psychological trigger they should push to get people to buy their product.
So if you want to maximize your profits you must understand these emotions and apply them with your copywriting strategies.
One of the finest copywriters Joseph Sugarman has made the exhaustive list of the psychological triggers in his book The Adweek Copywriting Handbook.
These will help you to understand people’s mindsets and will make your work a lot easier.
Before getting into it let’s try to understand why these triggers are important.
Importance Of Psychological Triggers
The key to success in any business is to understand people’s psychology.
In order to influence and understand your customers, you need to know about the triggers that drive them to take major actions.
It’s because our minds decide what to buy. So if you know how it functions, you will have the power to influence the decision.
That’s why although this is a long article, you won’t want to miss it.
So let’s dive deep into the 31 psychological triggers and understand how you could use them to attract more buyers.
Feeling of Involvement or Ownership
Make the person imagine that he is using your product. Your product is fulfilling its purpose and solving their problem.
Paint a beautiful picture in their head with your stories and pics. Let them own your product and feel the experience of using it. Your words has power to do this.
Also, involve the readers like the way Joe Sugarman did in his advertisement of the Franklin Spelling Computer by giving a discount to people who find spelling mistakes in his copy.
More mistakes, more discount.
This helped the product gain more exposure and thus more sales.
You could make people answer a few questions and give away free prizes. It will help you to interact with more people and know their mindset.
This sense of ownership and involvement will give you and your product more attention and thus more conversions.
This is the most important thing for Joe Sugarman and I totally agree with him.
Be honest in your approach.
Consumers are very smart- smarter than you think. They can easily tell whether the message is truthful or not.
Don’t ever try to fool them.
At first, you may succeed and even sell your product to a few ones. But in the longer run, you will definitely fail.
When you are telling about your product, make the consumer aware of its flaws too. Don’t hide anything.
And of course, you have to explain why the flaws would not affect them too much and why they should still buy the product.
Consumers will be impressed by your approach and it will develop trust.
More truthful and frank you are, the more responsive your customer will be.
Are you frequently exaggerating about your product or services?
If yes, then my friend you are doing great injustice to your customers as well as yourself.
At first, you might see a few results but in the longer run, it will be of no use. People will feel difficulty in believing you.
Your copy should show your personality and your integrity. People connect to those who have similar belief systems.
Don’t be too flashy and represent just truth about you and your product.
And also don’t sell directly. Just recommend your product and show them how it will solve their problem.
If you are being honest and have integrity, probably you have already established your credibility.
But it’s not just that. You must be believable too. Your message must be clearly conveyed.
You should anticipate all of their objections beforehand and clear them in your copy. This way people know that you care for them and you know what their current situation is.
Companies use celebrities to promote their product which adds more credibility.
In the end, the customer should believe that whatever you are selling is genuine and not a scam and it will genuinely help them.
Value and Proof of Value
People are very concerned about their money. They spend their money cautiously. They don’t want to be taken advantage of.
That’s why if you want to sell them something, you must provide a lot more value than the amount you are charging.
Just remember Money is the byproduct of adding value in people’s life.
So add more value to people’s lives and you will definitely succeed in your life.
You should also add testimonials and social proofs in your copy to show them that your product or service actually works and it will definitely change their life too.
Justify the Purchase
People buy things emotionally but they then justify by logical processes. You must justify the price of the product.
This can be done by showing how much time and money they can save if they buy your product, how could your product solve their problem, etc.
This way you will be able to establish more credibility and gain more sales.
If the product is of a higher price more justification is needed. And lower the price point more greed plays its role.
Greed is considered as a great human enemy. People who greed more loose more.
But what if I told you that being a marketer you could use greed as a medium to help others and also earn a few bucks for yourself.
Wouldn’t that be awesome?
You could create a high-value product and sell it at a very nominal price. This would help people to solve their problems and achieve success in life.
It will also help you to establish your authority in the field, which brings me to my next psychological trigger.
Consider a person who wants to learn digital marketing. Whose advice will he listen to, Neil Patel or some amateur person who doesn’t have any idea about digital marketing?
Of course Neil Patel. Because he has been doing it for over a decade and has established his authority.
People want to do things right the first time. They listen to someone who has been in the market for long and have proved their authority by helping others.
Even if you are starting, don’t worry. Everyone begins at zero.
Just keep learning and implementing. With time and results, you will automatically establish your authority.
You have given people every information about your product. Explained every benefit clearly still people don’t buy.
They have some kind of dilemma left. You have to clear it all.
Give them a trial period. Let them use the product themself. This will tell them that you are genuine and your product really will solve their problem.
Take any legit step you could to satisfy their need and you will get your sale.
Just have faith and confidence in your product and keep recommending it to people.
Nature of Product
Every product has its own unique personality, unique nature and you have to find it.
By understanding it you will be able to represent in a powerful manner. Press on the right advantage and draw emotions in the prospect’s mind.
This way you will be able to place your product in the right manner and get more sales.
Nature of Prospect
You must understand the products nature but to understand your audience nature is more important.
Know about their needs, wants, desires, fear, etc. Understand where they are facing problems and clear them.
The more you go deep better it becomes to sell your product.
Be aware of current fads so that you know about the hottest categories in the marketplace. Recognize and harmonize with them.
Like today’s need of the hour is that your business must be online. If it is not online then you won’t be able to make a scalable business.
Fads help in generating publicity.
Remember that fads can die just as quickly as it can grow. So you must recognize it quickly and get into it. Also, be ready to move away as soon as peak ends.
This way you will be able to generate more profits.
You have done everything right. Taken every step right.
But if your timing is not right, everything gets wasted. You will not get the desired result.
It’s just like a share market. You have to invest in it right at the start. Neither the middle nor the end. Then only you will be able to maximize your profit.
Remember your timing is right or not no one could predict. So if want to maximize you have to be on toes and take action quicker. More the delay, lesser the profit.
Also, don’t be afraid of taking risks. Believe in the law of averages and keep moving.
Relate your new product to things people know and understand.
Speak in the language of people. Make them understand your product and service by relating it to day to day life.
This will help you to convey your message more clearly.
When you use fad in perfect timing and explaining it to the consumer by linking to things they already know, then there is nothing better than this.
Your product will get a lot of recognition and you will get a lot of sales.
Every other psychological trigger will fail if you are not consistent in your approach. All the efforts will be wasted.
People buy from a person who they see regularly and trust.
When your prospect has been changed to customer your job becomes easy to sell things to them. Just remember to make the first sale simple and very valuable.
Don’t take advantage of the people. Build a relationship and keep on giving valuable service to them.
You and your product will be highly liked and encouraged.
When you are starting out just put away your desire, ego, and goals and create products that the people want.
Understand the need of the hour and create service accordingly. Find patterns in the things that are working and harmonize with the market place.
This will provide you the recognition, an initial push which you want.
Once you have generated the cashflow now you can go and experiment and do things that anybody else thought was not possible.
Doing this doesn’t require geniuses. Just you need to listen and understand certain things.
Just remember to create something that is solving people’s problems and not your selfish desire or motive.
Desire to Belong
People love to be associated with a group of elite individuals. They want to own something of high value.
Joe explained it quite well by taking the example of Mercedes. People want themselves to be added to the group of an elite group of Mercedes buyers. They want to show people how high their status is.
In order to show off, people buy unnecessary stuff too.
You can utilize this trigger to sell your product as many do. There is nothing wrong with it.
Desire to Collect
People love to gather things. They are not satisfied with one thing. They want to try different things.
For example, if I want to learn digital marketing, I will want to buy a course on SEO, Email Marketing, Copywriting, Facebook Ads, etc.
I know that I won’t be using everything at once but I would want to buy all the courses at once (if it comes to me at a reasonable price).
There is nothing wrong with it. It’s just human nature. No one can resist it.
You can sell multiple products at the same time.
There are a lot of opportunities inside the market you just need to identify it and capitalize it.
In today’s digital age attention is the biggest thing a person can give you.
So when you have got the attention of the prospect you should enhance it so that they don’t go away from your copy.
Use Curiosity as a tool to persuade prospects to read your whole copy.
Use stories to tease them. Don’t reveal everything upfront. Make a slippery slide and draw people to your copy.
Series like Money Heist, Breaking Bad, etc gets a lot of praise from the public because they glue people to the show by increasing curiosity. Making us guess what will help next.
Utilize this factor in your copy too and you will be surprised to see how your income increases.
Sense of Urgency
You’ve almost sold something to the prospect. He believes in you and is ready to buy the product.
But like many others, he says ”Let me think” and goes away. Then there is a maximum probability that he won’t return.
Studies show that most people don’t return back and buy the product. Don’t let this happen to you. Close the deal there and then by creating a sense of urgency.
Give them a reason to act now. You can give a buy one get one offer, a bonus offer, etc if they buy in a particular interval.
But be genuine in your approach. If you are telling that something is going to end in the next four hours then do end it.
Don’t fool people and continue with your offer. Otherwise, you will lose your credibility and people won’t be able to trust you anymore.
Fear is a great motivator to take action. Give a person reason to act based on fear of losing something and you will surely see them taking actions.
The sense of urgency is also based on fear. Fear of losing out on the opportunity of buying the product or service because it won’t be available afterwards or not at the same price.
For example, why does an employee does work which he doesn’t enjoy at all? It is because he fears that he may get scolding or even get fired.
Just remember to use this trigger ethically and for things that will help others. Not for your selfish motives.
This is a big advantage for offline shops. When people buy something from them they can take it home and enjoy it instantly.
But in the online world if you are selling a physical product you don’t have this advantage.
So to compensate it, you should convey to your customer that their product will reach them as quickly as possible, probably within a few days.
That’s how Amazon is able to attract more buyers and grow exponentially. They have the same products as others but it’s their service and fast delivery which separates them from others.
Exclusivity, Rarity or Uniqueness
Make people feel special. Talk directly to them.
Your copy might reach millions but you should convey your message as if you are talking to one particular person, not the whole group.
This way it will directly influence them and you will be able to connect with people on a deeper level.
Keep your copy simple and easy to read, don’t try and complicate things.
The key here is a focus. Focus on the message you want to convey and the needs of the audience. Create content accordingly.
Eliminate things that are unnecessary or complex.
Don’t try to impress people by using complex and fancy words.
Just Keep It Simple Silly.
Relate your product or service in human terms.
How the product will fit, how it will feel, how it will look—these are just some of the obvious ways you can relate.
You should also use graphics, stories, pictures, etc to give your product a human touch and let the buyer feel that he is buying from someone trustworthy person.
This will help you to grow significantly and will encourage you to work for long hours and put in consistent effort.
The story holds people together. It increases their curiosity. People resonate more when they find someone similar to them.
It’s best when you share your own story and tell the audience how a particular idea helped you in achieving success. But if you don’t have something you can always tell someone else story.
The basic idea is to grab the attention of the reader and stories are the best way to that.
People think in pictures and not in words. Craft a beautiful picture in their mind through your words.
This will enhance their emotional aspect and it will become easier for you to persuade people to take action.
Tell me something, what brings you more pleasure? One which comes easy to you or one which is done after hustling or long and working very hard.
Of course, the success which you achieve after hustling for long.
That’s the power of mental engagement. When you engage with something on a deeper level you get more pleasure.
The same is with your advertising. Don’t reveal each and every benefit in the copy. Create a sense of suspense. Let them experience and find the product’s usefulness.
This way they will remember you even after they have purchased the product.
Joe has developed a particular theory around it stating: The more the mind must work to reach a conclusion that it eventually successfully reaches, the more positive, enjoyable, or stimulating the experience.
Write your copy in such a manner that if people don’t buy the product they feel guilty.
Give them so much value in the copy that they are obliged to pay you back.
The same thing happens when someone tries to sell through a free webinar.
They would give so much value which will help you in your life. Then they do the sales pitch. And you feel obligated to buy as the webinar has helped you.
You should follow the same principle in your writing too.
Be very specific in your message.
Don’t beat around the bush and get straight to point. Be crystal clear in your approach.
Try and use facts and figures in your copy. This will establish your credibility and you will sound more like an expert.
And people listen to the advice of an expert not an amateur.
Come in front of people regularly and harmonize with their needs and wants.
Give them information and continuously help them with your product and service. This way you will not be an outsider and in the future, you could sell a high ticket product.
Establish a bond and relationship with your audience.
That’s what successful brands do.
Of course, their products are good. But the major factor for their success is that they come in front of people at regular intervals. There is a feeling of familiarity.
Hope acts as a great motivator for us. We might be going through the roughest part of our life. But we hope that tomorrow will be a different day.
As an individual, you do multiple things in your life in the hope that these things will integrate and you will succeed in your life.
Similarly, you should give hope to the readers that by using your product their life will definitely change.
Their problems will be completely solved.
The entire health industry is based on this trigger. They give hope to the patients that their disease will be cured and again they will live a normal happy life.
But beware, don’t give false hope to people which you can’t help them to achieve. Be realistic and practical with your approach.
It is very important that you understand why people buy any product. You must understand their psychology so that you can represent your product in such a manner that it triggers emotions.
All these psychological triggers will help you in writing a persuasive copy.
Knowing about them is one thing but you need to bring them in practice to master it. Try different things and then see which works for you the best.
Tell me what do you think about these psychological triggers? And how are you planning to use these in your copy?
P.S. This is just a small section of what Joe has taught in his book. I would highly recommend you read The Adweek Copywriting Handbook for gaining more knowledge on different aspects of copywriting.