Covert persuasion in copywriting

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Covert persuasion in copywriting

Post by SARubin »


When you think about covert persuasion in copywriting, what's the first thing that comes to mind?
Maybe someone using sneaky tricks, to get you to do things you don't want to do? Or being manipulated by some unscrupulous con man?

Well, that can certainly be the dark side of covert persuasion. But I prefer to look at it from a different angle.

I guess when push comes to shove there is no ethical or unethical technique in persuasion, or copywriting... only intention makes it so.

If we honestly believe we're selling something to help people... then it's good.

If we're cheating people out of their hard earned money... then it's bad.

I'm going to go out on a limb and introduce a few powerful covert persuasion techniques you can use in your own copywriting, starting today. I trust you'll only use these techniques for good, not evil?

And of course if you don't want to learn this stuff you can always click away right now.

I'll understand if you have something better to do than discover the golden nuggets of persuasion power on this page.

Although, in all honesty, it would be harder to understand why you think it's not worth 2 minutes of time to learn a simple technique, that can massively boost the pulling power of your copy?

Either way it's your decision to keep reading.

Think about it this way... if you learn just one good idea you can use in your own copywriting and it helps you boost your conversions, isn't 2 minutes a small price to pay to avoid the regret of wondering what could've been?

And besides, you're already 30 seconds in. So you may as well finish what you started, right?

Here we go…

This first technique is one I just touched on in that last paragraph.

It's called the anticipation of regret. And it's that nagging little feeling that if we don't do something, were going to miss out and we'll regret it. This is also referred to as the fear of missing out.

If we want our direct response copy to be as strong as possible... we need to use the anticipation of regret in our offer.

We need to show our reader exactly what they'll be missing out on if they don't take us up on our offer.

Even better, we want them wondering to themselves what they'll be missing. Because the story a person tells themselves is always more powerful than any story we can tell them.

So in the above paragraph I said you could click away from this page. But if you do you'll lose the opportunity to learn a powerful technique that can help you boost your sales.

Does it work?
Well, you're still reading yes?

The second technique
I wove into that paragraph is what I call relative comparison.

I made the value of reading this post seem large compared to the small investment of time.

2 minutes is a small price to pay for pure gold.

This is sales 101 - "Always make the value of our offer seem bigger than the customers investment of time or money".
What makes it "covert" is the nonchalant way we say it.

The third technique in that paragraph is based on the concepts of "the Zeigarnik effect" and the "fallacy of sunk cost" where (in most humans) once we invest ourselves in something it causes tension to not see it through.

You've already committed yourself to getting started, and if you quit now you'll have wasted the time, or money, already invested.

So where I said "And besides, you're already 30 seconds in" - it implants the thought that you've already started so you may as well see where it's leading.

This technique also invokes Newtons law of inertia. (an object in motion more easily remains in motion)

Are you starting to see just how powerful this stuff can be?

I packed no less than 3 subtle, yet powerful, techniques into the space of less than 150 words.

And if we wanted to go back and edit that paragraph, I'm certain we could cut that word count by 15% - without losing any power (in fact, brevity might even make it more powerful)

OK, there's a 4th technique I slipped into that paragraph also. But I'm not going to tell you where it is.

Instead, I'll let you figure it our for yourself...

... Can you spot it?

Here's to using every available persuasion technique in our copywriting, for bigger winners, more often...

All the best,
A good marketer knows how to think like a marketer - A great marketer learns how to think like the customer...
SARubin - Direct Response Copywriter / Conversion Flow Expert
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