Copywriting 101 - Sell To The Sinner

Knowing how to sell is half the equation... Knowing why people buy is the bigger half.
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Copywriting 101 - Sell To The Sinner

Post by SARubin »

As copywriters, if we want to make a boatload of sales, we must first and foremost understand our market (the people we're selling to) at a basic level, so we can sell to the baser instincts of those people.

Peel away the facade of normal, the well rehearsed persona, the carefully constructed mask that people wear to protect themselves from the judgemental eyes of society, and you're left with human nature in the raw.

As it turns out, we're all sinners. I'm a sinner, you're a sinner, and so is your reader.

You can deny it. You can try to hide from it. Or, if you want to make a boatload of sales, you can sell to it!

Whenever you feel like you're not connecting with your market at a visceral level, remind yourself of the seven deadly sins, and then think about how you might use them in your copy...

1 - PRIDE, or vanity, can be exploited by flattering your reader and letting them know how smart and important they are.

Acknowledge your readers intelligence and experience, and they won't object to any of it. Then, suggest that a person with their obvious talent should be subscribing to the ideas you're selling.

Of course as an intelligent and experienced copywriter, you're already smart enough to know how well this works.

2 - ENVY is a powerful motivator that most people feel at one time or another.

When someone else who we identify with is living a better life, we naturally want to enjoy some of what the other person has.
The greatest copywriters I've ever worked with know how to exploit envy for higher response rates.

And if you haven't learned how to use it in your copy yet, then you're missing out on a great opportunity. And you should join us.

3 - LUST - Let's face it... Sex sells. When people lust after something they tend to lose control over reason.

Sexy people - Sexy cars - Sexy entertainment, houses, clothing and accessories.

When you convincingly suggest that buying your product will bring your customer one step closer to sex, you'll have their undivided attention and interest.

And when you include lust in your copy you'll sell a lot more, and make a lot more money. Then men, women, and aliens from distant galaxies will all lust after you.

4 - ANGER —People get angry about a lot of things. Politics, religion, sports, that jerk who cut you off in traffic. Some people even get angry about all the anger in the world.

The thing is, when someone gets angry pressure builds, and this pressure demands to be released.

Show people an exit route from this unpleasant feeling and they'll not only pay attention to you, they will also thank you.

If you know what's making your target market angry you have some great leverage to offer a solution. And if you don't exploit this, and your competitors steal your market share, you have no one but yourself to be angry at.

5 - GREED is a major motivator for many people.

People want stuff they don't need, or they want more of what they've already got.

It's a primordial survival instinct to get more because when humans lived at the mercy of the elements there were times of prosperity, and harsh times when drought or famine could wipe out entire villages. So the natural instinct to hoard things was born of survival.

Some people want obscene amounts of money just for the sake of being obscenely rich, but most people want more so they don’t have to go without. More pay, more respect, more food, more cars, more clothes...

When you learn to infuse greed in your copy you'll start making more sales, and more money, than you can ever spend in a lifetime.

6 - SLOTH - It's been said that necessity is the mother of invention, and if that's true, then laziness is surely the father.

People don't want to exert any more energy than they have to. Show them how your product or service can save them time and energy, and you'll get their attention.

Help people see how your offer can improve their lives, faster and with less effort, and they'll open their wallets.

And if you don't want to exert the energy to include this motivator in your copy, you can hire me to do it. Then you can sit back and relax, while I do all the hard work for you.

7 - GLUTTONY is a tough one because unless you're selling food this sin won't have much relevance.

But it's the last one on the list so I included it.

On the other hand, there is an obesity epidemic in much of the western world. And if you're selling a weight loss product you can try to weave gluttony into your copy as the villain.


Final thought…

Whether you're selling B2C or B2B, you're always selling to people first. Ignore the baser human instincts and you're hobbling your response rates before you even begin.

Yes, people still want to rationalize their buying decisions, either to justify it to themselves or to others who may ask why they made the purchase. So make sure you include plenty of objective and logical reasons why buying your product is a sensible thing to do.

But people buy first and foremost on emotional grounds. When you hit at least one of the deadly sins above with your copywriting, you'll be connecting with your market at a deeper level. One they might not even want to admit to themselves.

And it should go without saying (but I'll say it anyway because I love to hear myself talk) never come right out and tell your reader they are lazy, greedy, prideful, envious, etc.

People don't want their imperfections exposed. No one wants to feel vulnerable and naked to the world, that's why we wear the mask. But we all want to be understood and empathized with.

When you use any of the 7 deadly sins in your copywriting, BE SUBTLE about it and you'll cast a hypnotic spell over your reader that makes them feel like you're the one who understands them, and you're the one who has what they want.

Thought for the day...
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 Specialist
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