Web copy that's intended to sell or generate leads needs to quickly reach out and grab attention and build rapport with a target audience. You can connect with your audience more effectively if you understand something about how people process information, and how they think.
Every one of us is constantly sorting, distorting, and generalizing what we perceive, just to stay sane.
As a result, different people see the world differently. You probably want to appeal to as many of them within your target market as possible. Here are three simple tips you can use when it comes to editing your web copy.
1 - An idea can be made to appeal to more people if it is expressed in both a positive (moving toward), and a negative (moving away from) fashion.
Look how it's done in this famous lead..."TWO YEARS FROM NOW, your business could easily be worth 2.5 to 25 times what it's worth today...Or you could fall into the list of business also-rans... " Some people are motivated by the desire for gain, and others by the fear of loss. With a statement like this, it doesn't matter which, you're speaking their language either way.
Another great example of this is in the life insurance industry. Rather than try to force a square peg into a round whole, the insurance companies came up with the idea of "cash value". Now the sales pitch could be reframed to appeal to both types of people. Those that moved toward pleasure could be sold on the idea of early retirement, and those that moved away from pain could be sold on the more traditional idea of income protection.
2 - The second idea is internal versus external frame of reference. Some people do things because they see others doing them. Some people want to relate things to their own experience. The former is impressed by testimonials and success stories, while the latter is moved by deductive reasoning, analogy, and metaphor. You can see this requires two very different kinds of selling.
Here's another way to look at internal versus external orientation. The internally directed person values a sense of achievement while the externally directed person values recognition. Two sides to the same coin.
So you might say in your copy, "Picture the smiles of appreciation your family will reward you with when they begin to enjoy the new lifestyle this knowledge can afford you. Imagine the sense of achievement, and how confident you'll become!"
The first sentence appeals to an external bias, while the second one targets an internal bias.
3 - And the third tip is to use phrases that appeal to multiple modes of perception in your copy. Like everyone else, you perceive the world with a bias toward seeing (visual), hearing (auditory), or feeling (kinesthetic). Naturally your copy will reflect this bias. By going back through it and editing it to include all three biases, you will connect with more readers.
I am a very visual person, so I might write something like, " You've got a clear view of it in your mind's eye now, don't you? Suddenly, it appears you'll make your decision." I might go back and edit this passage to include a mix of the modalities. Perhaps..."This is really resonating (auditory) with you now isn't it? You've grasped (kinesthetic) all of the important points and you can see (visual) your choice."
By understanding people's patterns of perception, and how they view the world, you can make more of them feel comfortable when they arrive at your website. Your sales message will click with more buyers, and you'll see more sales!
". . . anywhere is the center of the world." Black Elk, Sioux Medicine Man
Copyright © 2006 Daniel Levis
About the author
Daniel Levis is a top marketing consultant & direct response copywriter based in Toronto, Canada. and publisher of the world famous copywriting anthology "Masters of Copywriting" featuring the marketing wisdom of 42 of the world's greatest copywriters, including Clayton Makepeace, Joe Sugarman, Joe Vitale, Bob Bly, and dozens more! For a FREE excerpt visit the below link.
Author: Daniel Levis
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