As humans the way we react, think and behave are all influenced by subconscious and unconscious biases. We can be predictable in our reactions and are often motivated to act when we see psychological triggers.
As a marketer and business owner it’s important to make a connection with your customers and potential customers. A way to do that is through the use of empathy. Looking for ways to solve their pains, connect to their feelings and relate to what’s happening in their life.
Usually, the first thing to do is create your ideal customer persona (worksheet here). Once that’s done, it’s time to do the work to translate that empathy and insight into your copy or service offers.
If you’re writing copy with strong calls to actions or sales intent, tapping into some of the 7 motivators below can help you. You’ll attract more prospects and turn them into customers.
1. Pain Avoidance
Psychologists will tell you pain avoidance is one of the largest motivators of all human behavior.
How many times have you said to yourself – oh god, can’t someone just take this away from me, it’s so painful to do this? I’ll do anything to avoid this.
Cue, magic diet pills, shakes and quick fix extreme diets. You get the idea.
We will do/try pretty much anything to avoid the pain.
Make sure you address your customers pain up front so they relate immediately and can see how your product or service will take away that pain for them. eg. Not enough time in the day to do your marketing? Outsource to me and I’ll free up your time to work on what’s important to you.
2. Pleasure Attainment
Pleasure. A close second in the motivation stakes.
Who doesn’t want to feel good? It can be argued that either pain avoidance or pleasure attainment is at the core of every human decision.
- Buying your product or service = pleasure
- Not buying = pain
It’s why the scene (you know the one) from Harry Met Sally was so funny. Everyone could relate.
I’ll have what she’s having thanks! That lady saw Meg Ryan enjoying herself (was going to write pleasure but it sounded so wrong!), associated it with whatever Meg Ryan has ordered off the menu and wanted the same. She wanted her own pleasure.
You need to call out the potential gains and benefits a prospect will get when they buy your product or service.
Help them imagine the pleasure they’ll have from working with you or purchasing your goods.
3. The Power of “New”
On a physiological level, novelty boosts the release of dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter and one of its functions is to stimulate your belief that a reward is just around the corner.
It’s why people will line up for days before the release of a new Apple phone or get excited about a new restaurant opening up around the corner. Our brain likes the novelty of having something new that other people haven’t experienced before.
Using the word new in your copy will help spike interest in what you’re doing and will drive natural hype and conversation around your launch (if it’s interesting enough!). If you’re re-releasing an existing product or service you could say ‘New and Improved 2018 version’ or something to that effect.
4. The Need to Know Why
There’s a reason those posts from friends who give cryptic updates drive us nuts. We’re programmed to want to know why.
Reality TV shows (MAFS anyone?) have us talking about them because our very nature wants us to get to the bottom of things and understand why Dean and Devina do anything. And don’t get me started on the weirdo Nassar. Others may be thinking Why oh why do these shows even exist??
Product ads that show what (the benefits) and how (explain how it works) and why (why it works – the because) do well.
Explain to your leads exactly why they should become a customer. When you use use the incredible power of the word ‘because’, you will fulfill the psychological need in your prospects’ minds to know why they should do something.
5. Social proof
The internet has made it super easy to show Social Proof to your potential customers.
Us humans like to follow the herd, and if there is enough proof that others have done it before us, then we’re likely to follow suit.
We’re looking to find proof that it works, was worth it and delivers what was promised.
Testimonials, referrals and case studies from satisfied customers prove to your leads that what you’re offering works and delivers what is promised.
6. The Desire to Belong
Most human beings have an innate desire to be part of something that is bigger than themselves.
But in today’s digital world, the reality is most people feel more disconnected and lonely than ever before. It’s why Facebook groups are popular. It’s why words like Tribe are gaining more momentum and people are seeking places to find the connection they crave.
If you can find a way to create a community around your product or service you’ll have extremely loyal customers.
7. The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
In a social sense, FoMo is the fear that everyone else is having more fun, more excitement and more adventures than you. It’s why people stay glued to their phone till 2 am or are the last to leave the party in case they miss out on something good.
From a customer’s point of view, it’s the fear that missing out on something will mean their life or business isn’t going to be as awesome as they want.
If you were to let your customers know there’s only a window of opportunity to work with you I guarantee they will be lining up. As a freelancer, this happens when I say to my clients – hey I’m having a week off. I become a work magnet. New customers, old ones needing urgent work etc. It’s the law of attraction at play.
No one likes to think they missed out on a good thing. You can compound the effectiveness of this psychological sales trigger by limiting how many products or offers you have available.
I’ve seen this done really well in small ETSY stores or Slow Fashion stores (handmade). They build hype around an offer, letting people know in advance there’s only a few available (but conveniently never release what that number is) and ‘sell out’ quite quickly. It creates a buzz around their story, people who got one feel special and people who missed out will do anything to avoid missing out next time.
If you have a limited release offer plan out your lead sequence carefully. Announce, attract hype, ask for buy-in (opt-in to know more), release and follow up.
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