The first word you write is a killer. It either hooks the reader and makes them want to move on to the next sentence, eager for the next juicy bits that you will feed them or they will click away in an instant, eager to find mental fodder that is more to their liking.
Once you understand the psychology behind a reader’s actions, you can write copy that is so compelling, they’ll be hungry to dive right into whatever you have to say.
These proven psychological tricks will help your copy be so magnetic that you’ll get more traffic, experience better engagement, and a lower bounce rate on all your pages. Most importantly, you can turn Internet traffic into a major part of your brand’s bottom line.
1. Snag them with a Jaw-Dropping Headline
80% of people will read your headlines, but only 20% of them will read the rest of your content.
You can be writing a sticky note. If it doesn’t have a catchy title, no one will read it. If it’s an article, newsletter, sales copy, blog entry, web page, landing page, product description, email or business report the same holds true. This is where you entice, engage, and urge them to read on.
Keep it lean, exciting, informative, on-target (never misleading) and exceptionally clear.
If you miss this, you’re dead in the water. People are too busy for lackluster, or vague titles that don’t tell them what they are about to read.
2. Create an Immediate Reward
The way our brains work is simple. We try to avoid discomfort and seek out pleasure. This is where the concept of an immediate reward can motivate people to keep reading all the way to the end of your article or sales copy. When you say somewhere in the beginning, “at the end, we’re going to give away the best secret of all,” the brain gets a little dopamine hit which is caused when we anticipate something positive.
You can also use our sense of urgency and impatience to offer that reward right away. If you add another line of copy that infers people can skip to the “good stuff” then they will get another dopamine hit, which then creates an urge to engage with you or buy your products.
3. Use Atmospherics
Singapore Airlines has one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings of every airline because they have paid immaculate attention to atmospherics. These are signals sent to the brain that create pleasure utilizing the sense of touch, smell, sight, sound, and taste.
They have a floral signature fragrance that is sprayed on flights before they are boarded, and the staff wears the same scent. Your taste buds are engaged the moment you step on the plane when they offer you fresh dates or other tasty snacks. Hot towels are offered for your hands, and the color scheme is repeated in every detail. Inviting, and soothing music plays as you stow your carry-on luggage and settle in. Even the temperature of the plane is kept in a tight range so as to ensure passenger comfort.
All of this effort is meant to be a positive barrage for the senses. These details make you enjoy your flight to a greater degree and then crave the airline for future flights. Retail stores everywhere use a similar tactic because they know that if you are in a good mood, you are going to spend more.
How does this apply to your copy? After all, you can’t alter someone’s smell, hearing, or touch when you are just presenting a written page before them, or can you? The fact is that the brain doesn’t know the difference between an imagined scent of an orange, and the actual experience of an orange. Just try it. If you imagine sucking on a sweet, juicy orange for a few moments your mouth with actually start to salivate – even with no orange in sight.
If you can use evocative detail in your writing, you can instill happiness, joy, elation, or other emotions in your reader, thus causing them to have a positive experience with your brand.
4. Know Your Audience
Go ahead and tattoo this one on your brain. If you are writing to six-year-old girls who love soccer, or 70-year-old, retired pensioners who want a safe place to store their remaining wealth, you need to know it. You can’t ever create compelling copy without knowing who your audience is.
There are tons of demographic tools out there that will help you with his task, but Think With Google is one of them. It provides tools to explore consumer trends and strengthen your marketing strategy.
Social Mention is also helpful. It is a social media search and analysis platform that aggregates user-generated content into a single stream of information.
5. Be Memorable But Brief
The average adult attention span these days is about nine seconds, the same as a goldfish. Enough said.
6. Tell Your Reader Exactly What You Want Them to Do
Did you know that if you write in your calendar, “Call Fast Lube to make an appointment to get oil changed on car at 888-888-7651,” rather than “oil change” that you are ten times more likely to get your task done? This is because the brain will naturally resist any action that it thinks is difficult or challenging in any way. The more direct, specific, and persuasive you make your calls-to-action, the more follow-through you can expect.
Also put a call-to-action (CTA) everywhere. The more the better!
7. Solve a Problem
With a million problems of their own, people are eager to pay attention to anyone with a quick-fix. Offer a real solution to a real problem and watch your engagement rates soar.
8. Don’t Talk About How Great Your Company Is
People don’t give a flying banana whether your company has won a million awards. They care if other people are happy with what you sell. Talk about customer benefits, not company benefits, or you’ll turn potential customers away. Amazon does this to a fault. You can use them as an example of customer-centric business acumen.
9. Treat Your Blog Like You’re Writing Sales Copy
Even if you don’t sell anything, you should write copy on your blog as if you selling your ideas. If your non-profit or environmental awareness blog were selling its philosophies, how would you write your copy differently? All copy is sales copy. Train yourself to think this way.
10. People Love to Be Loved
Treat your reader as if they are the most important person in the world. Never talk down to them. Love them, inform them, and shower them with gifts. Offer free seminars, eBooks, tips, hacks, and pointers. Offer them free stuff with a purchase. The more you love them up, the more they will come back.