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We have heard enough from sales page gurus on bringing up your prospects’ pain and twist the knife when writing sales copy. Nothing wrong with that (I teach that to my clients too), “fear” can be a powerful motivator. However, “fear” can only take you so far in terms of effectively persuading your readers – and you will probably feel a little pushy and manipulative if you are using “fear” as the main driver for your content.
To be persuasive in your sales letter, you want to address your audience’s deeper needs besides covering the basics:
Future Value – “how is this product or program going to bring me short-term and long-term value?” Address both “intrinsic value” and “utilitarian value”. Intrinsic value can be related to self-worth, self-image and self-esteem. Utilitarian value could be related to many saved, e.g. of stop spending money on fad diets and supplements.
Opportunity Cost – “what is it going to cost me if I don’t take action right away?” If you can tally up the dollar amount they will end up spending (e.g. on fad diets), or the dollar amount they may miss out on creating (e.g. not having the productivity at work to get a raise) by not taking action with you, you make the cost of not purchasing your product or services tangible and “justifiable”.
Instant Gratification – “how long will it take for me to experience the results?” Even if your approach is about gradual changes to achieve long-term results, highlight a few immediate changes that your audience can expect – e.g. in just 2 weeks, you will experience increased energy and focus in all areas of your life.
Personal Control – if you can empower your audience to take control of their life and let them see that they are in control of the outcome of participating in your program, they are more likely to purchase from you.
Social Support – some people need more support from others in achieving their goals. Some people needs accountability. Including some kind of support in your program to address this need – e.g. a Facebook group that adds the community element (and boost the value of your program).
“Bandwidth” – most people are over-committed and already feel overwhelmed. You want to communicate to them that your product or program is easy to implement and doesn’t take them extra time (in fact, will save them time). Add checklist, templates, shopping list, and recipes as bonus and highlight the benefits that these will safe them time and headache. You are knowledgable and you want to tell your audience how much they will learn from your program. However, if you overdo that, your readers will get overwhelmed and may think that they will not get results because they don’t have the time to learn and implement all of them – therefore they shy away from taking action. When you communicate topics covered in your program, use action-oriented descriptions that communicate how the information is “easy-to-implement” (e.g. instead of “learn 25 stress management strategies”, say “implement 3-minute-a-day stress management strategies that fit right into your busy life”)
Resource Availability – “do I need a lot of fancy and expensive equipment to get the results?” You want to reassure your audience that they don’t have to spend extra time and effort to gather materials in order to follow your program and get results. It goes back to “bandwidth” – you want to show your potential clients that your approach is easy to implement and fit right into their busy lives.
Light at the End of the Tunnel – reassure your readers that by following your program, they will achieve their desired results. Tap into the emotions and feelings associated with achieving those results.