One of the most important concepts in copywriting and sales is understanding how your customer thinks and feels. You can’t sell to them very well if you don’t know what they need, fear, and hope for. If only we had a crystal ball, we could sell to just about any customer that came our way.
Unfortunately, we don’t have anything like that. At the same time, we can consider ourselves lucky because there are certain aspects of human psychology that are nearly universal. When we understand these principles of psychology, we can better connect with our customers and increase conversion rates.
Many Internet marketing sales pages incorporate the same tired elements in a formulaic way. These marketers use and re-use concepts they’ve seen work for others. There’s a reason these elements of sales copy work–but there’s also a reason to think outside the box and do things a little bit differently. Understand your customer and you’ll understand what to put on your sales page, whether it’s a commonly used concept or not.
Beyond the general formula, few marketers really think about the psychology of their customers and why marketers should understand it. I think that’s a pretty big mistake–you have to know why it works so you can use it in a better and more effective way. It’s incredible how a few tweaks can dramatically increase or decrease your sales.
While these psychological concepts are generally universal, you really can’t sell very well to your audience if you don’t frame your efforts correctly. The type of marketing that works for a senior citizen may not be the same thing that works for a teenager. When you deepen your understanding, you’ll also open your eyes to the needs of your specific market. The elements of psychology may be universal but the way you use them is not.
People Buy More from Those They Know, Like, and Trust
It is commonly known that people buy more from those they know, like, and trust. That’s why I, and others, spend so much time talking about relationship marketing. If people like and trust you, your conversion rates will be pretty spectacular no matter what you do.
But, it goes beyond someone liking you. It’s very important that they also identify with you. They could like you very much but feel that your success, your products, or your way of doing things is very much out of their reach. If they can’t identify and connect with you, the sale is lost.
They Need to Know That You Understand Them
That’s why so many copywriters spend time weaving a story into the copy that takes the “I’ve been in your shoes” angle. They do that because it works so well. Everyone in this world wants to be understood and appreciated. They want to hear the rags to riches story. They want to hear how you struggled or wanted the same thing they want.
Helping people identify with you is a fantastic way to set yourself apart as you write copy. You’re always looking for ways to make connections. To do that, you have to deeply research your market and learn what makes them tick. You need to share your own story and your own thoughts and feelings from your journey. When you do that, people will identify with you and buy from you more readily after reading your sales copy.
Offer Social Proof in Your Copy
People also want to feel like they aren’t alone. They want to know that others have had the same experiences they have had. In this age of shysters and Internet marketers who give the industry a bad name, they want to know that they can trust you. The very best solution to this need is to offer social proof right there on the sales page.
Social proof can come in the form of testimonials, results-based information, case studies, data, reviews, and so on.
Have you ever purchased a product from a viral video? Consider DollarShaveClub.com. If you haven’t watched their video, drop everything and do it right away, because it’s phenomenal, free advertising. People passed this commercial around very willingly, talked about it all over the Internet, and signed up for the shave club in droves because the commercial is unique, funny, and all around awesome. Not to mention the service itself gets fantastic reviews.
Study their website and video. Now, imagine they just had a typical commercial and webpage for their product– nothing really of note for people to talk about, just the same old, same old. There wouldn’t be much social proof there, would there? I’m willing to bet they’d also be out of business. Instead, the power of social proof is very strongly present and their business thrives on the results.
It’s not easy to make something go viral—especially a sales page. But it is easy to do it great job of standing out in the marketplace, making your customers happy, and getting people to talk about you and your product because you stand out with your copy and sales materials. These are all things you should ask of your customers and encourage them to do–often all it takes is to ask. Also consider how you can set your marketing apart from everything else out there so they’ll do it on their own. When you do, the social proof will be there and you should see your sales dramatically improve.
People also want to buy from those who have some authority in the marketplace and that should shine through in your copy. Would you rather buy a product on Kindle marketing from someone who’s actually done it successfully or from someone who has just heard that Kindle products sell really well? Of course you want to buy from someone who has the experience. This is a common thread–we want to feel like we are looking up to those who deserve to have us look up to them.
You may very well be an expert in your marketplace, but is it evident to your customers? If other people do not see you as an authority, it can really hurt your sales. Sometimes, all it takes to become an authority is to make it clear that you are one. Some of the best copywriters in the world have that reputation only because they have declared that they are the best. Declare, and show, that you are the best in your space.
The Power of Scarcity
Human nature means that we often want something we can’t have or that others can’t have. It’s all about scarcity. I’m sure you’ve been to a sales page where the marketer claimed the price was rising in just a few days’ or hours’ time. You’ve also been to sales pages where there were only a few more copies available.
Some marketers include these things on their sales page because they’re yanking your chain. They’re trying to trick you into buying more quickly by invoking elements of scarcity. Most marketers, though, legitimately use this technique because it solidly boosts conversions.
People love knowing that they got a better price than someone else. They love knowing that they bought the product before it was taken off the market. People are also incredibly busy. There are thousands of distractions both online and off. If someone landed on your sales page and left without buying, who’s to know if they didn’t just get distracted or forget because it wasn’t pressing enough? Maybe they were debating it, sitting on the fence and deciding to save the decision for a later time, only to find life that life is so busy they never come back.
But if they know that the price is rising or the product is going away, there isn’t any time to waste. The fence sitter will be pushed to the “I’m buying!” stage before you know it. Using legitimate forms of scarcity on your sales pages is a fantastic way to boost sales. You’ve seen it used successfully, so now it’s time to use it yourself.
Using Psychology in Your Copy
There are certain times when you’ll want to use just one of these elements of persuasion and times when you’ll want to use multiple elements. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but these are arguably the most important ones. Some of them, such as building your authority, will happen over time. You have to put the pieces in place, starting today. Other elements, such as scarcity, can be implemented right away.
No matter how well these principles work, however, you have to make sure that your use of them is aligned with your business and principles. Some Internet marketing sales funnels have gone stale because of the hype and overdone nature.
Keep your own sales copy fresh. Give people what they want and need. Always focus on building relationships with your customer base and letting that shine through in your copy. It is in your best interest and theirs.