I just finished reading Ca$hvertising, a classic book in sales, copywriting – and surprisingly – human psychology.
Written by Drew Eric Whitman, this book came across my path right on time.
I’ve been super interested in all things related to the subconscious mind lately – trying to figure out the hidden, underlying reasons of why we attract certain experiences in life and do the things we do.
Most of the time, the choices we make don’t even stem from the conscious mind at all. Instead, they’re rooted in the subconscious, which rules 90% of the brain. And on top of that, it’s supposedly 30,000 times more powerful.
Well, let’s tie that into a sales scenario.
Imagine yourself for a moment perusing Instagram, liking pics, dropping comments…. you know, the usual.
Then, an ad for some sexy black stiletto high heels pops up in between your friends’ posts and catches your eye.
You might say, “Ooh! These are cute,” and end up clicking through to some random fashion boutique’s website.
After looking everything over, you say, “I’m definitely getting them!”
You break out your Visa, anxiously wait a couple days for shipment, and end up wearing them out on your next dinner date with your boo.
That purchase may seem like it was a conscious decision to make.
Even after justifying it in your head like…
“I’m getting a bargain. I can afford it. I just got paid. I still have enough money for my bills. This is a good purchase.”
That’s still not the hidden, underlying reason why you bought the black stilettos.
Here is the real and honest reason:
You want to look good and feel attractive.
Your reason is really based on companionship, which is one of eight basic desires that Whitman says are embedded in our DNA. It’s one of our primal needs that we’re all born with.
Here is his full list:
1. Survival, enjoyment of life, life extension
Can you suppress your will to survive? Nope. In this world it’s all about “survival of the fittest” – cue Mobb Deep.
2. Enjoyment of food and drink
Can you go without food and water? Not for long!
3. Freedom from fear, pain, danger
Would you purposely put yourself in harm’s way like walking out into fast-moving oncoming traffic, or would you stay safe by waiting until it’s clear to cross the street?
Don’t you want to feel love and attraction? What kind of person wouldn’t?
5. Comfortable living situations
Would you choose discomfort over comfort? Would you sleep in your car if you had an option to sleep indoors? Um, no.
6. To be superior/winning
Don’t you want to be the best at what you do? Don’t you want to have the best life has to offer? Don’t you want to stunt on your haters? I sure do.
7. Care and protection of loved ones
Can you stop caring about your child? If your baby gets sick, don’t you naturally go into panic mode? Heck yeah! As a mom, everything stops for my daughter.
8. Social approval
Don’t you need friends, groups, and social activities to keep you upbeat? Yup. We all want to be liked, well-received, and feel like we’re part of a tribe.
Whitman states that these needs are biologically programmed within us, so there’s no denying what the default answer to these questions should be.
Now switch back to being a marketer…
When it comes to writing for your customer and getting inside her head, keep these eight psychological triggers in mind.
All of them tap into the subconscious, and causes your prospect to buy based on deeply-rooted feelings and emotions.
That is the absolute core of sales.
If you know what your ideal customer’s emotional trigger is, you can get them to buy and keep them coming back to buy some more.
Why? Because what they’re ultimately looking for is the answer to their subconscious desire.
Bottom line is that most customers buy products to boost their egos and impress other people. They’re looking for external “things” to indirectly resolve the internal cravings of their own psyche.
This is the epitome of retail therapy.
So in order to get people to buy from you, you have to figure out a way to make your product appear as if it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Again, by using words in your copy that gets them in their feelings.
Yeah, your fashion boutique might offer a whole new Spring collection of sexy high heels, but it takes more than HD pics and good prices to turn your online window shopper into a buyer.
Your product description needs to be filled with words that makes her visualize wearing the shoes she has her eyes on.
Would she ooze with sex appeal? Would she turn heads? How would she feel about herself? Would she feel like a goddess? A dominatrix, perhaps? What vibe would she be putting out? What is the scenery like? How high is the heel in inches? Are they sturdy and easy to walk in? Do they come in other colors? Say, for example, they also come in red… well what shade of red? Bright, cherry red? A deep, rich burgundy tone?
Be specific! You have to make the product come alive in your customer’s mind.
Here’s a completely different example…
Say you’re the owner of a new soul food catering business and you’ve decided to create some videos to promote your dinner plates on social media.
What would you put in the video ads?
Just a simple “Mama Debbie’s Soul Food Kitchen” with a few food pics, your phone number, and some music playing in the background?
The food may certainly look good, but most of the time, that’s not going to be enough to lure in a rush of new customers.
People want to know what exactly they’re paying for in advance, and for how much.
Your video script should say something like…
“Come in and try our new dinner special at Mama Debbie’s Soul Food Kitchen. Our fluffy, white, made-from-scratch mashed potatoes are drenched in hot, steaming, brown gravy with grilled onions and seasoning. We also have smothered organic chicken right out of the hot oven that just falls off the bone when you pick it up to bite into it. Our simmering, lustrous collard greens are straight off the stove, and our golden buttery cornbread will absolutely melt in your mouth. Order your plate now for only $14.99 on our website, and we’ll even throw in an extra side of creamy macaroni and cheese made from Mama Debbie’s secret down-home recipe from Georgia.”
Now I’m super hungry and wouldn’t mind a plate of soul food right now. I can practically taste it and smell it because that copy was so vivid and colorful.
If I came across a video ad like this, I would definitely replay it a few times, drool a little bit, and be inclined to order online.
Even if I couldn’t make an order right then and there, I certainly wouldn’t forget an ad like that. It would stick out in my mind, and I would be sure to go back to it later in the day or the next day.
If you can draw out a potential customer’s five senses through your choice of words, you’re definitely on the right track to making the sale.
To sum it up, knowing the subconscious triggers of the human brain will have almost every customer putty in your hands.
Do what you can to make your words ignite their inner selves to take the action you want them to take…
And that is what you call a copywriting success.
By the way, I highly recommend Ca$hvertising. It’s definitely become a new staple in my ebook library. Here it is on Amazon if you’re interested in reading it.