8 Psychological Triggers of Copywriting

A copywriter knows that to get their readers to do what they want they have to get inside their heads and understand what makes them tick.psychology-image

Psychology is therefore a big part of the copywriting process.

Understanding how your reader feels, what they are looking for in life and what problems they are looking for solutions to is the real key to effective copywriting.

It sounds rather daunting, but it is something that can be easily achieved.

Put yourself in the shoes of your reader – why would they want the product you are selling? What will they get out of it? What problem could they have that would be solved by it?

OK, that may seem too much like guess work for many, so how about doing a bit of research. I am sure you know people from all walks of life, many of whom could be prospective buyers. Talk to them; ask them their opinion on the product. Tell them about it and see how they react. Ask them:

  • What would make them buy?
  • Why they would buy?
  • What they would hope to achieve from buying it?

Armed with your newfound insight in to why they would buy, you now need to incorporate into your copy some psychological triggers that will encourage them to get out their credit cards:

  1. People love surprises – tell them they’ll get a surprise free bonus when ordering.
  2. People want an easier life – make ordering easy and give easy product instructions.
  3. People like security – tell them you provide a secure ordering process and privacy policy.
  4. People like compliments – praise them for considering your product.
  5. People are curious about how it will affect their lifestyle – use ‘Secret’ and ‘Confidential’ to pick their curiosity.
  6. People like to invest in their future – use the words ‘invest in your product’ rather than ‘buy’.
  7. People like to have the newest or latest things – use words like ‘new’, ‘just released’.
  8. People want their problems solved – tell them what problems they have and how your product will solve them.

For many people buying is an emotional action rather than a rational one. By utilising these psychological triggers you can persuade them to buy your product.

The result? Happy customers and a happy copywriting client.

Sally Ormond is a professional freelance copywriter. She has worked with numerous companies spanning a wide range of industries. Her comprehensive range of copywriting services helps her clients save time and money while increasing sales and their market visibility.

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#1 Paul, copysnips.com on 06.23.09 at 12:24 pm

Hi Sally, great list of triggers you have there. I agree that copywriters must also be kind of students of psychology. When writing copy, I always ask myself, What are their DEEPER motivations for buying? What do they REALLY want (besides the obvious benefits), and how can I convey that without being too obvious?

#2 admin on 06.23.09 at 12:29 pm

Hi paul, thanks for your comment. It can certainly be a challenge at times to work out what readers REALLY want but that’s what copywriting is all about!

#3 Copywriter on 06.23.09 at 3:52 pm

Indeed! Copywriting is selling and selling is psychology. As copywriters we all should be students of human psychology.

#4 Kelly on 06.23.09 at 5:43 pm

I just finished my Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in psychology with two minors in Business and communications. This sounds like something I really would like to do. Does anyone have any advice for getting started in the copywriting business?

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