8 Lesser-Known Psychological Techniques To Use In Your Copy

Psychological hacks for your copy
Image Souce: psychologytoday.com

Consumers are always unpredictable; understanding them better helps you deal with them better. 

One of the elements at all the significant touchpoints of your consumer is “Copy.” Hence it becomes crucial to how you write it.

Copywriting is all about persuading your consumers for the desired action. For this to happen, you need to understand your consumer inside out.

But how?

Connecting with them at a psychological level gives you an idea about — “why they do what they do.” 

When you know what type of cue can trigger a particular action, you win. You reverse engineer the whole emotion and plan your copy.

Let’s try to understand a few psychological triggers which you could use in your copy to make your product look irresistible and drive sales or any desired action by your consumers.

#1. Active Voice over Passive Voice

Always use Active Voice instead of Passive Voice in your copy.

 Why?

Copywriting is all about persuading your customers to take the desired action. Active voice sentences, the subject performs the work, which helps the customers construct a mental image of them doing it.

On the contrary, Passive voice sentences are complex and might make the readers deviate from the primary offering or the thought you are trying to construct. 

As something/someone acts on the subject, It becomes difficult to comprehend the emotion you are trying to convey. 

Let’s look at an example:

We are going to watch a movie tonight.

A movie is going to be watched by us tonight.

You see from the above sentences, the subject always performs in the active voice, and in Passive voice, the subject is the recipient of the action.

Also, the complexity of the passive sentence can easily drift the customer from not taking any action on the website or an AD.

So always be “Active” in your copy.

#2. Positive Frames

 Everyone wants to stay positive all the time. Isn’t it?

So, your copywriting should focus on framing the solution and showing your prospect that empathy is always a win-win because it shows the positive benefits of using a product or a service.

No one wants to hear anything negative about your problems or pain points, and this might drift your customers away and look for alternative solutions because you instill fear and tell what might go wrong if you don’t use the product or service.

Let’s try to understand this better using an example:

Positive: Get The Perfect Wedding Suit For Your Big Day!

Negative: Don’t Ruin Your Once In A Lifetime Wedding With A Not-So-Perfect Suit!

You can see from the above examples — you get motivated when you read the positive copy, and on the other side, the negative copy puts you in thought and scares the hell out of you imagining if it happened to you. (Few industries do use negative frame but again depends on the offering) 

Positive Vibes Only

#3. Be Specific

When you want to connect with your prospects, you need always be specific about their problems, pain points, solutions because your consumers want to feel as if you are directly talking to them.

Lose your weight today! (Generic)

Look slimmer and dapper for your prom night! (Specific)

You can see the specific copy connects well with your audience, who is someone from high school and its prom time.

Let’s look at another example,

How to get subscribers for your blog? (Generic)

How to get 1584 subscribers for your blog with just one article? (Specific)

I would be interested in reading the 2nd headline and would trust more. Here’s why:

Specificity gives me a quantifiable number of subscribers I can get and about the amount of work required to get it, i.e., One Article  Hence it sounds real.

Having a vague headline like the first one is not going to make an impact or persuade a prospect to click on it.

 Let’s go SPECIFIC. 

#4. Freedom to quit/cancel

To all the click baits, you want just a click or a customer who trusts you and is willing to make a transaction with you?

Always have a long term vision and never force a customer to do something out of their will. Provide so much value that your audience would love subscribing; however, you should so keep your exit door quite visible.

Similarly, whenever you are writing a copy, always tell your audience upfront about it. Make your offer in the best possible way, yet tell them they are free to accept the offer or look for an alternative even though it might be obvious.

Providing an option like this will build an immense amount of trust, and they might end up considering your offer a priority. This technique is known as “But You Are Free[BYAF]”

 Like you have a “Subscribe” button, also have an “Unsubscribe” button.

#5. Benefits over features

 “Every new customer gets 2000 bonus air miles” (Features)

“When you join our membership program, you will be rewarded with enough Airmiles to take two round trips flights to anywhere in Europe” (Benefits)

It’s no brainer to say the 2nd point makes more sense to any customer because it gives context to how the Airmiles will help him/her without which the first sentence will not make any sense for me to take action or buy a membership.

It’s always important to answer your customer’s question – “what’s in it for me?” and features never answer that because they talk more about the product than the customer.

All you need to do is, have all the features and then map them to the particular pain point of the customers or how each of the features will help your customer solve their problems.

You can use a framework “FAB” Features → Advantage → Benefit. Here’s how you do it. 

  • List Down all the features of your product.
  • Define the advantages of the features.
  • Map the features/advantages to the particular pain point or desires of the customers.

It is always essential to deep dive into benefits rather than just go with the surface level benefits, which might not help make much impact with your copy.

For this, you can use the “X Whys” technique. “X” refers to the number of times you ask why a particular feature is benefiting the end-user. It can be 3,5 or 10 whatever works for you.

#6. Future forecasting

Emotions drive consumers into taking actions, which are later backed by logic after the purchase. Emotional elements in a Copy can drive purchase behavior at a higher rate than logic can.

Just imagine, you see everyone around you using a luxury phone around you, and you see very low of yourself around them. So, what do you do?

You just go and make a purchase even if you have to pay it as an EMI, but you will never tell this as a reason for your purchase. You may say better camera quality, long-lasting battery, and so on.. But the reason you ought this was for social status.

There you go — An emotional decision to purchase and backing it up with logical reasons. Isn’t that great, and wouldn’t you want to use this in your copy?

Let me tell you how

“Future Forecasting” — you paint a picture of your customers’ after state once they use/purchase your product. (Pro Tip: Always try to have this in the beginning elements of your copy, like headlines, leads, etc..)

This element will help you capture the attention required to hook them to read on till the last sentence of your page.

#7. Use metaphors to explain emotions.

No one wants to read something which they cannot understand. Prospects stick on to your copy when they can comprehend pretty well with what you are trying to convey. 

Hence writing jargony or anything complex might shoo your users away from your website or copy in no time.

What else can connect your prospects better than emotions, but how can you use it? That’s where “Metaphors” come in.

Metaphors help you explain technical or any complicated information in a straightforward, understandable, and fun way. Let’s try to understand this with an example.

Here’s a snipped from the above section:

You should start thinking of copywriting as a Sales Guy who is making a sale for you by pitching all the visitors on the website.

The above sentence explains someone about the role of copywriting on their sales page in a fun and understandable way which your visitors/prospects can connect well and keep them hooked to your copy.  

You see, it gives you a picture of what copywriting is on a sales page with just a sentence that can be comprehended quite quickly compared to conveying the same in life-less, jargon-rich complex sentences.

#8.Cover most of the objections

You should start thinking of copywriting as a Sales Guy who is making a sale for you by pitching all the visitors on the website.

So, what do sales professionals do?

Quashing all the objections a customer has, and when you can do that, customers might not feel confident to make a transaction with you. 

Similarly, you should craft your sales page or copy to answer most of the common objections your customers might have and explain them as clearly as possible on your page.

Let’s understand with a simple example:

Say you are selling a SAAS product, which is a new thing in the market, and customers are always skeptical about making a commercial commitment. How can we clear this objection?.

One of the ways is telling them upfront about No questions asked kind of refund policy; this immediately gives your prospects confidence to try your product as they always have in the back of their mind that they will get a refund if they don’t like the product.

Start researching about all the objections your customers or prospects might have in your industry. You can use Quora, Reddit, and any other specific forums for your industry.

Conclusion

There you go with all the psychological techniques you need to transform visitors from strangers to die-hard fans. There are many more techniques apart from this, but these are good enough, to begin with, your copywriting journey. Which one of the above approaches has worked for you? Tell me in the comments below.

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