Copywriters use a number of different psychological techniques and triggers to convince people to take action.
I want to share one of these copywriting tips with you because I know that you will only use it for good and that your customers will benefit when they are more convinced to use your service.
So, Today’s quick copy tip is:
“For everything you ask your customer to do, give a reason.”
Sound simplistic? Well a reason is a powerful thing and I’d like to explain:
In the 80s, Harvard social psychologist Ellen Langar conducted an experiment by asking people waiting in line to use a photocopy machine if she could push in front.
She would ask using 1 of 3 different ways:
When she asked:
“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox Machine because I’m in a rush?”
she was able to jump the queue 94% of the time.
When she asked:
“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?”
her queue jump rate dropped to 60%.
Not surprising at all, in the first instance, she’s explaining with a valid reason that the person can understand, why she should be allowed to go first.
When she asked:
“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I used the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies”
her queue jump rate was 93%.
There was no compelling reason, but there was a reason.
Now, I’m definitely not advocating that you provide any old reason when you ask your customer to act, but I do want you to realise how providing a reason can make your customers more receptive to acting.
So, where can you provide a reason in your web copy to make an impact? Consider these examples:
“Please re-tweet this article so your community can use it to help their own business.” or
“Sign up to the newsletter because that’s where I share my hottest tips.” or
“Download my report today because it will only be available for free today.”
Even if you’ve already mentioned these facts, boost the effect of the request by following it with a reason immediately after it.
Now it’s over to you, are you offering a written reason at every opportunity in your written copy? Are you missing an opportunity anywhere on your website where you can give an extra gentle nudge to help them take action?
Really pleased you’re enjoying the Copywriting Guilty Secrets course via the newsletter.
“Because” is a great way to slip in your benefits whilst making it conversational to your reader. It has a much bigger impact than simply listing the positive. Great to see you putting them to use with your ethnic skincare products! 🙂
I just read your lesson on Name dropping and it was a great lesson. While I don’t know too many web-famous folk (yet), I certainly will apply what you taught. This lesson was right on.
Also, I’m starting to use “because” as my psychological trigger more. For example, I think I wrote something the other day for my skin care site that said something like, Blended Naturals is your choice for ethnic skin care BECAUSE it contains the essential oils needed to maintain a healthy balance…. or something. I don’t recall it all but it made everything appear logical using the word “because”