NLP copywriting power words

by 41 comments
Interesting new study on NLP power words:

Persuade with Silky Smooth Copy | Neuromarketing


- Rick Duris
#copy writing #copywriting #nlp #power #words

  • Profile picture of the author Steve Hill
    Roger Dooley's book, Brainfluence, is also a pretty good reference for marketers and business owners. It contains many subtle and not-so-subtle techniques to change people's perceptions, attention, and actions.

    While some of these 100 recommendations could use further proof of effectiveness, others are techniques of obvious merit, such as the measurable value in responding quickly and sincerely to customer complaints. (A Harris survey showed 18% of those receiving timely responses to to bad online reviews became loyal customers, and nearly 70% reversed the negative content by deleting the negative review or posting a second positive one.)

    There is also a section on adjectives that work, which is useful to copywriters. Would you rather have just plain salmon or Wild Alaskan Salmon (cue images of strong, robust salmon swimming in pristine waters)?
  • Profile picture of the author Harlan
    Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

    Interesting new study on NLP power words:

    Persuade with Silky Smooth Copy | Neuromarketing


    - Rick Duris
    That was pretty limp.

    Use sensation based words.

    That's new?

    What good copywriter ever didn't?

    That's Intro To NLP 101
  • Profile picture of the author Steve Hill
    Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

    That was pretty limp.

    Use sensation based words.

    That's new?

    What good copywriter ever didn't?

    That's Intro To NLP 101
    I think Rick was referring to the study itself, not Roger Dooley's take on it.

    The study presents fMRI-based evidence that textural metaphors (such as "rough") activated the texture-selective part of somatosensory cortex, or the part of the brain known as the parietal operculum. In other words, texture-based words activated areas of the brain associated with touch.

    Roger then posited that those kinds of terms might be more memorable and impactful, and went on from there.

    Perhaps it would be more informative to read the interview with one of the co-authors of the study, Krishnankutty Sathian, who is a professor of neurology, rehab medicine, and psychology. It is located at This Is Your Brain on Metaphor - IEEE Spectrum.

    So while using sensation-based words is not new, sometimes it's useful to study the science behind how and why they work.
  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    Thanks, Steve for the link.

    I found the study truly fascinating.

    With the craft of copywriting changing as I write, personally I'm looking for ways to get more out of every word.

    - Rick Duris
  • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
    Will someone please explain what NLP actually is? I mean, what do practitioners of NLP do that is not done by others?

    And please don't give me the modeling excellence line. People have been copying what works for the entirety of history.
  • Profile picture of the author Bruce Wedding
    You guys don't realize you're dealing with the self-proclaimed master of NLP copywriting You're not going to be able to teach him anything about NLP. I mean come on, this is a guy who wrote this page:

    Video « Beach Millions

    Warning: View at your own risk. Because of the author and his powers over the mind, you will have to use incredible will power to avoid buying the product when you watch.
  • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
    Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post

    Will someone please explain what NLP actually is? I mean, what do practitioners of NLP do that is not done by others?

    And please don't give me the modeling excellence line. People have been copying what works for the entirety of history.
    Neuro - brain activity. Frequencies. Think alpha waves, theta waves etc.

    Linguistic - speech. Or in this case the written word as applied to copywriting in our case.

    Programming, as in programming sensory input into the subconscious mind. Turning off the conscious mind which raises the objection to allow the unconscious mind more freedom to influence positively any desired action needed on the part of the programmer.

    Certain words used in combination for example can spark off in the subconscious mind a fight or flight response mechanism.

    Using fear words will typically trigger either of the above responses even if the recipient isn't aware directly of what is happening to them.

    Used carefully you can manufacture the results you're looking for, for whatever set number of variables or outcomes you want based on different standard personality types.

    An experienced copywriter with a very good understanding of the target market can manipulate these sensory and/or chemical organs knowing full well a certain percentage of said audience will nearly always respond in a certain way from the programming or words chosen to elicit the response desired.

    An NLP expert is simply aware of how to press these buttons whilst for the most part most people aren't aware of the actual processes involved at a deeper level although to some extent, knowingly or otherwise, most if not all people do this to some extent or another.

    In a nutshell.

    At least, this is my personal take on it.

    I could go a lot deeper into this but I haven't the time for it right now.


    Mark Andrews
  • Profile picture of the author videolover7
    Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

    Ah, it works but the subject is unaware that it works and there's no objective proof that it works.

    I like it.
    Some copywriters use NLP to help position themselves. Smart.

    Some copywriters believe those who use NLP to help position themselves. Dumb.

    VL
  • Profile picture of the author Steve Hill
    Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post

    You guys don't realize you're dealing with the self-proclaimed master of NLP copywriting You're not going to be able to teach him anything about NLP.
    Yep, I do know of Harlan's field. For what it's worth, it looks like this particular research helps to validate some of the tenets of NLP, so it may be of interest even to an established NLP practitioner.

    Given the professional controversy around the subject of NLP, any science to help back it up would seem to be a good thing.

    See Neuro-linguistic programming - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia for a quite a bit more information about NLP. Keep in mind that it may be biased by the author(s) of the Wikipedia entry, and it may or may not be accurate.

    In any case, we're not trying to be NLP specialists (and apparently there is quite a bit involved with doing that the right way, especially for psychiatric practice). Perhaps a better term for copywriters would be persuasive copywriting, which includes some lessons from NLP, as well as resources such as Cashvertising, Brain Audit, and other layman references.

    Some copywriters (such as Jennie Heckel) say applying NLP principles in their copy works well, so it could be a useful tool for those that want to take the time to study it.
  • Profile picture of the author Bruce Wedding
    Originally Posted by Steve Hill View Post

    Some copywriters (such as Jennie Heckel) say applying NLP principles in their copy works well, so it could be a useful tool for those that want to take the time to study it.
    And perhaps it is, but not the way Jennie Heckel does it, IMHO. Read her own sales page. If you want to see her "subtle" NLP, just read the bold print. Things like...

    Here's how a project goes....

    Let's agree that I've chatted with you and I've accepted you as a client.

    Then all that's left for you to do is to have you fill out a short questionnaire. I will review all the pertinent facts about what you need for your new sales letter and product launch.

    Then we schedule a chat to go over it all to be sure I am clear on what you want done.

    We take time to discuss the needs you have to promote your product and what resources you have to roll out this product launch.

    One thing to remember is... people hate being sold.

    People LOVE TO BUY.


    Get a sales letter copywriter who knows how to

    write persuasive, subliminal copy!


    So my copy subliminally seduces them -- it goes under their radar using NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) to hit their hidden triggers -- those real reasons they would want to buy.

    Once you hone in on those 'hidden reasons people buy' -- you know, the ones they don't want to admit they have that's getting them to click the buy button -- then getting that darn buy button clicked -- well that's simple!

    Remember what you THINK is the reason that people buy may have NOTHING to do with their needing/buying your product. Instead its all about their WANTING to buy your product on a deep emotional level. We nail their emotions to the wall and they'll whip out their credit cards and buy.

    One last thing...

    Please understand the importance of the fact...


    The single worst mistake you can make...


    Hire a copywriter without a proven record.

    Or heaven forbid -- you force yourself to write it yourself!

    Be honest with yourself. You've thought about taking a stab at writing your own copy, haven't you?

    Why go through all that pain and anguish? When you don't have to force yourself to write copy -- not when you know I'm here.

    Remember writing your own copy -- well that's as painful as getting your aching tooth filled... am I right?

    Let's prevent you getting a terrible toothache -- well, maybe we would downgrade that to a terrible, migraine headache?

    Ask yourself this important question and answer it truthfully.

    Why would you even want to struggle with trying to write your own copy and dooming your business to lackluster or low sales?

    You'll agree it's practically a crime to put yourself through this kind of misery...

    Ok, then we are in agreement. You want me to write your copy.
    It's so freakin' obvious that it's offensive. If this is NLP applied at its finest, I'm disgusted.

    Look... create movies in the prospects mind, lead them to their own conclusions, which "magically" align with your desires. You don't need to study NLP to do this, but you do need to practice.

    Ok, back to the beach
  • Profile picture of the author Steve Hill
    Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post

    If you want to see her "subtle" NLP, just read the bold print. It's so freakin' obvious that it's offensive.
    If the readers knew nothing about NLP, would it be obvious to them? We'd have to remember what it was like not knowing.

    The real question is whether it provides results for her particular niche and customers, and since she is currently #2 on Elance for copywriting, it appears that it does (on Elance at least, in combination with all of the other factors that go into a successful business such as pricing, reliability, accessibility, networking, personality, etc. etc.).

    Jennie did say once that she saw a significant, measurable difference in copy conversions after applying the principles of NLP to her copywriting, but without specifics, it's hard to tell exactly how much it helped, or see her before and after examples of it used in marketing copy.

    Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post

    Look... create movies in the prospects mind, lead them to their own conclusions, which "magically" align with your desires. You don't need to study NLP to do this, but you do need to practice.
    Great timeless advice right there. In a related reference, there is a short book called "Movies in the Mind: How to build a short story" by Colleen Mariah Rae. While it's somewhat specific to the author's particular (and sometimes peculiar) thought processes, there are some good story development techniques throughout.

    One useful exercise in particular was how to develop a story (with setting, props, and characters) forward and backward from a specific scene as seen in the mind's eye. It's very useful when a particular scene is desired and there is a need to develop the surrounding story.

    When combined with copywriting knowledge, specific desired outcomes, classic story outlines such as the Hero's Journey, persuasive copywriting, and practice, that's a pretty potent blend.
  • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
    Love this. Back when I was studying screenwriting, I had a professor that taught similar methods, but I doubt she thought of it as NLP. She encouraged us to avoid adjectives when possible and opt for descriptive action words instead.

    He shuffled instead of walking slowly.

    She chortled instead of laughing derisively.

    They collapsed instead of falling down.

    When I describe things, I try to stick to that wisdom - it's easy to cut down unnecessary words when you vary descriptions and don't rely on adjectives all the time.

    I promise that random ramble was tangentially related. It's the descriptions that make copywriting fun for me - finding different ways to say the same things we've all heard. Creativity, folks!

    Thanks for sharing, Rick!
  • Profile picture of the author Doceye
    Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post

    You guys don't realize you're dealing with the self-proclaimed master of NLP copywriting You're not going to be able to teach him anything about NLP. I mean come on, this is a guy who wrote this page:

    Video « Beach Millions
    Oh, my ...

    It's Harlan Livingston Seagull.
  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    Originally Posted by Doceye View Post

    Oh, my ...

    It's Harlan Livingston Seagull.
    Huh? The waves are too loud here.

    These beaches can get noisy...
  • Profile picture of the author Doceye
    Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

    Huh? The waves are too loud here.

    These beaches can get noisy...
    Maxie ... shhhhhhh!!!!!!!!

    Hold it down! The thought police are right next door dismantling another post that runs counter to the Fatherland's sense of propriety.

    You don't want to get us sent to the camps, do you?

    Now pass that nose cleaner, would 'ya?
  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    Originally Posted by Doceye View Post

    Maxie ... shhhhhhh!!!!!!!!

    Hold it down! The thought police are right next door dismantling another post that runs counter to the Fatherland's sense of propriety.

    You don't want to get us sent to the camps, do you?

    Now pass that nose cleaner, would 'ya?
    Those darn thought police...

    Are those camps any fun?
  • Profile picture of the author Doceye
    Actually they're quite painful.

    They torture you 24/7 with recordings of beach sounds until you promise to donate all your money to Greenpeace.

    But you do get all the "boat drinks" you want. You know, like the one with the multi-colored parasol Harlan sports in his "Beach Millions" video.
  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    Originally Posted by Doceye View Post

    Actually they're quite painful.

    They torture you 24/7 with recordings of beach sounds until you promise to donate all your money to Greenpeace.

    But you do get all the "boat drinks" you want. You know, like the one with the multi-colored parasol Harlan sports in his "Beach Millions" video.
    Actually, I thought he looked like the type that would have a beer can in his hand.

    Not sure what was with the umbrella drink...must be an NLP thing.

    Don't get me started Doceye...I'll whip out my umbrella drink and try to hypnotize you into buying my latest course on making $2 dollars while you sleep by using websites...
  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
    Now, now ladies. Behave, please.
  • Profile picture of the author Jason Fladlien
    NLP often gets confused with hypnosis.

    NLP is a method to MODEL a certain behavior. So NLP in copywriting would be to study a great copywriter and figure out how they make their decisions for writing headlines/hooks, laying out the letter, focusing on hot buttons, positioning the offer, etc.

    The refinement is not what they tell you... that's not a model. You have to know how to figure out what they do even if they themselves aren't aware at it. You have to figure out how to elicit their strategies - that's where it's important to know NLP.

    So if you asked a copywriter - "How do you know when you have a great headline" and they answer - "It just pops out at me then I start humming along and next thing I know I'm in the groove and the copy is done!"

    Their internal process is Visual (pops out) Audio (humming) Audio (groove).

    More important is if I ask them to describe to me what they see, hear and feel internally when they are in the "copywriting zone".

    If almost every copywriter who gets in the zone sees moving images, close and larger than life with vivid bright colors... guess what? I'm going to start visualizing moving images of me writing world class copy with vivid colors

    In my opinion, one of the great contributions from NLP was the "phobia cure" invented by Bandler. He discovered how to cure almost any phobia using in less than 5 minutes. How'd he do it? He took an ad out in the paper asking for people who had phobias and got rid of them to call him - and he interviewed them.

    What he discovered was a pattern - people "seeing themselves" from afar just doing what they were afraid of, and "looking back" at all the times they struggled with their phobia. So he then took that and made a model:

    Understanding NLP's Fast Phobia Cure

    And now almost anybody who understands it and practices can do well with phobias. That's how Tony Robbins first got big

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