Two Psychological Techniques to Hold Prospects 'at Ransom' With

12 replies
A hen will fight anybody who tries to disturb its young ones regardless of size.

Any bird or animal does the same.

Why do they behave like that?

They do not want to lose what they own. They have a strong sense of ownership and strong feeling of love.

Human beings are no exception to this behavior.

What has this to do with copywriting?

We in the copywriting world, can exploit this behavior to increase sales.

Chickens don't own property.

We own chickens, children and property. We can extend this principle from children to property.

How do we exploit this human behavior?

By creating fear of loss. If we show, in our sales letters, that a loss will be incurred if a certain course of action is not taken, we will hook the prospect.

If we apply agitation technique, we sink the hook deeper in the mouth wall.

That is why we show consequences if prospects do not follow suggested course of action.

Beautifully and effectively spiced with emotion-arousing words and phrases, these consequences could move prospects to take desired action.

Which other technique can a copywriter use to persuade prospects to take desired action?

Scarcity is another technique.

Tell them there are ---

'--- only 5 copies remaining. There will be no more printing of more copies.'

Such statements are often used by marketers to move prospects to the 'BUY' button.

Fear of loss and Scarcity are two psychological weapons we can use to hold prospects 'at ransom.'

Do you have any other technique to prompt action or make a prospect make a buying decision quickly?

Let us share!

John
#hold #prospects #psychological #ransom #weapons
  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Banned


    BTW John...the FTC (and Clickbank, funnily enough) take a very dim view of FALSE SCARCITY - which is what you seem to be advocating. If you say "There are only 5 copies left" you better be able to prove it. That's exactly the kind of stuff that got a lot of cats kicked off Clickbank.
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    • Profile picture of the author Chriswrighto
      Originally Posted by The Copy Nazi View Post


      BTW John...the FTC (and Clickbank, funnily enough) take a very dim view of FALSE SCARCITY - which is what you seem to be advocating. If you say "There are only 5 copies left" you better be able to prove it. That's exactly the kind of stuff that got a lot of cats kicked off Clickbank.
      Does this apply to price jumps?

      E.g. 25 copies at $25.

      25 copies at $35.

      If not, that's a combination of loss and scarcity.
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      Wealthcopywriter.com :)

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    • Profile picture of the author shawnlebrun
      Originally Posted by The Copy Nazi View Post



      BTW John...the FTC (and Clickbank, funnily enough) take a very dim view of FALSE SCARCITY - which is what you seem to be advocating. If you say "There are only 5 copies left" you better be able to prove it. That's exactly the kind of stuff that got a lot of cats kicked off Clickbank.
      Wait... what?

      You mean we can't use...

      "Order now before our digital supply runs out... we're running low on bits and bytes, so you'll want to act now before my fake accountant tells me I'm MAD for selling it at this low of a price..."

      Like Alex said... you can't beat an irresistible offer.

      When you're selling something that people want so badly... and it will help them solve a problem or help them reach a goal... often times it just takes a little bit of reassurance and TELLING them to take action.

      "Hey, look, this is a good deal... this is in your best interests to get this now, before you just put it off. That won't change your situation. Look, you deserve this, etc...."

      Works much better than lying about limited supply....
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    Originally Posted by Jomuli3 View Post


    Fear of loss and Scarcity are two psychological weapons we can use to hold prospects 'at ransom.'

    Do you have any other technique to prompt action or make a prospect make a buying decision quickly?
    Yes... exclusivity.

    In 2008-2009, I offered a tightly-niched lead generation service... only one broker per area was allowed to participate. It was a very successful promotion.

    Another technique is - make an irresistible offer.

    Alex
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  • Profile picture of the author splitTest
    Originally Posted by Jomuli3 View Post

    A hen will fight anybody who tries to disturb its young ones regardless of size.

    Any bird or animal does the same.

    Why do they behave like that?

    They do not want to lose what they own. They have a strong sense of ownership and strong feeling of love.

    Human beings are no acceptation to this behavior.

    What has this to do with copywriting?

    We in the copywriting world, can exploit this behavior to increase sales.

    Chickens don't own property.

    We own chickens, children and property. We can extend this principle from children to property.

    How do we exploit this human behavior?

    By creating fear of loss. If we show, in our sales letters, that a loss will be incurred if a certain course of action is not taken, we will hook the prospect.

    If we apply agitation technique, we sink the hook deeper in the mouth wall.

    That is why we show consequences if prospects do not follow suggested course of action.

    Beautifully and effectively spiced with emotion-arousing words and phrases, these consequences could move prospects to take desired action.

    Which other technique can a copywriter use to persuade prospects to take desired action?

    Scarcity is another technique.

    Tell them there are ---

    '--- only 5 copies remaining. There will be no more printing of more copies.'

    Such statements are often used by marketers to move prospects to the 'BUY' button.

    Fear of loss and Scarcity are two psychological weapons we can use to hold prospects 'at ransom.'

    Do you have any other technique to prompt action or make a prospect make a buying decision quickly?

    Let us share!

    John
    It's an old idea, but I think an important one. Fear motivates. Another arrow to draw from the quiver. Depends on what you're selling, of course, but good point jom.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      What on earth would your grandmother think
      about you holding prospects 'at ransom'?

      Best,
      Ewen
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      • Profile picture of the author Jomuli3
        Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

        What on earth would your grandmother think
        about you holding prospects 'at ransom'?

        Best,
        Ewen
        She would be happy because she would know what is used are simple psychological techniques to make prospects quickly buy.

        Her arthritis relief would be enhanced with the arrival of a fat check.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    I remember Max5ty hitting upon this in a thread.

    Fear of loss is just another backhanded way of communicating the benefits.

    A better way to create fear of loss is building the picture (using techniques like future pacing) that prospects can only realize by pressing the buy or add to cart button.

    Then...

    After your offer, you can use your guarantee to continue hitting the fear of loss triggers - followed up by describing even more of what's on the table - only if action is taken.

    Get prospects so incredibly attached to the results you're describing that it literally creates pain inside of them by thinking about walking away.

    Mark
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    • Profile picture of the author Memetics
      Originally Posted by Mark Pescetti View Post

      Fear of loss is just another backhanded way of communicating the benefits.
      Mark
      Car salesmen call this the "Puppydog close". They encourage you to take the car for 24 hours to "Get a feel for it" knowing full well when you drive off the lot in "your car" and see it parked on your driveway it becomes "your" property and the loss you feel on returning it is all the more intense.
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      First we believe.....then we consider.

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  • Profile picture of the author Raelyn Tan
    KEEP The sales letter positive!! Granted, you’ve probably heard of the pain & seek for gain argument. Avoid writing negative messages – if you overdo the pain, your reader wont be around much longer for the gain. Keep it minimal.
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  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    The proper message, when framed right, won't involve either a fear of loss or scarcity.

    The two examples you gave are last resorts that were marketed in the 90's by internet gurus who eventually were doing blog posts about how bad the economy was. Most of their whining was later deleted.

    If you make your product so exciting, so helpful, so sexy, so needed, they won't care if you have a whole warehouse full of the crap, they'll jump off the couch to get it...and they won't care if there's only 3 left.

    If you can't sell a product based on it's own merits, and all you have is fear of loss or scarcity, you should probably find another product or learn how to sell.

    Unless you've got 10 bars of gold from the Titanic...
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
      No matter how irresistible the offer is, and no matter how much prospects want it, a certain percentage of people will let inertia get the best of them and not buy.

      They think, "I'll buy it tomorrow" or something similar.

      That's where fear of loss and scarcity come in. The prospect needs just that little extra push.

      Alex
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