Many of the old boy’s club rules of copywriting still apply.
Be clear. Be concise.
Sprinkle in some wit, for Christ’s sake!
In particular, one exceedingly useful chop is creating urgency for your reader so they don’t just go, “Wow, this sounds like the most amazing Disney ride on steroids, but I let me think about it overnight.”
Then, shucky-darns, wouldn’t you know. They forget. They lose that st-st-steam. And you lose the sale.
There’s ancient wisdom in creating urgency. I’m sure my Jewish great-grandfather used it in his open air candy stand in the Bowery.
But the way that the old school style of copy works is usually steeped in fear.
If you don’t act, you’re going to lose something. Maybe your husband. Maybe your impending promotion. Maybe your pinky finger.
If you don’t act, you’ll miss your spot (C’mon. There’s hardly ever limited space in the digital world anymore.)
Yes, yes, discounts that disappear are great, and not especially un-ethical. I was in Whole Foods last night and laughed at myself being pulled to buy the gluten-free super grain pasta just because it was on sale, even though it was just fifty cents off…and still more expensive than every other brand.
But if you notice, there’s a new crop of marketing that doesn’t need a discount to motivate people to buy because they’ve done such a solid job with the copy.
Studies have shown that appealing to fear of loss or missing out is five times more effective. I’m not entirely sure those numbers work anymore. People are savvier and the smart ones run with even the slightest whiff of unctuousness.
It doesn’t matter if they can only get a discount for the next 48 hours if they don’t see the benefit to what you’re selling.
If they can’t touch, taste, smell, feel, roll around in what’s waiting for them.
They’re less interested in missing out on buying something that they aren’t convinced will help them… than they are on having a transformation that they can brag about to their friends.
Which is why, now more than ever, copy needs to lean heavier on speaking to the dream.
It’s boosting people up, respecting their intelligence, and showcasing the results.
What will life be life after purchasing your product or service?
What will you be able to do that you couldn’t do before?
THIS is how you step away from sleazy marketing. THIS is how you cultivate your creme de la creme crop of followers who don’t heckle you for refunds or chose you just because you’re fifty cents cheaper than your competitor.
This is change-based marketing and it’s how the best leaders and business owners inspire their way to a loyal, roving pack of fans and customers.