When it comes to selling online, getting someone to take action right now is often the key to success. Many people get excited about copywriting because they believe great copy has the ability to tap into a prospect’s brain and push a “buy now” button that magically produces the sale.
It doesn’t really work that way.
The key to selling online or off is putting the right beneficial offer in front of the right person, and having great copy that overcomes the objections the prospective buyer will set as barriers to the sale. So, rather than targeting a “buy” part of the brain that triggers a sale, it’s more accurate to say that you’re aiming to knock down every “don’t buy” barrier that stands in the way.
Just recently, neuroscience researchers have located an area of the brain that actively seeks to prevent impulsive behavior. As Roger Dooley of Neuromarketing points out, this may be the location that throws up an innate barrier to buying, which the brain seeks to logically support with objections based on skepticism, price, usability or a myriad other potential barriers.
Neuroscientists Marcel Brass from Ghent University and Patrick Haggard of University College London have found an area, the dorsal fronto-medial cortex located just above the eyes, which appears to be responsible for stopping impulsive behavior.
Scientific American describes the study as, “the first neuroscientific evidence that people have self-control or the ability to reverse gears mid-action” in Impulse Stopping: When the Mind Exercises ‘Free Won’t’.
This is something copywriters intrinsically understand—that even when people are perfect candidates for a product, and even when those people want to buy, they will talk themselves out of it unless you address each objection they come up with. On the flip side, people are often actively searching for a way to shoot down their own objections and justify the buy, but if your copy is too sparse you’re out of luck.
An effective face-to-face salesperson is trained to extract objections and address them. In writing, we don’t have that luxury.
So, for unusual, novel, expensive or specialty products and services, longer copy is necessary. If you fail to address a prospect’s innate tendency to throw up objections by countering with the right information, your conversions will suffer.
This can be done with landing pages, but also with whitepapers, reports, ebooks, email tutorials, blogging, audio and video seminars and webinars. Simple and clear language, benefits and the features that support them, testimonials, specific supporting data, a sweet offer and risk-removal via solid guarantees all help you overcome objections and build trust. The more a prospect trusts you, the easier time you’ll have bypassing barriers to the sale.
Beyond putting the right offer in front of the right person, and wrapping it all up in objection-slaying information, there’s another critical element to getting past the “don’t buy” button. It’s so important that I have the words taped on the wall above my monitor.
Make them see themselves buying.
This is the art of copywriting—the story. Sometimes the story is straightforward, and sometimes it’s quite fanciful. But it’s definitely the story that makes people visualize themselves enjoying the benefits of the purchase, and if you can accomplish that, you’ll find that the objections fall a lot easier.
More on that in an upcoming series.