I’m guessing you want to write copy that sells.
You want to write copy so irresistible it makes your readers scramble down the page — begging to do whatever it is you want when they’re done reading — whether it’s to make a purchase, send a donation, or join your newsletter.
You, my friend, want to seduce your readers.
Well, today’s your lucky day. In a few moments you’ll know not only how to work your readers into a lather … but also what a cold shower over-educating them can be.
Let’s start with a story.
A sexy — but sad — protagonist
Ingrid is a beautiful and accomplished accountant.
Her husband, Milton, is an editor for a big time publisher. And their son, Nathaniel, is a sturdy, blond, lovable wrecking ball.
A sublime family. A nice home. But something’s wrong.
Ingrid wants another baby. Bad.
Unfortunately, with Nathaniel’s ubiquitous presence and the ridiculous demands of work and family life, the days of Milton chasing Ingrid around with wine and roses are long gone.
It could take years to have another child. Only problem is, Ingrid doesn’t want to wait years. Her clock is “ticking.”
That means if Ingrid wants to get pregnant soon she has to calculate. Innocent happenstance is out the door.
Guerrilla tactics are in, folks.
The one thing that stands in her way
Ingrid decides that the evening hours after the boy is safely tucked away is the best time to seduce Milton.
Unfortunately, her husband doesn’t read a bed time story to the boy and then suddenly slip on a smoking jacket and shift into sexy thoughts.
No. After bed time Milton sinks into his black leather paloma chair with a newspaper, a scotch and a wicked bent to falling asleep while sitting up.
Know what that means? Ingrid has to lay the groundwork during the day if she wants a passionate man in the evening.
Here’s how she does it.
Her devious plan
The next morning Ingrid tells the refreshed, perky Milton, father of their future second child, that the time is right — and that she will not be wearing panties all day.
She winks and heads for the door.
Near noon Ingrid emails Milton. She writes: “I can’t tell you how refreshed and breezy I feel. You?”
At dinner, Ingrid sits across Milton, crossing and un-crossing her legs. And while Milton throws the dishes into the trashcan and the trash into the dishwasher, she puts a sleepy Nathaniel to bed.
Three minutes later they meet in their bedroom.
Now let me ask you a stupid question: Do you think Ingrid succeeded?
Of course she did, but what does this have to do with writing irresistible copy?
Everything. Let me show you what I mean.
Do this and you’ll kill gratification every time
Ingrid’s secret to success amounts to this: she leveraged the erotic potential of premeditated restraint and the human imagination.
She taunted. She fascinated. She withheld gratification until she was certain she could get what she wanted.
The same goes for you, the copywriter.
Listen: gratification is the killer of seduction.
I’ve seen this many times:
- A book with a dust jacket that explains what someone needs to do to eat right.
- A sales letter that unpacks the secret to raising brilliant children — right in the letter.
- A video that demonstrates the best ways to save money for your child’s college education.
- A movie trailer that spills all the best lines, the funniest jokes, and the most exciting plot twists.
Don’t get me wrong: I appreciated the information. The problem is, I didn’t buy any of the products.
Why should I? They told me everything I needed to know.
With physical products, restraint is just part of the deal. Cars, computers, or steak knives. You can’t start really enjoying that irresistible Macbook Air until you buy it and make it your own, no matter how much fooling around you did at the Apple store.
Get the product in front of buyers, maybe give them a test drive, and they get worked up.
But when it comes to selling non-tangible information products, copywriters often over-educate … and end up giving away the farm.
Ingrid didn’t over-educate. But she still got what she wanted, right?
How this approach works in copy
Your reader, like Milton, has hunkered down, intending never to move again. Unless of course you give him something to get worked up over.
Look at these examples on how to do that:
- Do your readers want to run a marathon in four hours? Then tell them you have a 17-week training program that will not only get them across the finish line in 3.5 hours, but will also prevent them from dehydrating and allow them to recover in just one day. And the key to seducing this reader is giving him or her a single powerful technique from the program — but that’s it.
- Does your audience want to overcome crippling insecurity? Then tell them you have a seven-step system that will transform them into a robust, productive human being in seven days — but don’t give them those steps. Just let them get a good peek at one.
- Does your audience want to retire rich? Then tell them how you’ve helped hundreds of people retire before they turned 49 by using a legal but wildly lucrative investment strategy … a strategy they can get their hands on once they go through a rigorous application process.
- Does your audience want to live to be 100? Then tell them you’ve figured out how exactly to do just that with a the right combination of exercise, food and vitamins. But don’t ever tell them what that combination is. Just tell them how these will make them live healthier and longer.
See how that works? Yes, you can give information — including valuable information your prospects can act on right away. But keep some sexy stuff reserved for after the sale.
And if you think about it, what I’m telling you isn’t any different than what Brian was saying when he was threatening to kill a kitten.
The bottom line
Gratify too soon and your reader — your prospect — is gone.
Instead, make plans to tease the dickens out of your reader. Don’t satisfy their curiosity. Or quench their thirst.
Do just the opposite …
- Promise them you have what they want
- Paint the picture of what it will be like when they get it
- Prove to them that you’ll uphold your end of the bargain if they buy
- And then push them over the edge
Which should be a piece of cake if you’ve properly laid the groundwork.
Just ask Ingrid.