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Marketing Diction: Pyschological Triggers from Your Word Choice

Jul 7, 2008
Almost every marketer has written some form of sales copy in the past, whether it was a traditional sales letter or through a web site about a product or service. In fact, you simply cannot become a good marketer without learning how to produce powerful sales copy.

All good sales copy has subtle psychological triggers that influence the customer to respond in a certain way. One main type of trigger is your copy's diction, or choice of words. The specific words you use in your sales copy and in your speech have a major impact on your marketing success rate - and your income.

In my company's specific case, our sales copy is always about owner builder construction loans (financing for people building their homes without hiring a general contractor). So, I'll be using examples from our little niche in the world. However, it doesn't matter if you're selling owner builder construction loans or diet supplements, the principles remain the same.

Below is a list of specific terms and concepts that every marketer should understand when writing sales copy.

1. Point out when you can do something quickly. In fact, use the word "fast" whenever it makes sense. People never want slow results. People never want something delivered slowly. People will pay for speed.

In my company's case, owner builder loans are slow. It takes owner builders a long time to design a home and put together accurate budget numbers. So, you have to find a way to point out the things that happen quickly, such as 24 hour pre-approvals or a fast response time. You should do the same thing with your product or service.

2. Have a guarantee. Spell it out loudly and confidently. People want to be assured they are not risking their hard earned money buying your product.

For owner builder construction loans, the guarantee can be a guarantee that your customer will save at least ten thousand dollars when building their new home. For a pizza company, the guarantee can be a hot, fresh pizza delivered to your door in less than thirty minutes or your money back. Sound familiar?

3. Point out that an offer is limited. Use the word "limited." This makes people think the item is exclusive or rare, which makes it less of a commodity.

For example, if selling loans to owner builders, you can provide a discounted offer for an owner builder resource toolkit, but they must act quickly due to a limited supply. And, here's a tip: if you say something is limited, you must stick to your guns. If the time for an offer is limited, don't provide the offer after the deadline. If the supply is limited, cut off the supply at the specific number you tell your customers you have.

4. Use the word "easy/simple" in your ad. People want easy ordering, easy instructions, easy to use, easy payments, etc.

In our case, owner builders want to make the entire process as easy and simple as possible. For instance, they want to know that you'll take a complicated budgeting exercise and simplify it for them.

But, of course, this doesn't just apply to owner builders. Everyone wants easy order forms or simple instructions.

5. Testimonials, testimonials, testimonials. Use lots of testimonials. Then, double the number. Customers view your testimonials as believable proof before they buy your product. It should be reputable and specific proof.

You can never have too many testimonials, whether you use letters from owner builders who finished building their new home, or maybe you provide photographs of your restaurant customers eating at your diner with a hand written note from them about how great the food is. It doesn't matter what industry you're in. The psychological trigger is the same.

6. Use the word "discount/sale" in your ad. People want to find bargains. They could be rebates, one time sales, get-one-free offers, etc.

In the owner builder construction loan industry, this is a bit tricky. You have to find a way to provide a discount, such as refunding the price of an appraisal. If you sell shoes, a discount on a second purchase is much more straightforward. But, even if you are in a service where a discount seems difficult to provide, you should find a way.

7. Use the word "free" in your ad. People want free incentives before they do business with you. They could be free books, accessories, services, etc.

For example, if you are selling owner builder construction loans, provide a free report about the 10 secrets that every owner builder needs to know. Or, provide a free book all about owner builder construction. Or, provide something completely unrelated to owner builder loans, but make it interesting and desirable.

8. Your sales copy should use the second person point of view, using the words "you" and "your" frequently. This will make your customers feel that you're speaking directly to them, and they'll want to read the entire sales copy.

Again, it doesn't matter if you're selling loans to owner builders or selling engine parts to lawnmower manufacturers. Make sure your potential customer knows you are talking to them.

9. Point out whenever a product, service, or offer is new. Something "new" is plausible and can improve a customer's situation. If something is old, and they haven't needed it up to now, why should they buy it? If it's new information, a new technology, or a new discovery, then the customer will see a chance at new results and life improvements.

Using our running example, owner builders want new resources to help them plan their project, such as new cost estimators or new, helpful customer service. Or, it could be as simple as new information that sheds light on a common owner builder problem, such as managing sub-contractors.

If it's a new technique that will save them money during construction, owner builders (just like your customers) will want to know about it.
About the Author
Chris Esposito provides owner builder construction loans for people who want to build their home without hiring a general contractor. To learn more about owner builder loans, go to the Owner Builder 101 website at www.OwnerBuilder101.com. Or call Owner Builder 101 at (877) 876-3688.
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