Copywriting’s Magic Pill Syndrome

by Pete Godfrey · 0 comments

Copywriting’s Magic Pill Syndrome

Monday, 7.38 am, Mackay, Tropical North Queensland, Australia


Thanks for the feedback from my last post. I appreciate it and I can see why this blogging pastime could get addictive.

As a writer, I feel thankful I have such an appreciative audience to write to. A writer is nothing without a reader; and I’m blessed to have responsive members who consume my Emotional Ad Writing & Marketing Letter each month with gusto. And now, with this blog, I can reach even more people. So thank you. I’ll never take your readership for granted.

And while I’ll be reading every comment I receive here, I won’t be answering individually. As you probably know, I’m a full time copywriter who always lives under the shadow of pressing deadlines. But please understand I am reading every single entry and I do appreciate your involvement.

It’s my aim to keep serving you a smorgasbord of ready to consume persuasive nuggets; so you get the skills, knowledge and confidence to sell more and sell more often.

Okay, that’s enough throat-clearing. Let’s get down to business. Here’s a powerful concept I really want you to “get.” And once again, it’s about your market. Those special people who you target; those special people who will give you money if you give them what they want.

WARNING: The follow article may offend sensitive readers. I apologise in advance if that’s you. My aim is not to offend, but to inspire. And to do that, I have to give it to you straight without the sugar coating.

Understand this…

People are in a hurry.

There’s no time to wait. Study after study proves people are now more stressed than ever. Technology, once thought to be our saviour, now consumes more of our time.

Mass marketers realise this. Nearly every week there’s a new Instant Version of an old reliable favourite. There’s Instant Oats, Instant Noodles, Instant Vegetables and the list goes on. People no longer will tolerate waiting… and we marketers better not forget this.

If they want something, they want it NOW, not later.

And for a majority of people, they want quick answers to their problems as well. They don’t want to work, they don’t wanna have to sweat; they want a magic pill to swallow that fixes all of their worries.

That’s the way it is; so don’t fight it or try to understand it… move with it and cash in on it, that’s all you’ve got to do.

We copywriters call it the Magic Pill Syndrome. And the closer your product or service is to the Magic Pill the more sales you’ll make. Understand this… nobody wants “slow and hard”… they want “quick and easy.” It’s your job to re-position your product in your copy so it aligns itself with this kind of thinking.

So how do you do this?

Well you’ve got to go deep inside the psychology of your market and find out what they really want. Then start asking yourself some questions.

What can I add to my product?

Is my product close to the magic pill or is a lot more work needed?

What bonuses can I offer to make it instant?

Does my product make it easy? If not, what can I change so it does?

These kinds of questions will help. Because now you are focused directly on what your market wants, not what your product has to offer.

Can you see the difference?

Let’s take the diet market for example. Once again, people are searching for the magic pill. And hey, I’m no doctor or nutritionist, but I do know one thing. If you wanna lose weight you’ve got to eat right and exercise.

If what you burn through exercise is more than you take in through eating and drinking, then by golly you’re gonna lose weight.

But you can’t sell this!

People don’t want to sweat and strain and exercise, no way! And people on diets want to eat what they damn well please. But, here’s the secret… they still want to lose weight.

So every diet is sold via the magic pill. There’s been a new breakthrough, a new twist on a proven formula… a new way to shed weight fast without dieting and without any exercising either. Diet promoters create an aura about their products that make them special, unique, and damn hard to resist.

In some way, shape or form you’ve got to do the same with your products.

And here’s where the problem starts.

Many of my clients just don’t get this.

They want to sell “slow and hard” and they are surprised when no one wants their products. They are simply amazed at the lack of response.

But to me, the lack of response was predictable… it was preordained as soon as the client took the moral high ground.

“But we don’t want to lie Pete… our product works but it does take a bit of time and dedication.”

Yes I understand this… and I’m not talking about lying or deceiving anyone.

Do that in a highly regulated market and you’ll end up in jail… not to mention getting chased by every news-hungry Current Affairs show in the country.

And in a marketing sense, if you push this concept too far 3 things will happen.

  1. The quality of your customers will go down because you’re getting too many dreamers.
  2. There’s a good chance your refund rate will go up because you’ve over-hyped what you’re selling.
  3. Repeat sales will drop. That’s because many will not refund, even though they want to … but one thing’s for certain, they will not buy from you again.

So, I’m not telling you to blatantly lie. No. But get this…

To make a ton of sales you’ve got to make a BIG, bold, dramatic and emotional promise (an irresistible offer). You can’t get wimpy here and tone it down. If you tone down your promise, you’ll be toning down your sales. You’ve got to make your offer sound good… almost too-good-to-be-true. Almost. And then you back it up with every bit of PROOF you’ve got to ram home and prove your claims.

And it’s got to be simple.

Don’t get bogged down in all the deal-killing details. Make it sound good and simple and easy to do and you WILL get more sales. It’s all about making an irresistible offer… a subject I’ll cover in detail in the future.

But for now… here’s an advanced concept I want you to think about and take on board from the master himself Dan Kennedy.

Sell people what they want and then give them what they need.

This means sell them on what they want… which is quick and easy … appeal to their inherit laziness. But when you deliver, give them the quick and easy, sure do that… but also, give them what they really need to get the results they deserve.

So think about this magic pill concept… really think about it because it may just be the breakthrough you need to get maximum sales.

Okay, moving on…

Look, I may sound like a broken record but I’m going to keep saying it…

As a marketer, you’ve got to know why your customers buy.

What motivates them?

What do they want?

You see, it’s never about you – it’s never about what you’ve got to sell.

It’s all about them, your prospects and what they want, need, desire and so on.

And once you get this and really understand this concept, selling is gonna get a hell of a lot easier for you. I’ve got a big sign on my wall over the top of my monitor. It reads: Sell the Concept, Not the Product!

So what does that mean? It means, instead of trying to flog your product or service with logical reasons, try selling the feeling that your prospects gets when they own your product.

Sell the end result.

Sell the outcome that your prospect gets from using your product.

So, if you’re selling a diet book, don’t sell the techniques used in the book. Don’t sell the boring recipes. Sell quick results.

Sell her on the outcome … losing weight. But more than that; take her into the future.

Hold her hand as she walks into her favourite clothing shop. Guide her as she buys that new pair of jeans, you know, those special ones, the jeans she’s been scared of getting because her thighs were too fbig. Sell her the feeling of trying them on, of looking in the mirror and seeing how they hug her firm behind. Let her see this, let her feel this… let her imagine the admiring glances as she walks down the street.

Can you see the difference?

Instead of selling boring old recipes you’re selling a completely new lifestyle!

Okay, just understand that people buy for many reasons and most of these reasons haven’t got anything to do with your product.

People buy for their own reasons, not yours.

And the more you know about what makes people tick, the better your business is going to be.

So I’m going to help you out here and give you eight of the many motivational triggers to get you started.

Eight reasons why people buy.

Your job is to try and incorporate some of these buying motivators and the emotions behind them into your product or service.

1: More Money. People want more of it. They may want to start their own business, get a higher paying job or invest in real estate or the stock market. Greed is a powerful motivator. Greed is what starts wars … and each and every one of us, to some degree, possesses this trait.

2: Save Money. We all want to save money right? And we all like to get a bargain.

3: Save Time. People are rushed and they want to save time. They may want to work less and spend more time enjoying life.

4: Look Better. People want to look better. We’re a vain bunch aren’t we? We want to lose weight, tone our bodies, or improve our facial features. We just want to look good.

5: Live Longer. People want to live longer. We may want to get in shape, eat better or gain extra energy. We’re all searching for the magic pill.

6: To Be Loved. People want to be loved. We crave love. It’s a basic instinct that we all share.

7: To Be Popular. Here’s another basic instinct that drives people. Most people yearn for popularity … to be noticed. Don’t neglect this one in your pitch if it’s appropriate.

People love to be popular and to look better than everyone else. And many people never get this…never get the recognition they think they deserve.

8: To Gain Pleasure. They may want to have a holiday; they may want to satisfy their appetite for exotic food or sexual desires. We want to be spoilt and pampered and made to feel special … to enjoy the good things in life and have some fun.

Okay, that’s eight motivational triggers you can adapt and use. Here’s how to use one of them…

Let’s say your product’s main benefit is that it saves time and your target market is working mums. Well then it’s your job to sell the benefits of all the extra time they’ll have. Not the product.

You emphasise in your copy all the things your prospect can now do with that extra time.

Lie on the beach, spend more time with the kids, or take up that correspondence course she’s been putting off.

See how your copy is now about her and not your product?

You’re not going on and on about this feature and that feature, or how long you’ve been in business. No! You’re coming out and telling her she can now spend more time with her kids if she gets your product! And that’s one hell of a difference!

You see, your prospects are selfish… deep down we all are. Now don’t get hung up on this … just accept it. I’m not here to change the world or see things how I want them to be. As a marketer, I can’t afford that luxury. And nor can you. You’ve got to see things how they are. And that means being aware that your prospects are selfish little creatures and are concerned only with things that directly affect them. This means…

They don’t care about your grand opening…

They don’t care how long you’ve been in business…

They don’t care that you’re a nice guy or gal…

Unless you can show her how this affects her and how she can benefit from your claims … then she might listen.

So, will she save money at your grand opening with all your opening day, special prices? Will she save time because of your great parking? Will she gain pleasure from your products? Yes? Then make sure you mention this in your copy. Benefit after benefit after benefit … all piled one on top of another. That’s how you get `em interested in what you’re selling. And that’s how you make the sale.

Because it’s always about them – never about you.

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About The Author

Copywriter, Sales Strategist - Pete GodfreyPete Godfrey, The Wizard of Words, from rebel without a clue to one of the most in demand and highest paid Copywriters and Sales Strategists in Australasia… all with the power of his emotionally charged words that sell… Discover the “Secret Weapon” to increasing your Sales and Profits by downloading the valuable report "The Ultimate Copywriting and Marketing Secret" While you're at it, follow Pete on Facebook

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