The headline above has been drummed into my head since I first started writing copy over a decade ago. If you study guys like Kennedy, Halbert and Carlton, as I do, you know these guys really get it.
So if you’re a student of Emotional Direct Response, you know this.
You know in reality, people would much rather save something they’ve already got, than get something they want. It’s hardwired into our heads.
So if you’re a student, you know this already.
But do you really get it?
Is this undisputed fact of human behaviour permanently imprinted into your mind? If not, then this is my objective here. To show you how to always be aware of this fact, but also to show you how to craft compelling copy that targets this primeval emotion, what we call, the fear of loss.
(I hope by now, as an astute reader of this blog, you realise the BIG POINTS I make here, the ones I want to really ram home to you, are the exact same BIG POINTS I keep reminding myself on. By reminding you, I’m reminding me. And being astute, I bet you’ve got a notebook beside you, a BIG IDEA book you’re writing all of these lessons down in. You are, aren’t you?)
Anyway, I was going through an old Jerry Buchanan newsletter the other day (Jerry was a famous old info marketer from way back), when I came across an example of fear of loss that really struck home.
Jerry was commenting on an Advertorial by Tony Hyman for his book: “Cash for Unwanted Treasures.” (Tony’s book predates “The Antiques Road Show” shown on TV.).
This is going back to the early nineties but I’m told Tony is still going strong. Remember, human emotions do NOT change throughout time.
Anyway, if you read my previous post, you saw how every emotion is a two-sided coin.
Positive and Negative.
Good or Bad.
So Tony’s advertorial headline could easily have focused on the benefits of finding unwanted treasure. Something like:
“I couldn’t believe it when they told me my old vase was worth $2,500, but when he handed me the cheque…”
NOTE: A simple adaptation of Caples’ famous: “They laughed when I sat down at the piano… but when I started to play…”
Now this isn’t a bad headline. But Tony didn’t use this approach. Because he knew in his gut the fear of loss is more powerful than the hope for gain.
This is what his headline was…
“Have You Ever Put a $100 Bill in the Trash?”
Man that hits ya doesn’t it? It’s pure fear of loss!
Look, I don’t use this enough myself, hence this article. My mind is focused on wealth, on good things, on the positive side of life.
But as entrepreneurs we must realise many are not this way. It’s easier to motivate the masses with what they will lose, as opposed to what they will get.
MILLION DOLLAR EXERCISE: First, write out all of the things your prospects might lose by not getting your product or service. What will they miss out on? What will they lose?
Next, come up with all the Power Words that describe each one. (PAIN WORDS)
Might pay to print this post out. It’s a keeper.
Anyway, it’s a beautiful autumn’s day here in the tropics. About 17 degrees Celsius, the sun blazing from a clear blue sky with a faint whiff of salt blowing up from the beach on a gentle breeze.
That’s where I’m heading now, down the beach. And I won’t feel guilty either. I’ve done a 5 hour writing block from 5 this morning until 10. So I got a lot done. Two jobs actually completed and two more moved further along. So I’m happy and ahead of schedule.
- Make More Money With A GOAT
- The Missing Money Component of the “Problem, Agitate, Solve” Formula
- Shock Night! How to feed the fear
- So, you wanna write your own copy do ya?
- Copywriting Salesmanship in Print
Pete 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