The Psychology Of Copywriting: Understanding How People Think And Act

How can you get people to buy your stuff? You see them go to your sales pages and then click away. What the heck? Your stuff is good and you know it!

So, why don't they?

There's a psychology to everything involving human behaviour.

There is always a reason why even if someone doesn't know what it is or how it works...

That's what piqued my interest enough to get my degree in it. The complexity of the mind and how we think, feel and act. What triggers someone to do one thing and someone else to do the exact opposite in the same situation.

But also, how humans can sometimes be predictable in certain situations. How two people can approach the same thing in two different ways and only one will get the results they want while the other might flop... Even if it's for the same thing, the same purpose.

The same is true for sales.

There is a psychology to sales and it starts with your copywriting.

Two people can sell the same product but have two dramatically different sales pages, ads, emails and ways of talking about the product and one can hit the nail on the head 10 out of 10 times while the other gets virtually no traction.

Why can this be? How can they be selling the same thing and not have the same results?

There, of course, is strategy (and most good strategies should take human psychology into consideration) but having a good understanding of psychology and how to say things specifically for the type of people you're hoping to attract is incredibly important when it comes to your copywriting.

Here are 5 tips for improving your sales copy using the principles of Psychology:

1. Use novelty

It's incredible to me how many people go and copy exactly what they see other people do and then cannot understand why that same thing didn't work for them. There are so many reasons but one could be that your people are satiated on the same thing.

The eye is drawn to different. If nothing ever changes and the same templates, words, expressions, images, etc. are used it is so easy for them to scroll on by. This includes your own sales pages, website pages, social media bios, etc.

Keep things refreshing, change things up each time you launch. If you use the exact same emails and the exact same sales page each time without changing anything you could run the risk of your people being even less inclined to keep reading because they "been there, done that."

Keep track of what is working and what isn't and make tweaks. If something didn't work change it up. Even something small like changing the main image or your header/subject line could be enough to capture someone's interest and make the sale.

2. Prime them with emotional words before your offer

Here's the thing... Whether someone admits it or not, we are emotional beings. We make decisions based on how we feel. It's not always logical (even if we think it is). When you buy something it's often because of how you felt right before or in the moment.

When you're selling a product or service using a landing page you have the advantage of being able to build someone up to the sale. Every word and image on your sales page gets them closer and closer to a decision to buy.

If you put your offer towards the bottom and you prime your readers with emotion before presenting your offer so that they are already in an emotional state or feeling something before you say "Okay, time to buy my really cool thing!" the chances of them buying that really cool thing have increased hugely. What you want is, by the time they reach the offer they've already made a connection with you, think they are the person who needs what you have (whether you sell mugs or a year-long coaching program) and yearns for the solution you've painted such a beautiful picture of. If you check all those boxes and they're feeling all the feels by the time they see your offer (which is the solution they so desperately crave) the decision is super easy for them.

3. Get rid of the words 'cost,' 'price' or 'payment.'

Sometimes you can paint the most beautiful picture and then when they make it to your offer they can immediately be snapped back to reality by seeing the word cost. Yes, it can actually be a deterrent.

I'm not saying hide the price. Actually, I really don't like people who do that. To me, it feels dishonest and can often waste a lot of time. First, how do I know that the price you think what you have is worth is what I think what you have is worth? Second, maybe it is worth it but I am not in the same category as the people you serve. 'Money mindset' can only go so far if I'm brand new and making $500 a month when I'm faced with a $30k program. There are so many other things I might need to do first.

What I am saying is, get rid of those words that can make people cringe. Instead of saying "Get this for 3 payments of $97" say "This can be yours for just $97 today!" Instead of saying "This candle costs $20" say "Have your home smell like grandma's freshly baked cookies for just $20."

4. Use recency

Okay, let's be real, you can spend days and days writing the most beautiful sales page and people will still flip through it scanning just the header and maybe the top section and then probably scroll all the way to your call to action. If it's an email they might read more of it, if you've done a good job.

Knowing this, you need to make sure that the first thing and last thing they see are dynamite. If they are they may even go back through your sales page or email (guilty...). 

Put everything you've got into a really good header then spend time tweaking it until it's really dynamic. Then go and invest lots of time into an incredibly compelling call to action. Something so good even you want to buy it. From there the middle bits will fall into place. But make sure that your start and end are so great that you catch the attention of the person who simply scrolls through to check out the offer. Make them want to turn around and read the rest!

5. Pique curiosity

Humans are curious creatures and you can use that to your advantage. You don't need to dish everything all at once.

Have you ever read one of those spicy fantasy romances? You know, the slow-burn ones that take like 300 pages for the main characters to finally kiss? Follow their lead. A really good and compelling slow-burn spicy novel sucks a reader in so much they can hardly put the book down because they are so desperate for the characters to finally kiss.

How do they do that? How can they possibly keep their reader interested long enough that they'll actually read through 300 pages before even a kiss happens? Curiosity and open loops.

Build up to your finished thought, drag them along, building up the story and the emotions; make them so curious they crave to know how it ends (the ending being your offer).

How can you do that? You first need to know your audience really well. What do like and dislike? What do they want? How do they want it? Don't get stale partway through your sales page, your email, your social post, etc., instead just get more and more compelling as you go.


Not every Psychology theory and strategy will work on 100% of people. That's just not how life is, that's not how humans are. But understanding how people think and act, their motivation, their drive, etc. can take your copywriting from "It's okay, it's cute," to "Wow! I've never wanted something more in my whole life!"


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