31 psychological triggers to be considered when writing a sales letter

Joe Sugarman in his book "The Adweek Copywriting Handbook" outlined 31 psychological triggers to be considered when writing a sales letter. Here is a breakdown of all 31 triggers. Kindly read and share for awareness. Shall we begin? 👇 

1. Feeling of ownership and Involvement

By taking the mind on a mental journey, you've giving the customer a feeling of ownership & Involvement.Let the reader experience emotions & imagine what it feels like to use your product. Below is a sample ad for a sports car. 

“Take a ride in the new Corvette. Feel the breeze blowing through your hair
as you drive through the warm evening. Watch heads turn. Punch the
accelerator to the floor and feel the burst of power that pins you into the back
of your contour seat."

You get the idea right? 

2. Honesty

Customers are very smart and can tell whether you are being truthful in your ad. They appreciate it when you are honest. Lie and you are deceiving yourself. It's okay to include negative aspects of your product in your copy but justify with the positive aspects. 

3. Integrity

The integrity of the advertiser is often reflected by the appearance of the advertisement and the copy you write. Show good integrity and your advertising message will be well received. Don’t show it and join the ranks of those who are rarely successful. 

4. Credibility

This means being believable, truthfulness. Explaining to the customers what to expect & resolving objections that are raised in your reader's minds. Unless you
convey the highest credibility in your ad, your prospects will not feel comfortable buying from you. 

Read also : 9 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Became A Copywriter.

5. Value and Proof of Value

By positioning your product & comparing it with others or by proving the value, you are providing the logic with which the prospect can justify the purchase. Educating your prospect of the value of your product is equivalent to lowering its price. 

6. Justify the Purchase

One of the questions people ask while reading an ad is “Can I really justify this purchase? If you don't, your prospects will have an excuse never to buy from you.
You can justify the price in terms of
- Savings
- Health
- Freedom
- Recognition

7. Greed

How many times have you bought things you didn't need because it was a bargain. Many people are willing to risk paying less to an unknown vendor as long as they'll get more for their money. Greed is in every human nature. Know when to take advantage of it. 

8. Establish Authority

People will feel more comfortable buying something from an expert in that field. They need reassurance that they are making a wise decision. Establishing authority is something that should be done in each ad no matter how big or little you are. 

9. Satisfaction Conviction

This means telling the prospect how convinced you are about your product that you be willing to go extra to prove it. The ideal satisfaction
conviction should raise an objection and resolve it, but in resolving it, go beyond what people expect. 

Read also : 5 little-known twitter advanced search tricks for research and information purposes.

10. Nature of Product

Every product has one very powerful way of presenting itself that will express the true advantages & emotion the product has to offer & motivate the largest number of people to buy it. Understand this to present the product in a way people will buy. 

11. Prospect Nature

This means understanding your prospect. And it boils down to research.

- What motivates them to buy?

- What emotional needs do they have?

Understanding the nature and needs of your prospect will give you enough information to craft a compelling ad. 

12. Current Fads (craze)

Fads are objects or behaviour that develop popularity within a short period of time. You can recognize current fads and use them in your ads. But fad can die just as quickly. So you must capture the moment early enough & get out right after the fad peaks. 

13. Timing

It's important to pay attention to current fads & happenings because timing can kill or make a product.You don't want to introduce your products too early when no one has heard of it or too late when the excitement has died down. That's why it's important to test. 

14. Linking

This is the process of relating what you are selling to what the prospect already knows to make the new product
easy relate to. It could be an old product, body parts, news, emotions etc. It makes your prospect think a lot less to understand the new product. 

Read also : 5 Proven Copywriting Tricks That Sell Like Crazy.

15. Consistency

The best way to turn a prospect to a customer is to make it easy for the prospect to commit to a sale regardless of how small. When the prospect becomes a customer, there is tendency to consistently act with the commitment.And this encourages future sales. 

16. Harmonize

If you want to make a name for yourself in the market, follow the established way of doing things. Follow what is working and then harmonize yourself with the marketplace. Once you become an authority, it's easier to try something different. Listen and observe. 

17. Desire to belong

Why do you think people buy iPhones, Rolex watches, Ferraris? Do you think it's because of any special features? People buy a specific
product because they subconsciously desire to belong to the group that already
owns or uses that specific product. 

18. Desire to Collect

One of the easiest set of people to sell to are collectors. For some reason, there is an emotional need to collect a series of similar products like watches, shoes, cars etc. These products bring great joy and satisfaction. It's natural in humans. 

19. Curiosity

Humans are curious in nature. And you can use this to a devastating effect. You need to tease people by making them see what they are missing by not buying your products. Remember, don't tell or show too much or you risk killing whatever advantage you have. 

Read also : 20 ways to make money as a copywriter.

20. Sense of urgency

Once your prospect says let me "think about it" after reading your ad, chances are the he won't buy. The reader has to make a decision to buy immediately so you have to add a sense of urgency.
Examples: limited time or quantity, price rise increase etc. 

21. Fear

You can use fear of missing out, increase in price or unavailability of a product to motivate your customer to buy now. It can also be a great motivator if used carefully in response to some perceived danger or loss that one might have to face. Fear of consequences. 

22. Instant Gratification

You need to assure your prospects they will receive and use their products or service as soon as possible. This is why fast shipping and delivery and quality service is a must when dealing with products. Any slight delay and they become agitated. 

23. Exclusivity, Rarity or Uniqueness

Sometimes, people buy things not because they need it but because they want to be part of an exclusive set of people that own it. It makes them feel special when they buy and own a particular product that is unique, exclusive and rare. 

24. Simplicity

You want to keep your copy as simple as possible. Simple read, to understand and simple to make an order. You don't want to over complicate things by using big words that your readers will not be able to comprehend. Using simple words has the greatest impact. 

Read also : How to create Converting Headlines - 7 Headline Writing Formulas.

25. Human Relationships

It's always important to relatewhatever you are selling in human terms. How the product will fit, feel, look etc. Buying is an emotional experience because the prospects worked for their money so it's more than just exchange of money. 

26. Storytelling

Since time immemorial, people have always loved stories. It creates human interest, adds a unique human element & creates a bond between you & your prospect especially if it's a story they can relate to. A good story should capture your prospect's attention. 

27. Mental Engagement

Movies that keep you on the edge of your seats due to suspense and unpredictability are more interesting than the ones that you can easily predict right? Same with copy. If you make it too obvious, the reader will feel bored and may not read to the end.  Add suspense so the readers has to come to a conclusion their own using intuition, thought, sensation and emotion...

You are most likely to succeed with the ad. Readers will appreciate it more when they have to work extra hard to figure out what the ad is all about. 

28. Guilt

People feel compelled to reciprocate when you offer them value and when they don't reply, GUILT creeps in. Give your readers valuable information and entertainment that will compel or guilt-trip them to take action, no matter how little. 

29. Specificity

Dentists use & recommend Oral B toothpaste.

Read also : 12 High-Income Skills You Can Learn During The Lockdown And Free Courses/ Materials to Help you Get started.

95% of dentists use & recommend Oral B toothpaste.

Which of the above sounds more believable? Being specific, by adding figures & facts to a copy makes it more believable, credible & makes you sound like an expert. 

30. Familiarity

Heard of Power of 7? People are likely to buy when they see your ads up to 7 times. Branding is important. Prospects like buying from people they are familiar with. Also, adding words like free, sale, discover, bargain etc to your copy increases familiarity. 

31. Hope

People buy products with the HOPE that it will work for them. Don't make specific claims that a product will solve a problem. If it doesn't, you'll lose credibility.

Rather, imply the future results and how it changed your life. Use testimonials of previous users. 


There you have it!

Thanks to Mr Joe Sugarman, you have been armed with 31 psychological triggers that makes people buy.

It will give you a "tremendous boost" as he put it in becoming a great copywriter.

Use it wisely. 

Read also : How to make video ads.

If you'd like to fast track your copywriting knowledge, grab my FREE ebook on 7 proven ways to Kickstart your copywriting career quickly.

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Tags: Copywriting,Ad

Author : Kekeocha Justin

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