Direct response copywriting is a skill that every business owner, marketer, and freelancer MUST know if they want to get new customers online and offline.
Direct response copywriting is focused on writing copy that demands immediate results (e.g. buying, upgrading subscriptions, etc.)
In other words, you persuade people to take action right on the spot.
You can find direct response copy on social media, sales pages, and pricing pages, or if you receive sales letters in the mail, it’s there as well. It’s absolutely essential that you know this skill, and that’s why I’m going to show you 7 direct-response copywriting secrets in this article.
So, let’s begin!
Storytelling is one of the most powerful direct-response copywriting secrets that exist.
Telling stories makes people emotional, it makes them imagine the desired results, it helps you build trust, and also it makes them believe that your product or service is the ONLY solution on the market that is going to help them.
It all depends on how you tell the story.
And because mastering storytelling takes years, here is a storytelling formula that you want to follow to write stories that sell:
- Transformation Of Character (Throughout the journey you’ve changed, tell them how.)
This is how you are going to tell amazing stories. Usually, the epiphany is related to your product or service so that you make them believe it is the ultimate solution that they are looking for.
There are also other things that you have to pay attention to when trying to write stories that sell, and that is for example:
- Make the story emotional by making them imagine what was happening. SHOW don’t tell.
- Make sure the story is relevant to the sales message you’re trying to convey on the sales page, sales letter, etc.
- Make the story relatable to the situation they are in right now.
Amazing, now that you know how to write killer stories that are going to persuade the dream customer to take action on the sales page, sales letter, or anything else, you should also know how to minimize the impact of the price.
One of the best ways you can do that is by showing the return on investment…
2. Show The Return On Investment
Especially in B2B direct response copywriting this works like magic. Showing the return on investment of what you are selling to them on the sales page in the copy is one of the best ways to minimize the price impact even for really high-ticket items.
For example, if you are selling solar panels for $1,000, the way you are going to make the price a non-issue is by telling the dream customer how the investment is going to pay for itself in lower electricity bills in a few years or months.
In other words, you make the product or service pay for itself.
And the same thing can be done with anything else. If you sell your accounting service, you’re going to tell them how you are going to save them $50,000 or so per year on taxes but your service costs just $2,000 per month.
And on and on. Do you see how effective it is? When you sell them money at a discount, no price is ever going to be the barrier that will hold them back from buying.
It is one of the most powerful direct response copywriting secrets and you want to use it.
3. Unique Safety Proposition
I guess you already know what a unique selling proposition is. But have you ever heard about the unique safety proposition?
Making it in a sales copy is one of the most persuasive things that you can do.
A unique safety proposition may look like a super-long guarantee, or a “money-back + keep a premium” guarantee.
People are willing to buy products or services and pay a premium for safety, especially in this age where everybody is extremely skeptical.
So the next time you try to take the risk off their shoulders with a classic money-back guarantee, try to turn it into something way sweeter.
It is going to take your direct response copywriting to a whole new level.
4. Know Your Dream Customers Like The Shoes You Walk In
This is the biggest direct response copywriting secret of all. You need to know your dream customers better than they know themselves.
Every word of the sales message is going to be written for THEM, and if you fail to understand what are they struggling with, what their life looks like, what they want, etc. the sales copy is going to go fail.
To make sure you know your dream customers enough to start writing a direct response copy, carefully answer these questions based on real data and research:
- What do they dream about?
- What do they desire?
- What do they love?
- What do they fear?
- What frustrates them?
- What angers them?
- What do they hate?
- What arouses their skepticism?
- What embarrasses them?
- What are they most thankful for?
- What are their sources of shame and guilt?
- What are their secret self-doubts?
- What are they proudest of?
- What makes them happy?
All right, have you answered each one of those questions in detail? If so, then the next thing you want to do is to write down the daily routine of your dream customer to truly understand their life, hour by hour.
Once you are done with that (and again, do it based on real research), then you will know how to appeal to your dream customer and make them take any action that you want.
This is the step you must not skip UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. So, do it.
5. Use Psychological Triggers
Another incredible direct response copywriting secret is using psychological triggers in the sales copy. Psychological triggers help you destroy the resistance your dream customer has, and persuade them to take action.
That’s why I want to show you the 3 most powerful psychological triggers…
Fear is one of the most powerful motivators that will cause us to take action.
Give a person a reason why they should be extremely afraid if they won’t buy your product, they will usually end up buying it.
Fear is a fundamental human instinct, and manipulating it is a fundamental marketing tactic.
Fear is a negative emotion that a prospect wants to alleviate as quickly as possible. This makes fear a valuable part of your online marketing campaign.
Make a prospect afraid and then show them how you can take away the fear and you’ll generate an immediate response and a windfall of sales.
There are many kinds of fears and each audience is afraid of something different.
You want to write to their fears to make them as afraid as possible. Here is an example of fear creation on a sales page:
“He just lost his chance to make a choice. His induction notice caught him with his decisions down.
He waited too long to choose the army. If he had acted sooner, he would have had to pick up more than 300 jobs.
And his choice would have been guaranteed in writing before he joined up. So don’t wait.”
Also, People are much more likely to buy if they think they’ll lose out on an opportunity if they don’t.
If your product is perceived as scarce… with a limited supply…that perception will generate a powerful fear of loss.
In a niche where many websites are selling a product or service that is virtually identical, using fear and risk is an unsurpassed way to distinguish yourself from the competition. (It’s also a way to justify higher prices!)
It’s a psychological trigger that you should use in your direct response copy as it works like crazy.
All creatures are curious…especially humans.
We explore our world rather than just respond to it, looking under rocks, pulling back curtains, and poking sticks into things.
The desire to discover things and know is a killer motivational factor that is based on our biology.
Curiosity creates direct response copywriting language like this:
• Secrets of peeling apples in 10 seconds uncovered!
• Who spilled the beans…
• Hidden money-making secrets entrepreneurs don’t want you to know…
Curiosity is a difficult appeal to use because of two basic problems: arousing curiosity in the first place, and not having the consumer come up with their own answer in the second.
But, it’s the most powerful one.
Talk too much when writing your sales copy and you’ll destroy curiosity.
So use curiosity words like secret, discovered, hidden, little-known, they don’t want you to know, etc. and you’ll create a strong curiosity appeal.
But to master this, you really have to practice a lot. But it’s worth it.
3. Desire To Belong
The desire to belong is a strong motivational factor in marketing but it is often not appreciated.
Think about it.
Why do people own a Mercedes? Why do they smoke Marlboro cigarettes? Why do certain fads catch on?
It could be that these people buy a specific product because they subconsciously want to belong to the group that already owns or uses that specific product.
In the case of Marlboros, the smokers subconsciously want to join that group of smokers who have responded to the rugged western image the cigarette ad agency has created.
The people who buy a Mercedes often want to belong to that special group of Mercedes owners.
Do you think it’s because of the special braking or suspension system? Forget it. They’re going out and spending megabucks to buy something that’s maybe slightly better than many of the other automobiles.
The other cars can take you to the same places at the same speed and yet these people—all very intelligent—will go out and spend plenty more to buy a Mercedes.
And the list goes on. You name a product that has an established image and I’ll show you a consumer who, somewhere in his or her subconscious value system, wants to belong to the group of people who own that product.
Fashion, automobiles, cigarettes, gadgets, whatever the category—the consumer who buys a specific brand has been motivated to buy that brand by the desire to belong to the group of people who already own that brand.
The desire to belong to and identify with a group of people who own a specific product is one of the most powerful psychological motivators to be aware of in the direct response copywriting.
All right, and now let’s move on to the next direct response copywriting secret that you must use if you want to write a sales copy that sells…
6. Follow A Copywriting Formula
Not using a copywriting formula is like building a building on a weak foundation. Eventually, it is going to fall down.
And it is the same when it comes to direct response copywriting. there is no way you can write a great direct response copy unless you use a copywriting formula that works.
And that’s why I want to share with you one of my favorite formulas that I use all the time and that has found its way to the marketing hall of fame called AIDA.
The first part is Attention.
The way you are going to grab attention if you’re writing a sales copy is with your headline, opening, and the visual or video you are going to use at the beginning.
If you fail to craft these elements carefully, you’re not going to make anybody even read the copy and as a result, nobody is going to take the action you want (buy).
The next part is Interest.
This is the part where you are going to dive deep into their problems, pains, or desires and appeal to their emotions.
It is also important that you make write every sentence based on the research that I told you to do in one fo the previous secrets.
After interest comes the Desire part.
This is where you are going to present your offer as the ultimate solution to the problem or the way to reach their desires. In other words, you are going to build a desire for the product or service that you are selling.
And last part of this formula is Action.
In this part, you’re going to tell them what to do and give them a reason why they must do it NOW, and not later.
And that directly relates to the next direct response copywriting secret which is the…
7. Mañana Antidote
People love procrastinating, and procrastinating on buying your product or service is on their minds as well. They want to put the purchase decision up until tomorrow.
Unfortunately, tomorrow never happens. And that kills your sales.
In direct response copywriting, you must give them a reason to act now instead of later.
There are many ways to do it, like:
- Limited Supplies
- Notification That The Price Is Going Up
- Limited-Time Bonuses
No matter what you are going to choose to do, you must give them a reason to act now instead of later. Otherwise, you are going to lose a ton of sales.