Marketing

Includes copywriting, products, business and social media

What Is Hypnotic Writing Good For?

Hypnotic writing… you’ve heard of it, right? You’ve heard how it can magically steal money right out of peoples’ wallets? I intend to demolish some myths surrounding hypnotic writing and share with you what it CAN do.

For any given marketing campaign there are 3 components seasoned marketers know determine the outcome: the list, the offer and the copy.

Of course, the list is the group of people to which you’re marketing. Your best list is the one you created yourself through opt-in offers. Ideally, you have an ongoing relationship with these folks. You may even have more than one list for more than one market. That’s smart market segmenting. That’s also where the next part comes in…

The offer is what you’re selling. It make a difference if you offer golf supplies to home school parents (wrong list). If you offer a golf product to a golf list that no one wants at a price no one would dream of paying, then that’s going to ruin your promotion as well. So you need the right offer made to the right list AND…

Great copywriting. Even hypnotic copywriting. If you have a great offer for the right people but they can’t understand why they should buy it… they probably won’t. That’s where hypnotic writing comes in.

Some people mistakenly believe hypnosis is about tricking people while they’re tranced out… or something like that. Hypnosis is only a state of heightened awareness. The awareness is focused inward which is why people “trance out.” Fortunately though, you can’t make anyone do anything they’re normally against. Stage hypnosis works because most people don’t have anything against clucking like a chicken or becoming as stiff as a board.

Hypnosis and hypnotic writing work because they gently make suggestions that allow the inner mind to do what the person thought they wanted to do but couldn’t. Will hypnotic writing make buying decisions easier for people? Most definitely… as long as the person was open to buying in the first place but maybe just on the fence. If you do manage to trick people into buying, you’ll have plenty of returns to show for it. Obviously that’s not a good long term business strategy.

Using hypnotic writing ethically will ensure you boost your bottom line. It’s the icing on the cake of a good offer made to the right list.

Creating Time Travel With Hypnotic Writing

Were you aware that you can bend the illusion of time by altering how you reference time?

If you weren’t, you are now and you’ll be aware of opportunities to take advantage of this strategy from now on.

As with anything sold, there are pros and cons. If you want to highlight the pros, describe them in the present tense. If you want to deemphasize the cons, talk about them in the past tense.

Living in the present and talking about anything now gives it the most life and immediacy. This is where you want to talk about all the great things your buyer gets.

Conversely, you ought to address the drawbacks unless you want extra returns. You don’t have to make mountain of a molehill or unnecessarily scare anyone. Place it gently in the past when they’ve already successfully dealt with the issue.

Deep down, people buy things because they’re looking to feel better. Maybe it’s a dinner at a nicer restaurant or a new car. Help them feel good now by buying now. Talk about the good feelings they will have in the future right now. Help them imagine the pride of ownership or the better experience buying will eventually give them.

Perhaps you noticed how I used the technique in the second paragraph.

Here it is again now that you understand it:

You may have been listing benefits and drawbacks randomly before reading this article. Even so, you now know the best way to maximize those things. From now on, you’ll begin to see higher conversion rates and stretch your copywriting buck.

Let’s recap… put the drawbacks as far away in the past as you can. Highlight the immediacy of your benefits in the present. And talk about the future great results now too. Time is your friend as long as you recognize how it can help you.

About the Author:

Volunteering and profiles

Sorry I let it go almost 2 weeks without posting. I had a birthday weekend and my major volunteer effort – Toastmasters – started a new year.

I’ve got a club and a district officer role this time around and it all came down at the same time. When I told one of our new club officers that, she asked why anyone would want to do that. Everyone has their reasons for joining Toastmasters (a communication and leadership organization if you didn’t know). Serving in a leadership capacity is a totally different level though. It wasn’t until I got into district leadership that I started taking the program seriously and speaking regularly.

My reason for the "extra" involvement is that after all the different organizations I’ve been a part of… churches, corporations, the army, the public school system, soccer teams… I consider Toastmasters to be one of the best. It gives people the opportunity to improve themselves. You don’t have to have a set of beliefs or be coerced into anything. You show up… you’re challenged… you have fun… you get better.  If anything promotes world peace, it’s empowering people to act on their own beliefs.

If you’re a copywriter or anyone who wants low risk practice in persuasion, I can’t recommend Toastmasters more highly. You can write your speech and get immediate feedback from an audience.

On to profiles… Ryan Healy wrote on how to know if you have the traits of a freelance copywriter. It’s good stuff. As I’ve been working on an NLP model for copywriters, I’ve noticed a few things. One is that there’s almost NO consistent trait among copywriters other than having a creative process that consists of researching, writing and editing. Beyond that, everyone’s an individual.

So while the grandmasters of copywriting enjoy describing what makes a great copywriter, what they’re probably really saying is what they believe makes them a good copywriter. Every master in any field will write about what unique traits they have. The truth is that there are lots of good copywriters out there who don’t fit any mold.

And then if you consider yourself an entrepreneur first, there’s even more variety there. Somehow most of those guys keep pounding out bad ads year after year and still make money. Of course they’d make more if they improved their marketing skills but just about everyone knows a story like that.

One consistent across almost all organizations and professions is value and influence. Where are you providing value and how are you influencing others to convey that value?

The Holy Grail of Copywriting

There’s lately been some discussion on the value of NLP in copywriting.

I haven’t seen too much hype about NLP Copywriting being the holy grail of copywriting. Jon McCulloch posted today about how it’s just another tool for copywriters. I don’t know that anyone is arguing that point.

Copywriters worth their salt will tell you these are the most important elements of a promotion:

  1. The list
  2. The offer
  3. The copywriting

These aren’t percentage contributions either as I saw one marketer teaching. This is a situation where if you miss on #1, it doesn’t matter how good the other two are. You can nail #1 but if you miss #2 you still don’t have a very successful promotion.

Conversely, you can do a terrible job of #3 but still have a moderate success if you got the first two down. Obviously you’d want to do well on all three to optimize your chances for success.

That said, NLP Copywriting is about optimizing the effectiveness of #3. It can’t rescue a promotion that missed on the first two elements.

The other point I wanted to add to the discussion is on testing.

James Brausch does as much testing as anyone else out there. Through using his multivariate testing software, he turned the visitor value of one of his sites from $5 to now $31.35 . And that’s without deliberately testing any NLP. [FYI: Visitor Value means for every unique visitor to that site, the average payoff is over $30]

James also posted a good and brief explanation of the different types of testing (including Taguchi). Split testing is better than nothing but why would you do it when you can get results so much faster these days?

As an aside, I’ve participated as a subject in several double blind studies and they’re not usually as blind as people would like to think. There are ALWAYS incentives at work that people tend not to take into account.

It would be ridiculous for an entrepreneur to spend time trying to set up a double blind study. In a medical setting, double blind means neither the doctor nor the subject knows which medication is being dosed and tested. But believe me, sometimes you KNOW which one is the placebo.

Why would an entrepreneur want to set up a situation where the winning variables were in a black box (double blind) that they had to sort through after the fact? James’ software, MuVar, automatically sorts it out for you and selects the best ones to display.

The point of all of this is the overall approach I’ve intended to take with this blog:

NLP Copywriting is simply another variable to multivariate test while you’re improving your copywriting.

There’s no perfect sales letter. There’s no magic pill persuasion technique. There’s only a point of diminishing returns where it becomes more profitable to either focus more energy on increasing traffic or create a new offer.

If there is a holy grail of copywriting, it’s multivariate testing.

Writing a Sales Letter with NLP

I was posting a comment on the Warrior Forum and realized it was something I ought to share here too.

The thread was by someone who said they were having a hard time getting their letter written because they were getting lost in the process. I laid out how I usually go about writing a sales letter including the NLP parts. I quote it here again for you:

I usually list out every benefit I can think of and then form headlines from the most powerful benefits. I’ll often take my second and third favorite headlines and use them for pre or post headlines.

At some point near the beginning I’ll look around for a sales letter I’d like to emulate.

Then I list out everything I can think to say about the product. I take the list of benefits and make bullets out of them. By then I’ve decided on the type of lead to use. Then I get a stack of note cards and put each idea I wanted to include on them. I also make an outline of sorts that includes things like nested loops to open and close, objections to reframe, what to pace and lead, etc. It’s really something between a mind map and a to do list.

I lay the note cards out and build the letter in the order it makes most sense to me. I usually don’t use all the cards as I’m wanting to be as concise as possible. See Bob Bly’s methodology above [edit: from www.bly.com] for the structure of a sales letter.

Then I start writing and layering in NLP and other persuasive devices as I go. Sometimes it’s helpful and fun to go into a sort of hypnotic trance as I do it. I think Joe Vitale and Matt Furey talk about doing that kind of thing. You’ll need to watch the time if you do that though because you’ll blink and an hour will have passed.

I let it sit a day or so and then start editing. First I read it out loud and smooth out any grammatical issues. I’ll fine tune any persuasive devices I’m looking for and make sure the deeper meta message (ie NLP) builds progressively and elegantly. I’ll go back through that and tweak it with Glyphius. I think I finish by making sure I’m happy with the formatting. Once I feel like it’s where I like it, I’d make a list of things to multivariate test.

I may be leaving something out. Hmm.

If I feel stuck at any point, I’ll skip to something else and come back to it. I usually try not to go more than an hour without getting up and taking a break to go outside and kick my soccer ball around.

Evolution of a paragraph

Glyphius Paragraph Editing

These are two examples of how statistical analysis can turn mediocre paragraphs into winners. The same refining is completed for headlines.

The changed word is struck out. An inserted word is denoted by <<insertedword>>. The score for each paragraph is at the end of each entry.

Example 1:

Changing 4 words changed the score from a 180 to a 500 – a relative 278% increase in effectiveness.

Regardless of the industry you specialize in, you’ll find something for your tastes. There are professional services, credit cards, business software, nonprofit fundraising, nutritional supplements, health clinics and even a parrot training video. There are subscriptions to members only sites, newsletters, newspapers, and magazines of all shapes and sizes. – Score: 180

Regardless of the industry you specialize in, you’ll find something for your tastes. There are professional services, credit cards, business software, nonprofit fundraising, nutritional supplements, health clinics and even a parrot training <<movie>>. There are subscriptions to members only sites, newsletters, newspapers, and magazines of all shapes and sizes. – Score: 282

Regardless of the industry you specialize in, you’ll find something for your tastes. There are professional services, credit cards, business software, nonprofit fundraising, nutritional supplements, health clinics and even parrot training <<instruction>>. There are subscriptions to members only sites, newsletters, newspapers, and magazines of all shapes and sizes. – Score: 338

Regardless of the industry you specialize in, you’ll find something for your tastes. There are professional services, credit cards, business software, nonprofit fundraising, nutritional supplements, health clinics and parrot training instruction. There are subscriptions to members only sites, newsletters, newspapers, and magazines of all shapes and sizes. – Score: 356

Regardless of the industry you specialize in, you’ll find something for your tastes. There are professional services, credit cards, <<enterprise>> software, nonprofit fundraising, nutritional supplements, health clinics and parrot training instruction. There are subscriptions to members only sites, newsletters, newspapers, and magazines of all shapes and sizes. – Score: 414

Regardless of the <<market>> you specialize in, you’ll find something for your tastes. There are professional services, credit cards, enterprise software, nonprofit fundraising, nutritional supplements, health clinics and parrot training instruction. There are subscriptions to members only sites, newsletters, newspapers, and magazines of all shapes and sizes. – Score: 500

Example 2:

A negative score to 500 is an infinite improvement. Deleting all of the original paragraph would have resulted in a measurable increase in conversion.

“75 All-Star Secrets for Writing Winning Copy.” AWAI believes you can never have enough tips from the pros. Not that you have to use them all in every letter…but if just one inspires you to write a great letter, it’s worth reading. That’s why this report is such a great resource. t recaps the 75 most-important things you need to know as a copywriter — quickly and concisely – complete with real-life examples that drive the message home in an instant. – Score: -10

“75 All-Star Secrets for Writing Winning Copy.” AWAI believes you can <<always>> have <<more>> tips from the pros. Not that you have to use them all in every letter…but if just one inspires you to write a great letter, it’s worth reading. That’s why this report is such a great resource. It recaps the 75 most-important things you need to know as a copywriter — quickly and concisely – complete with real-life examples that drive the message home in an instant. – Score: 65

“75 All-Star Secrets for Writing Winning Copy.” AWAI believes you can always have more tips from the pros. Not that you have to use them all in every letter…but if just one inspires you to write a great letter, it’s worth reading. That’s why this report is such a great resource. It recaps the 75 most-important things you need to <<be aware of>> as a copywriter — quickly and concisely – complete <<including>> real-life examples that drive the message home in an instant. – Score: 212

“75 All-Star Secrets for Writing Winning Copy.” AWAI believes you can always <<profit from>> more tips from the pros. Not that you have to use them all in every letter…but if just one inspires you to write a great letter, it’s worth reading. That’s why this report is such a great resource. It recaps the 75 most-important things you need to be aware of as a copywriter — quickly and concisely – complete including real-life examples that drive the message home in an instant. – Score: 221

“75 All-Star Secrets for Writing Winning Copy.” AWAI believes you can always profit from more tips from the pros. Not that you have to use them all in every letter…but if just one inspires you to write a great letter, it’s worth reading. That’s why this report is such a great resource. It recaps the 75 most-important things you need to be aware of as a <<marketer>> — quickly and concisely – complete including real-life examples that drive the message home in an instant. – Score: 240

“75 All-Star Secrets for Writing Winning Copy.” AWAI believes you can always profit from more tips from the pros. Not that you have to use them all in every letter…but if just one inspires you to write a <<winning>> letter, it’s worth reading. That’s why this report is such <<an effective>> resource. It recaps the 75 most-important things you need to be aware of as a marketer — quickly and concisely – complete including
real-life examples that drive the message home in an instant. – Score: 282

“75 All-Star Secrets for Writing Winning Copy.” AWAI believes you can always profit from more tips from the pros. Not that you have to use them all in every letter…but if just one inspires you to write a <<control>>, it’s worth reading. That’s why this report is such an effective resource. It recaps the 75 most-important things you need to be aware of as a marketer — quickly and concisely – complete including real-life examples that drive the message home in an instant. – Score: 284

“75 All-Star Secrets for Writing Winning Copy.” AWAI believes you can always profit from more tips from the pros. <<There’s a limit to how much you can pack into a>> letter… but if one inspires you to write a control, it’s worth reading. That’s why this report is such an effective resource. It recaps the 75 most-important things you need to be aware of as a marketer — quickly and concisely – complete including real-life examples that drive the message home in an instant. – Score: 481

“75 All-Star Secrets for Writing Winning Copy.” AWAI believes you can always profit from more tips from the pros. There’s only so much you can pack into a letter… <<though>> if one <<tactic>> inspires you to write a control, it’s worth reading. That’s why this report is such an effective resource. It recaps the 75 most-important things you need to be aware of as a marketer — quickly and concisely – complete including real-life examples that drive the message home in an instant. – Score: 501

 

Closing off bunny trails

I finished watching Eric Graham’s webinar on conversion optimization and I realized I’ve been doing it wrong. I’ve been trying to do two things with one site and that’s not the most effective way.

The effective way is to have a sales page that encourages one action OR a content site where people can poke around where they like. I’ve had my sales page as the homepage for this site AND had all sorts of “distracting” links on the side.

If you’re looking at the site now instead of a reader, you can see that I changed the homepage back to the blog. I don’t know if that will have messed up anyone subscribed to a reader. If so, sorry.

I may get a separate domain for a sales letter. If so, I’ll promote it here somewhere obvious.

The reason I may not is that I’m planning to go ahead with my own products as I mentioned before. I may or may not get back around to accepting additional copywriting clients. It never hurts to ask.

Why would any marketer work for someone else?

I’ve had this nagging feeling in the back of my mind for a while now.

I read blogs like James Brausch’s where he advocates creating and promoting your own products. Makes sense. And then I read posts by Ryan Healy and Clayton Makepeace and it seems like everyone is jumping on the bandwagon.

Unless you have a line of clients waiting months in advance to hire you, it seems like it would take as much work to create and promote a product as it would to find a new client and complete a project for them.

If that’s the case, why would any copywriter choose the latter? My excuse has been that I wanted to establish a copywriting career first. But now I’m wondering what for?

Why would we want to work for someone once and only get paid once (not counting royalties) when you can spend the same time to start a money machine that pays you over and over?

I went ahead and invested in the remaining products of James’ today. I’ve got a couple of ideas for products that I’ll be working on in the near future. I’ll probably post on my progress though not promote the first couple of products here because they have little to do with marketing. I’m thinking of something for soldiers and then soccer players.

How about you?

Misdirection and the false close

Of all the various books and courses I’ve studied, AWAI is the only one that goes into depth on the false close.

According to the art of seduction model, it’s when you’re finishing the tour of the house and instead of stopping at the bed, you stop at the computer where there only happens to be one chair. You simply want to show some cool pictures from your last vacation, right?

The purpose is the same in copy as in seduction. Your target is expecting that you’re trying to get into their pants (where their wallet is, silly). Instead, you’ve directed their attention elsewhere. The pressure to accept what they thought was coming dissipates. They’re wondering what’s next.

In copy, you introduce a benefit you were holding back. The target has forgotten the resistance they were saving up for the close and their desire kicks in. They feel as if they’re in control and the one who’s pursuing. If things leading up to this went okay, you’ve closed the deal while letting your target feel like she’s the one closing you.

Most people feel the need to establish their boundaries to relax and be safe. They’re constantly testing the limits to see where they are. If they were prepared to push against your close and then it isn’t where they expected they feel a vacuum left. They start to wonder if they might loose out on their opportunity for the close. Instead of pushing against it, they start pulling for it… IF you’ve built up enough interest in your offer.

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