Sales letter copywriting tips: STOP! And read this!

copywriting tipsDuring my years working as a freelance copywriter, I’ve naturally come to appreciate the incredible effect that certain words can have on the human mind.

Some words can make people more likely to read a particular sentence, click a button without even thinking, or get their credit cards out and make a purchase!

These words are generally referred to as “hypnotic trigger words.”

In one of my earlier blog posts I spoke about trigger words, and how they can be used to generate interest and increase sales. And in this post, I’d like to go into a little more detail about one word in particular.

“STOP!”

Add this word to the beginning of a headline or the subject box of a promotional email, and I promise you that a large percentage of your readers will do EXACTLY what you ask them.

It might seem a little over the top – using the word hypnotic to describe another word being used in a sales letter – but studies have shown that the use of this word will result in people doing exactly that! They will stop when you tell them to stop, and they’ll then read what you have to say.

In fact, you’ll be amazed at just how often your readers will do what you tell them to do, whether you use the word “stop”, or give other instructions, such as “click here” or “sign up here”, for instance.

However, it’s the word “stop” that is perhaps the greatest example of a hypnotic trigger word, and it’s truly incredible how well this works on sales letters, immediately catching your reader’s attention and drawing them towards an important piece of copy.

And why is this word so successful?

Well, it works so well because since a very early age, we’ve all been conditioned to obey that particular command, with it mainly being used as a safety measure. And this has continued into adulthood, with stop signs being used on roads to regulate traffic. Whenever we see this sign, we automatically stop. We don’t ask ourselves why, or question why it’s there. We just do it.

And your readers will do exactly the same. Trust me! And when they do, you’ve got their attention. You can then follow this up with an eye-catching headline that will pull them further into your sales copy.

Obviously, if techniques like this are used again and again, their effectiveness wares off. But nevertheless, it’s still a good example of a word you can use to add something extra to your headline and keep readers on your sales page for longer.

Nick Cobb – Sales Letter Copywriter

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