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Why your copy doesn't work reason#2: give prospects more than one reason to act now

Did you ever buy anything on sale? Of course, you have. It might have been the only reason. But why did you? The simple answer is you were already in the headspace to buy. And the advertiser did enough to convince you now was the right time.

So, why not learn from your own actions? Help your prospects act now by giving them all the reasons they need. Ideally, as many as you can, because let's face it, like you, your prospects:

  • Have a lot of things on their mind

  • Have many distractions and responsibilities

  • Have limited money

  • Doubt you and mistrust themselves

For advertisers, your competition isn't the other brands in your category. Everything, literally everything, is your competition. Everything is competing for your prospects' attention. And that attention is limited and fragile.

This is why smart, persuasive copy is more than just about delivering benefit after benefit. In no uncertain terms, it should explain why now is the best time to act. It also means going beyond a limited time offer. It's about getting inside your prospect's head and showing them what they will gain and lose.

"But not everyone will want to read all of that," you say? You're right. Not everyone will. BUT we're not talking to everyone. We're only talking to the people that matter. The prospects who are in the right headspace. Someone who is already thinking about their options in your category.

Because here's an advertising fact: You're NEVER going to convince anyone who hasn't already been considering buying something similar to what you have to sell.

So use this fact to your advantage. Forget the people who are never going to buy anyway. Only talk to the people who could and are actively searching for what you have to solve their problems. These are people that will be looking for justification to buy from you in one of two ways, either:

  1. The excuse to throw caution to the wind and think, "Oh, go on then!"

  2. The excuse to be cautious and think, "Hmm. Nah, maybe not."

As an advertiser, you must have 'the fence sitters' front of mind. The undecided few need persuasive reasons to help them navigate the fear of the unknown and answer their hesitations.

The trick? Well, less of a trick and more of a principle. Repetition.

Put yourself in the mind of your prospect again. Do you think a single mention of the reason to act now will motivate them? Did just one mention of the reason make you act on that sale item you bought?

No, it didn't. It took several carefully worded nudges, prompts, and triggers that gave you the reasons you desired. This is how you use repetition to your advantage.

Aristotle, a master of communication, famously said, "Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them." And an advertiser should do the same:

  • Tell them the offer

  • Tell them how good the offer is compared to the last one

  • Tell them why acting now is better than waiting

  • Tell them the offer is for a limited time

  • Tell them the offer is for a limited number of people

  • Tell them when they can act

  • Tell them when they can't act

  • Tell them who else has acted

  • Tell them who might act

You get the idea.

The case for repetition is simple. If your offer is worth having, you need to make sure your copy – from ad to checkout – repeats enough justification to cement why now is better than later.

And success depends on your copy's ability to answer "Why should I act now?" effectively. Many do not, which is why many online baskets are left abandoned. Stop adding to the 80 per cent of orders not completed. Drop james@paperandpixels a note and give your prospects no reason not to.

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