We’ve all come across those landing pages that feature long, emotional “hypnotic” sales copy. You know the ones. The author tells you some heartbreaking story (e.g. I was 100 pounds overweight. I tried everything. No diets worked. My boyfriend broke up with me. I was depressed, and wanted to kill myself. AND THEN I TRIED XYZ PRODUCT AND MY LIFE WAS CHANGED FOREVER!)
Now, as a copywriter, my first instinct is to criticize this kind of copy. Why? Because it just screams “Scam! Stay away!” But the truth is this copy converts. Otherwise, you wouldn’t see everyone using this same formula over and over. Take a look at the top selling affiliate products on ClickBank. Almost every landing page features the long, emotional, “hypnotic” sales copy.
So, what is it about this kind of copy that makes it so effective? Here are just a few reasons hypnotic copy works.
- It uses the power of storytelling—Some of the most effective sales letters of all times harnessed the power of storytelling. Why are stories so effective? For several reasons. First, they stimulate the senses. Great stories put you right there in the middle of the story. Second, stories let the reader relate, saying “I’ve been there before.” And finally, stories appeal to our emotions, and emotions always plays a big role in the buying process. For more information on the power of storytelling, check out this great post “Your Brain on Stories.”
- It stimulates our emotions—In the last point, I briefly touched on the fact that people make buying decisions largely based on their emotions. In the words of Eisenberg in Persuasive Online Copywriting “People rationalize buying decisions based on facts, but people make buying decisions based on feelings.” To go back to our earlier example of diet pills, people buy diet pills because they make them skinnier and more attractive, allowing them to feel better about themselves. It’s all tied to emotions. So, in your copy, you need to focus on tying the benefits to emotional triggers.
- It uses repetition—To keep you “hypnotized”, the writer will continually repeat the main message all throughout the copy. This helps keep the reader focused on the main point, so that they’re ready to take action when the writer asks them to do so.
- It features calls to action throughout—One of the most effective things you’ll find in these long landing pages is that they have a call to action every few paragraphs, rather than simply stuffing one at the end of the copy. Typically, there will be one call to action per screen view, meaning no matter where you are on the page, you have a way to take action. Now, say what you will about hypnotic copywriting, but this is a technique all landing page copywriters should be putting into practice. You want to make it as easy as possible for your readers to jump to action.
- It uses testimonials to back the story up—The hypnotic copywriter doesn’t just force you to take their word for it, they use testimonials to back their story up. And they have a spectacular knack for placing these testimonials in the copy right when you’re about to say “Wait a minute. This sounds too good to be true.” Check out these tips for giving your testimonials more credibility.
What do you think about long, emotional, “hypnotic” landing pages? Are they too spammy for your taste? Or do you believe if it works, use it? Share your thoughts in the replies.