Category Archives: Sales Copy

The State of Online Marketing in 2014 – Presentation

Here is our presentation given at the Missouri Meetings & Events’ 2014 St. Louis Regional Expo
on May 19 – 20, 2014. In this presentation you’ll learn the foundations of what creates an effective, attention grabbing message and what ways you can start promoting your product or service online.

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The Guide to Building Better (Reverse) Testimonials

Reverse Testimonials

In today’s ultra connected world, testimonials are one of the most important ways to gain the trust of your prospects. Whether you have them on your own website, a Google My Business page, Yelp, etc., you want to make sure you have the best testimonials possible.

The truth is that most people are going to check out your reviews before they just take your word on your website, so we’ve created a form you can use for free to collect better testimonials from your clients. The form questions are based on psychological principles such as “liking” and “social reinforcement” grounded in Robert Cialdini’s and Sean D’Souza’s work in the field of psychology and persuasion.

You want to use a “reverse testimonial” because it comes off more authentic than a traditional testimonial which is 100% positive. No one is ever 100% truly without some doubt – it is only human nature. In a reverse testimonial, your subject expresses true doubts they may have had before trying your product or service. However, the testimonial ends with how your company overcame those doubts and delivered to meet your customer’s expectations.

Example #1 – The Right Way

“I had heard about Acme Co.’s services and how great they were from a friend of mine. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if it was really as good as it was made out to be. My friend kept telling me to try them out though, so I eventually gave in and ended up using them on my XYZ widget. They told me it would take 1 week to finish the job and again I figured I’d be lucky if it was done in 2 weeks. I couldn’t believe it though when they were done in 2 days! Not only did they do the work fast, it was great quality. I know I stuck my foot in my mouth at first, but I’m a huge fan of Acme Co. and make sure everyone I know goes to them.”

Example #2 – The Wrong Way

“Acme Co. is great! I totally recommend them to everyone!”

In the “reverse testimonial” form available here, you’ll have a checklist for making sure you gather all of the important psychological data that makes for a great reverse testimonial to feature on your website.

8 Psychological Triggers to Help You Sell More


Photo courtesy of Tim Sheerman-Chase.



Do you have a web page that does not sell no matter how many people visit it?

Are you frustrated with checking your traffic and sales stats every day and seeing nothing tangible happen?

If you relate to these problems, you  might have a sales copy problem on your hands.  Luckily, it’s not your fault though.  No one ever talks about what you should say on your web site.  No one ever talks about the psychology of what makes people take action and purchase your products and services.   Most likely, all you have been told is if you have a web site you will be connected to the world and the sales will start rolling in.  You have probably figured out by this point that it takes much more than just having a web site to be successful.

Long ago, the same thing was figured out in the world of advertising.  Just simply blasting your messages to the masses did not guarantee success.  Instead, a strategy had to be used to strike certain psychological triggers in peoples’ minds to make them want to buy.  As discovered by Leo Burnett, a revolutionary advertiser in the 1960’s, communicating certain key pieces of information in sales copy increases the likelihood of a sale by connecting with a prospect’s emotional and rational side.  By hitting all of these psychological points, the message you are trying to communicate will satisfy your prospect’s logical needs and irrational desires.  Even with all of the technological changes that have taken place since Leo Burnett’s time, the human mind has stayed the same so these very same psychological points can be used by as small business owner such as yourself to sell more products and services from your web site.

1. Identify Your Prospect’s Problem

Make sure you talk about the thing that is causing him or her pain!

2. Reveal Your Solution

Show how you will relieve the pain using your solution.

3. Define Your Target Audience

Describe aspects of your prospect’s life and experiences to let them know you truly understand what they are going through.

4. Go Into More Detail Using Steps 1, 2, and 3 As A Pattern

Dig deep and really explain the problem, the pain, and solution in more detail.

5. Bring Up The Biggest Objection

Price is usually not the biggest objection.  Typically, your prospect is more worried about value, quality, or level of service.

6. Provide Case Studies and Testimonials

These supplements provide social reinforcement that your solution will really solve the prospect’s problem.  Some of the best testimonials start off skeptical and finish with the customer being amazed or surprised by the quality of the product or service.  Testimonials that only highlight positive factors can come off as less believable.

7. Reverse The Risk

Let the prospect know they have nothing to lose by trying your company.  Let them know they have a money back guarantee,  financing options, a free, etc.

8. Say Why You Are Unique

Everyone is unique in some fashion.  Do not assume your prospect knows this.  Let them know and fulfill the last of the 8 psychological triggers!

Hitting on each of these eight psychological triggers can help you sell more through your web site.  Be sure to incorporate them into any audio or video you include on your web site as well to make sure you have the hardest hitting content possible.

One last tip for implementing these 8 psychological triggers into your sales copy is to make sure you have really defined your target audience in bullet 3.  If you find you are talking to a broad audience, it is easy to split that audience into smaller niches and build separate web pages that speak directly to each one with these psychological triggers.  As the saying goes, “if you market to everyone, you sell to no one”.