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4 Steps to Using the Seven Copy Drivers

July 7, 2010 By Ethan Boldt
In his recently released book, "The Secrets of Emotional, HOT-Button Copywriting"—published by DirectMarketingIQ, the research division of the Target Marketing Group—direct marketing consultant Denny Hatch shows that, in order to change a prospect's behavior, it's imperative to use one (or more) of the seven key copy drivers identified by two of the greatest direct marketing gurus, Swedish entrepreneur Axel Andersson and direct marketing agency founder Bob Hacker.

The seven key copy drivers are:
  1. Fear
  2. Greed
  3. Guilt
  4. Anger
  5. Exclusivity
  6. Salvation
  7. Flattery

Drawing from the Who's Mailing What! Archive, which contains information about more than 200,000 mailings going back over 20 years in more than 200 categories, Hatch sorted through a collection of nearly 1,100 Grand Controls (defined by the Archive as packages that have been mailed for three or more consecutive years).

From "The Secrets of Emotional, HOT-Button Copywriting," here are four ways to leverage copy drivers. Hatch writes:

1. Become an expert in the thing you are selling. Study it. Work with it. Play with it. Think about it. If it’s a book, read it and make lots of notes.

2. Determine the Unique Selling Proposition—the USP. The key to marketing success is the USP—the one thing that makes a product or service stand out and be different from the competition. It might be price. It might be service. It might be exclusivity. It might be something else.

One way to determine the USP is to list all the features of your product or service. Then turn those features into benefits (what this aspect of the product or service will do for you). Rank the benefits in importance. The top benefit becomes your USP.

A product or service can have more than one USP—but not too many more.

3. Once you have figured out the USP, you can come up with the copy drivers that will best bring response.
“Go for points of maximum anxiety,” said Bill Bonner, founder of Agora Publishing, “that lurking fear that keeps the reader wide awake at 3:00 a.m.”

4. Liberally sprinkle your copy with the 12 most powerful, most evocative words in the English language: you – save – money – easy – guarantee – health – results – new – love – discovery – proven – safety.


 

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