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Sales Letter Copy Secrets: How to Use Hidden Psychological Triggers
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By Yanik Silver

Do you remember the stupid beer commercial a few years back with the tagline "Why Ask Why?"

Well, completely unknown to the ad agency, they had almost stumbled onto a breakthrough marketing concept. Telling people the reason why you are doing something is one of the most powerful influencers of human behavior.

Robert Cialdini, Ph.D. in his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion talks about an experiment by Harvard social psychologist, Ellen Langer, that concluded people like to have a reason for what they do. Her experiment consisted of people waiting in line to use a library copy machine and then having experimenters ask to get ahead in line.

The first excuse used was "Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I'm in a rush?" This request coupled with a reason was successful 94 percent of the time. However when the experimenter made a request only: "Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?" this request was only granted 60 percent of the time. A significant drop!

Okay now for the shocker.

It may seem like the difference between those two requests was the additional information of "because I'm in a rush."

That's not the case.

Because in a third experimenter, the experimenter asks "Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?" There's no reason mentioned or new information presented, just the words "because."

This time a full 93 percent of the people said yes simply due to the word 'BECAUSE'! And it didn't even matter that there was no reason given. Just the word because triggered a magic response.

More psychological 'triggers' that can massively increase your sales letter success, whether you’re writing online sales copy or direct mail copy.

Max Sackheim, famous for the long-running ad "Do You Make These Mistakes In English" and originator of the book-of-the-month concept, says "Whenever you make a claim or special offer in your advertising, come up with an honest reason why, and then state it sincerely. You'll sell many more products this way."

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Yanik Silver is an author and owner of Surefire Marketing.com.
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