Copy writing is truly an art form. It is the art of communicating. It is the art of influence and persuasion. Copy writing can turn a skeptic into a believer and a reader into a customer, or it can repel just as easily.
Common knowledge within the sales and marketing world holds that the majority of purchase decisions happen at an emotional level. Therefore, if you are writing sales copy that fails to communicate with the reader on an emotional level, you will not be successful in selling much of your product (you may even convince them to go with your competitor). It doesn’t matter if you’re selling vacation accommodations, vacuum cleaners, or a political candidate. You MUST speak to your target audience at their level and with a style that triggers positive emotions.
In order to communicate in this most effective manner, you must first identify who the members of your target audience are at a foundational, personality level. What appeals to one group can be viewed as negative by another. Words that excite individual “A” may have little or no effect on individual “B”. You must know to whom you are writing before you begin.
In regards to personality, there are many different “systems” that categorize people into groups and subgroups. In this particular article, we’ll work within the DISC model which labels the four main personality types with descriptive titles: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance. We’ll take a basic look at each of these groups, who they are, and how to write copy that appeals to each.
Dominance | “Get to the point”
Sales people, managers, military, entrepreneurs, and most people that are in positions of power and control fall within the “D” or “Dominance” category. They are problem solvers that love a good challenge almost as much as they love authority and power. These people are go-getters with lots of energy and short attention spans. They want copy that is direct and to-the-point. Stay on topic, focus on the business at hand, and avoid the joking that other groups might appreciate.
Some words that will spice up your copy in the eyes of a “D”:
Influence | “I like your product, now let’s talk about you”
Ministers, teachers, customer services reps, and therapists all fall under the category of “Influence”. These individuals love chit chat, people, and relationships. They are very outgoing and like to leave time for socializing and having fun. They are optimistic, big picture people that will want to know about you as much as about your product. Investing in developing a relationship with this customer base will take you far.
Because they are so in touch with people and feelings, copy writing that induces a good memory will be effective. Questions such as “remember the excitement when you______?” or “how do you feel when______?” will prove useful. By initiating feelings and memories, you will establish a personal bond with “Influencers” that will certainly pay off.
Words that will help form a bond with an “I”:
- I Feel
Steadiness | “How will this benefit me? What guarantees do I have?”
More than 40% of the population falls into the “Steadiness” category. These individuals need to be approached with logic and will need to think through their decision carefully. “Steadiness” types will need to be shown how a product will benefit them and will also need to be given a sense of security in their purchase decisions. Softly presenting your case with good logic and a money back guarantee will be very effective on an “S”. Also, because this is the largest group, copy writing in this manner makes the best default style.
Words that will influence an “S” in a positive manner:
- Proven Process
- Take Your Time
- Think About It
Compliance | “Prove it”
Bankers, mathematicians, accountants, scientists, engineers, and architects are all examples of the “C” or “Compliance” category. These are individuals that will only be persuaded with facts and hard evidence. Numbers and stats are a great tool in promoting your product with this group. Push quality and standards backed by cold, hard data and you’ll convince them. Disorganization, jokes, and “new and improved” lingo will not impress.
Words that will sell to a “C” type individual:
- Tried and True
Now the difficult part is figuring out how to best use this information to customize your copy writing for most effectiveness. If you manage and market a vacation lodging business, you might pay more attention to who or what the majority of your guest are. Much of this will depend on your niche or your region. Las Vegas will serve a completely different demographic than Yellowstone National Park. Do you accommodate mostly business travelers, eco tourists, hunters, etc.? Once you know your guests or clients or customers, you can start generalizing them into personality groups and marketing to them more successfully.
Unfortunately, most often when we write copy, it’s intended for a wider audience. All four of these groups are going to be reading it and judging you or your product accordingly. When that’s the case, try to deliver to all parties. Add short, bulleted lists and highlight in bold some of the main points throughout your tasks in order to “get to the point” for the Dominance personas. Make the text personal and nostalgic for the Influence individuals. Make sure to mention your money back guarantees, packages, and specials for the Steadiness group. Also, don’t forget to sprinkle your text with great statistics and guest reviews for the “prove it” people in the Compliance category.