Science of Copywriting Newsletter Issue 4

Right now there’s a mini discussion going on in the Science of Copywriting group on pain and pleasure and which moves people more.

It makes sense to say we’ll always move away from pain, but not always towards pleasure (the implication being that good copy should always press hard on pain points).

In the discussion, the writer tells us it’s proven and the ratio is 2:1 in favour of pain.

Certain people in the NLP world have a different view by saying that one person’s pain is another’s pleasure. Very convenient (and obviously true if you include psychopaths in your test cohorts).

Ideas like these become consuming. We easily forget why we’re doing this. And if we forget too much, we end up with contrived copy that focuses on pain, pain and more pain.

In contrast, focusing on people’s needs and wants is better for everyone. If someone says they want a better holiday experience, then why sell them on the fact that your clients’ competitors’ holiday experiences are awful?

And if someone hates their job and is looking for an escape, why ram the horror of working for someone else down their throats. Is that what they want?

And what about those who have no idea what they want. Shall we sell them the horrors of something they might not have thought about just to get them to take some kind of action?

I don’t think so. Which leaves us with pleasure. Or rather hope.

I call these two drivers hope and fear. I have a document named Big Ideas. Whenever I’ve figured something out that means something to me, it goes in my Big Ideas document.

The first item in there is titled Hope and Fear. Let that be your driving force when you think about copy.

Last Week

If you missed any of last week’s posts, here’s the links to them plus a little more info:

Lead. ProCopyClub opened its doors again this week for the final 20 places (these include a year’s worth of personal mentoring directly from me). This piece talks about creating rather than consuming opportunities – so is counter-productive to selling a copywriting course, but this is far more about mentoring, so if that’s what you’re looking for, consider it. It’s truly amazing value – read some of the testimonials:

ProCopyClub. Enrolment starts. But this piece had more to it than simply advertising ProCopyClub. I cover the Be Do Have paradigm and The Right Hat principle.

Science of Copywriting Rule Book. Here’s how to get hold of a free copy of my latest book.

Attention. We all know that attention matters, but how can you get your clients to pay you more?

Compassion. The most important skill on the planet is compassion. Get this right and you’ll have minimum stress, zero anger, and live a happier life.

Copy. And finally something on the most copied idea on the planet – copying other people’s stuff. Getting your head around this will also enable you to position yourself to your clients as the ONE. It’s not what you think (to use a cliche, but true none-the-less).

That’s all for this week.

With my love,

Quentin Pain

Science of Copywriting



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