“Most people tell you that Google My Business (GMB) is essential for local SEO, and they’re not wrong, but it’s also a big step to getting on the map, period. Even if you don’t have a brick-and-mortar location, verifying your business with Google will make you searchable — and findable — when you want to stand out from your competition.”
The BYAF Effect is less for sales copy but more for smaller asks you make.
As Instapage suggests, if you’re doing any sort of split testing with your marketing copy, make sure to either give the experiment time for the novelty to wear off, OR run the test to a new audience or new visitors to your site. This way, you can ensure that it really was the copy that improved conversion—and that the improved conversion rate won’t drop off.

Pratfall Effect (aka the Blemishing Effect) says that competent individuals become more appealing to others after they make a mistake. 

How to use it in copywriting

Your goal is not to convince your readers of an illusory truth. Use this effect to drive home important messages that support your product, service, or brand.
So basically, brainwashing. But like I said, that’s not what we’re doing with our copy here.
With the information so simply put (including the “This could be you!” caption on the diagram), it’s easier to understand and trust that it’s true. (Of course, make sure you’re explaining actually true facts here.)
5. Be careful with A/B testing

I Spent $4M on Google Ads – Here Were My 5 Biggest Mistakes.
marketing strategy. But should you have yourself such a pratfall, come forward about it in a personal way.

7. Tell readers what to expect in your intros

The Novelty Effect refers to when there is an improvement or positive result to a change, due NOT to that specific change, but to the fact that there was any change at all. Once the novelty wears off, whatever improved will return back to its original performance.

How to use it in copywriting

Let’s take a gander through ReferralCandy’s Twitter feed, Facebook page, blog posts, and homepage.
13. Try other ways of saying it.
9. Strategically place information before your CTA

type of blog post over and over again. But this is an easy way to become wallpaper for your audience. So don’t just occasionally change it up to generate some engagement. Always be writing different types of posts so that your blog is a novelty in and of itself.

More blog post ideas here.

  • Q&A
  • Listicles
  • Mistakes to avoid
  • Eye-opening stats
  • Ideas and strategies
  • Templates and examples
  • Guest posts
  • Personal insights
  • Tool or resource round-up
  • Original data
  • Success stories

This makes sense because we are attracted to what we can identify with/relate to, and we can all identify with mistakes. So, using this effect in your copywriting can humanize your business, make you an approachable expert, and build emotional connections with your audience.
So in copywriting, open loops are basically teasers, and there are lots of ways to insert them into your content. The idea is to provide just enough information to pique interest, but not enough to close the loop.
When you’re sharing a list of tips, strategies, examples, or mistakes, add your favorite one to the title. For example:
The But You Are Free Effect (BYAF) says that telling people they don’t have to do something makes it more likely that they will.

The Priming Effect

There’s a name for that effect. And it’s one of nine psychological phenomenons that I’m going to share with you today, that you can use in your copywriting.

What it is

Another aspect of priming says that leading off with the purpose of a piece of content improves comprehension and recall of that content. So let’s take a look at this introductory paragraph to a recent blog post by the fabulous Susie Marino. The title of the post is “How to Improve Google Shopping ROAS with Priority Bidding.”
The Priming Effect says that what we do in a particular situation is influenced by what we saw or heard directly prior to that situation—EVEN if we didn’t consciously take note of those things AND without realizing we’re connecting the two together.
The Priming Effect comes in handy not for your call to action copy, but for the copy preceding it.

How to use it in copywriting

One type of priming is called the Florida Effect. In this 1996 social experiment, people who were unconsciously exposed to words associated with old age actually walked slower than those who were exposed to random words. 
In other words…
As Jonathan Becher explains in his article, a study on over 22,000 subjects found that when people were asked to but also told they didn’t have to, they donated more money, more readily agreed to take a survey, and gave more money to someone asking for bus money home.

273 emotional words and phrases you can choose from.

Take this example from ThougthSpot. Whether you’re on their homepage, browsing Facebook, or scrolling through LinkedIn, you see the same thing repeated over and over: “Dashboards are dead.” 
Or maybe you take advantage of the Novelty Effect. If you find that changing a title or headline on a particular page on your site does seem to spike performance, find out when it wears off and get into the habit of changing it regularly. You could even rotate between three different versions of the same offer.
Or start off your blog post with a novel-style opener.

Focusing Effect says that people make decisions according to the most pronounced and distinct information available in their working memory—meaning they don’t factor in equally important information that is less prominent in their brains. 

So we know about staying “top-of-mind.” This is why we run ads, publish articles, post on social media, and send emails. But “top-of-mind” doesn’t mean “pronounced and distinct.” And it’s not your business in general that you want top of mind here, but rather, information specific to the decision you want your readers to make. 

How to use it in copywriting

If you want people to feel and act confident in clicking that CTA button on your page, well then prime them with emotional words and phrases that cause them to feel that way.
This means that the words and phrases you use in your copy are priming people left and right. Heck, you’re being primed right now (for what, I don’t know; I’m not doing it on purpose). So harness the power of psychology to influence your readers’ decisions.

unique selling proposition—for your business overall but also mini-USPs for each of your offerings. The idea is to make the ultimate benefit as clear and obvious as possible to readers before reading anything else on your page. With this focal point, they’ll read everything else through the lens of that ultimate benefit. 
Digit’s website, I will now read everything through the lens of becoming less worried about my money—whether I mean to or not. This is what their app does, and I am oriented to that as soon as I arrive.

The “But You Are Free” Effect

In this example, you learn that by signing up for the webinar, you can close those open loops that your brain is now itching to close. You’ll find out why more than 20% of marketing emails reach the inbox. And why click-throughs only represent 1/4 of total responses. And how subscribers really feel about email relevance. Great work Validity.

What it is

In other words, the words they were exposed to primed their behavior.
Now this doesn’t mean that you need to go around making mistakes. Our definition says that this only happens when the mistake-maker is perceived as highly competent. So you generally don’t make mistakes, but when you do, it’s endearing. 
24. Include your favorite

asking for a review, suggesting a package or resource, or gaining and retaining email subscribers.
  • We would love it if you left us a review, but you are of course free to pass as well!
  • Our clients see the best success with this package, but you are free to decide.
  • We think this resource would be a great fit but you are free to decide.
  • We think you’ll love our newsletter, but you are free to just browse around our site.
  • Are you sure you want to unsubscribe? We hate to see you go, but you are free to do whatever makes your inbox happy!

Here’s how to use the Novelty Effect to your advantage and how to prevent it from messing with your A/B testing.
3. Refresh copy and creative regularly

  • But you are by no means obliged!
  • You can, of course, unsubscribe at any time
  • But you know your needs best
  • But it’s entirely up to you
  • We have a favor to ask (but only if you want to!)

The Primacy/Recency Effect

If you’re trying to get someone to sign up for a webinar or download an ebook, take the approach of “find out [why, how, when, etc.]”

What it is

21. Use repetition

Kaleigh Moore points out, this also means that the opening and closing lines of your emails are your two “most valuable pieces of real estate.” 

The Cognitive Fluency Effect

And you don’t always have to use those exact words with this persuasion technique. Alternatives include:

What it is

But before I do, I want to make one thing clear: I’m not in the business of tricking or coercing anyone into doing something they shouldn’t. That’s not effective copywriting. 
So as I demonstrated in this post, you can throw in little open loops to keep readers engaged in the current piece of content. Use phrases like
There are sequences everywhere in copywriting, so think outside the box with this one.

How to use it in copywriting

So your copy should be easy to read for obvious reasons—no one likes unnecessary difficulty. But as it turns out, it also has a profound effect on our perception of truth.
Here’s an email I once got from Hot Pod, where the writer Nick acknowledges that he “slipped up in the newsletter production this morning; that’s my bad.”  
Take a look at this marketing email from Grove Collaborative. Before I even get to the offer, the email copy tells me that that they’ve kept 5.3 million pounds of plastic out of waterways.

From Sleeknote’s homepage

The brain longs to close loops. This is why we get curious. Love stories. Click on clickbait.
When my cat won’t eat the food I’ve given her, I “begrudgingly” oblige, pick up the dish, transfer said food to a different dish, and set said different dish back down. She then proceeds to gobble up said [same] food.
The Cognitive Fluency Effect says that the easier it is to process a piece of information, the more we will perceive it as true and accurate. The idea here is that our brains don’t have time to pay special attention to something it has already encountered—but that also goes for things similar to what it has encountered.

1. Teach from your own mistakes

In my article on how to write copy that sells, I provide lots of tips on how to do this: remove adjectives, fancy words, non-words, and more. One of my examples was from Sleeknote.

one study, survey participants were asked to rate a particular statement according to how trustworthy it was. Participants who had been exposed to that statement multiple times were more likely to rate it as true than those who had been exposed only once. 

In his post on attribution modeling, top PPC expert Mark Irvine starts off with “A Personal Case Study of Attribution Modeling Failure.” Just when you thought you couldn’t like this guy any more than you already do… ya do.

How to use it in copywriting

Also called the Serial Position Effect, this is where people are most likely to remember the first and last items in a sequence.
23. Use “one” in your titles
And what’s great about this type of title is that you don’t have to focus on one thing in your video or blog post. For example, you can provide one mistake and then give X tips on how to avoid it.

words and phrases.

16. Write in conversational style

Zeigarnik Effect (Open-Loop Effect) says that our brains focus on and better remember incomplete tasks (open loops) more than it does complete tasks (closed loops). And this doesn’t just apply to actual physical tasks, but mental ones too. Like, finding out what happens at the end of [the latest show you’re binge-watching on Netflix].

26. Throw some loops into your blog post intros 

How to use it in copywriting

Use these tips and psychological effects to write copy that builds your brand, earns your readers’ trust, and makes for a positive experience overall. Let’s sum it all up:
15. Make it easy to read (be familiar, not fancy)
For example:

  • The Number One Reason You’re Not Getting Hired
  • This One Simple Strategy Increased Our Conversion Rate 20%
  • Want to Run the Perfect Event? Avoid This One Mistake

This one’s a no-brainer. Write your blog posts, emails, and other website copy as if you’re conversing with your audience—not giving a course lecture. Take this LOCALiQ blog post on How to Claim Your Business on Google, for example. The author, Mary Lister, is great at writing conversational copy. She writes:

copywriting psychology - example of youtube title with open loops

25. Take the “find out” approach
6. Use emotional words before you get to the ask.
I have three suggestions here.

  • 8 Free Resources to Learn How to Invest (#6 is Our Favorite!)
  • 15 Common Mistakes Developers Make (Brace Yourself for #4 )
  • 12 Yoga Poses to Improve Your Sleep (#7 is a Life Changer)

In short: Because familiarity is fluent for us, fluency feels familiar to us (even if it’s not).
There are lots of different blog post types:

copywriting psychology - example of email with open loops

Instead of leading off with a brief explanation of what priority bidding is, she leads off with a clear picture of what readers can expect from the post as a whole—what value they will get out of it.
This great UXmatters article on the topic describes a study where people who read a set of statements that were easy to read rated them as more truthful than people who read the same set of statements that were harder to read.
A/B testing your landing page or ad copy is the best way to find out what works, but according to the Novelty Effect, that spike in clicks or conversions after changing your copy may not be due to the copy itself. It could just be that people got so used to (and bored with) seeing the original copy that the new copy catches their attention. 

  • But we’ll get to that later
  • Which we’ll soon learn was a big mistake

Of course, you’ll want the outcome to be compelling as well. So in this YouTube video title, we read “How we used this one simple strategy to generate 43,000 leads for our business in 10 months.” 

  • So there I was…
  • And that’s when I realized I…
  • I never meant to…

Use psychology to improve your copywriting 

While Sleeknote offers plenty of advanced features and benefits in the way of click-through rate, conversion rate optimization, campaigns, domains, custom CSS, and more—you don’t see any of that language here. You see simple, familiar terms that don’t make them look like they’re trying to impress you or convince you of anything. It inherently feels more trustworthy. 

The psychological effects:

  1. Pratfall Effect: Your likeability will increase if you’re not perfect.
  2. Novelty Effect: The event of a change affects performance rather than the change itself.
  3. Priming Effect: Words subconsciously prime our subsequent behaviors.
  4. Focusing Effect: We rely on the most prominent information in our memory to make decisions.
  5. But You Are Free Effect: We’re more likely to do something if we’re told we don’t have to do it.
  6. Primacy/Recency Effect: We remember the first and last items in a sequence.
  7. Cognitive Fluency Effect: Easy to read is translated as more true and easier to do.
  8. Illusory Truth Effect: Repetition leads to belief.
  9. Open Loop Effect: Our brains chase after closure.

The copywriting tips:

  1. Talk about your own mistakes.
  2. Apologize when you’ve made one.
  3. Refresh copy and creative regularly.
  4. Change up your blog posts.
  5. Be careful with A/B testing.
  6. Use emotional words before you get to the ask.
  7. Tell readers what to expect in your intros.
  8. Strategically place information before your CTA.
  9. Make the core value proposition large and obvious.
  10. Use ”but you are free” directly.
  11. Say “but you are free” without actually saying it.
  12. Convey clear value in your introductions and conclusions.
  13. Bullet out features strategically.
  14. Write powerful email subject lines and closing statements.
  15. Be familiar, not fancy.
  16. Write in conversational style.
  17. Be super blunt.
  18. Present information clearly.
  19. Describe easy processes easily.
  20. Use easy-to-read fonts.
  21. Use repetition.
  22. Be consistent
  23. Use “one” in your titles.
  24. Include your favorite.
  25. Take the “find out” approach.
  26. Add open loops to blog post intros.

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