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Three Psychological Factors of Selling

Getting the sale isn't always about offering the lowest price or a freebie—although these help. You probably can't afford to offer a hot deal every day. It may have to be used as a seasonal sales boost. Your product or service needs to sell on its own merit. Look back at the competitive advantages you wrote down as your unique selling points. How do these speak to the emotional needs of your customers?

In addition to making your offer compelling, Dr. Ralph Wilson, web marketing and e-commerce expert, recommends using these psychological factors to sell: enhance desire, create a rationale, and build trust.

Enhance Desire

To enhance the desire for your products or services, you need to enhance your copy with words that draw your customer in emotionally. As Dr. Wilson points out in his e-book How to Develop a Landing Page That Closes the Sale, "Write sentences and paragraphs that paint for your prospect what it will feel like to realize those benefits."

Look at your unique selling points, or the ones I created for Red Mountain Spa as an example. Those aren't landing-page ready. Here's one:

Number and diversity of fitness classes: over 35 weekly programs including yoga and gentle martial arts emphasis—Yoga, YogaSpin, Pilates, Chi Ball Method, T'ai Chi, Ai Chi.

That's descriptive, but does it make you feel anything? I'm guessing not. How could Red Mountain Spa emotionally sell this feature as a benefit? How about this:

Soothe stress away through Yoga, Chi Ball, and any of Red Mountain Spa's 35 weekly health programs. Pamper your body and spirit at our all-inclusive retreat, which is surrounded by the American Southwest's natural beauty.


Get in shape and re-energize through YogaSpin, Pilates, and any of Red Mountain Spa's 35 weekly fitness classes. Your all-inclusive adventure in rejuvenation awaits your arrival.


Refresh your body, mind, and spirit through Yoga, Chi Ball, Pilates, or any of Red Mountain Spa's 35 health and fitness programs. Your all-inclusive vacation in relaxation and rejuvenation awaits you in the natural beauty of the American Southwest.

How will the vacation described in number one make you feel? Relaxed, less stressed, and peaceful were a few feelings I was going for. How about number two? The words set a completely different tone. These words would attract someone who wants to feel energized, challenged, and adventurous. I combined the two kinds of desires—relaxation and rejuvenation—in the third example.

This copy could be used in the ad listing as well as on the landing page. These examples don't just state the fact that Red Mountain Spa has an extensive list of fitness classes. They tap into people's desire for the benefits.

Create a Rationale

Not everyone buys on emotional appeal alone. That's where your competitive advantages come into play. For example, Red Mountain Spa even offers fitness junkies more classes than they can attend in a week. The spa's number and diversity of classes are impressive, and should be included in their landing page copy. Their program selection appeals to the logical side of people who may think "Well, out of 35 classes I'm bound to enjoy some of them. If I choose a spa that offers only a few, I'm at risk for not liking any." Sold! Combine emotional appeal with rationale and you'll connect with people through one or the other.

Build Trust

Anticipate customer concerns and proactively respond to them on the landing page. Dr. Wilson notes that credit card security, shipping costs, return policies, and email privacy are the primary concerns for doing business online. It's beneficial for any company to tackle these issues on their landing page, in addition to answering potential questions about the offer. Helping shoppers feel secure about doing business online with you is the final step before a deal is made. Although I didn't find a Red Mountain Spa listing in a search engine, they have web site material that would make a good landing page. Take a look at Figure 5.8, which is a pop-up on their home page, and 5.9, which is the landing page for the pop-up ad. Let's review how well this page does according to the landing page checklist:

Landing Page Checklist for Red Mountain Spa



Is a direct path provided?



Is the message from the ad completed?



Is critical information above the fold?



Are there reduced navigational choices?



Are action words used?



Is desire enhanced?



Is a rationale presented?



Is trust being established?



Figure 5.8Figure 5.8 This is a pop-up ad on Red Mountain Spa's home page.

Figure 5.9Figure 5.9 Here's the landing page once Red Mountain Spa's pop-up ad is clicked.

The good stuff: Red Mountain Spa's landing page highlights the special rates promoted in the pop-up ad. It also houses the relevant information inside an 800x600 screen resolution. The financial incentives appeal to visitors' logical side; the photo appeals to the visual senses by showing a peaceful location set in natural beauty.

For a few items on the checklist, Red Mountain Spa missed the mark. Because the pop-up simply sends someone to a designated spot within a web page, the main site navigation is easily found if visitors scroll up the page. Other promotional offers share the page space, too. These items provide distraction. Second, there are no action words or graphics encouraging people to book a trip today. Just a few minor edits could help drive people into their reservation form. Overall, this works pretty well as a landing page to their pop-up ad. This concept could easily be turned into a search engine ad listing.

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