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Conversion Triggers (2 of 4): How To Sell More, Get More Opt-ins, Get More Email Opens (Episode #145)

In the second installment of what will be a 4-part series, we will discuss conversion triggers. In other words, we will talk about the psychological principles behind much of the marketing you see today and why they work.

In the second installment of what will be a 4-part series, we will discuss conversion triggers. In other words, we will talk about the psychological principles behind much of the marketing you see today and why they work.

Today we discuss:

  • Stories
  • Simple & Easy
  • Common Enemy
  • Curiosity

Understanding these “triggers” will allow you to move people into action…. whether that be to buy something, to opt into your email list, to open an email, to click on an email, to post a comment, to click on a tweet…. whatever it may be.

Moving people into action is the name of the game, and these conversion triggers are a very important part of doing it.

In this series, we will discuss many different conversion triggers, why they work, and examples of using them.

And perhaps you’ll even learn something about yourself. 😉


Types Of Conversion Triggers – Part 2

 So today we are going to jump in to Part 2 of our Conversion Triggers discussion. We are talking about various things that trigger people to take action on the things that we want. Whether it be an opt-in or to buy something, to open an email, to click on an email; it doesn’t really matter. We are talking about conversions. And sometimes, these conversions can be really big, sometimes it can be really small… little micro-commitments, clicking on a tweet. It really doesn’t matter what it is; we’re ultimately trying to get people to take action. And in the last episode, we began talking about various psychological triggers they get people to take action; to convert. And today we are going to continue talking about that with the next conversion triggers…


1. Stories

Now you might have heard before that stories are a powerful marketing technique. And actually it is not really a marketing technique! It is a basic means of communication going back to the beginning of time. People have used stories as a way to communicate messages to each other, to hand stories down to generations. Ever heard of the Bible? What is a bible other than a collection of stories? It is a collection of stories, each one with a message. And so if there is any proof of the power of stories it should be that one.

You could probably think of numerous examples. Quite frankly, even if you look at your own history, of the things that you remember; maybe from stories in your family’s history or what have you, the ones that you are going to remember the best usually are associated with a story. Many times you remember the plot of a book or the plot of a movie for a while. And it is because with an effective story it made you feel something.

Why do stories work so well? Well, stories trigger emotions. They activate the senses. I think the big reason for it is because there is an aspect of co-creation happening. If you are anything like me… when you are reading a story, especially in a book, I find… I put myself into the scene of that book at the time. And so I am actually sitting there “watching”, so to speak, the plot play out. And I am reading it. Well, think about it. I am mentally translating those words over into actual images in my mind. Well, who is creating those images? It was me! It’s not the author. The author wrote the words. I’m the one creating the images. And so there is an aspect of co-creation to people working together to create that… The author and me! And because I am co-creating those mental pictures inside my mind, complete with senses and visuals and maybe smells and what have you;, that really sticks with us because it is almost like we created the scenes ourselves. This is why stories can work so well to communicate. It is also why stories can drive people into actions. You have seen some really big things happen throughout history where they basically use a story to move it along. And it is because they work so well. We resonate with them because we put ourselves into that story complete with all emotions and all senses and because we actually created those things ourselves in our own minds. It is like we convinced ourselves of the thing… Not the person trying to convince us. I hope that makes sense.

So you need to ask yourself “What stories can you tell that would ultimately lead into your offer?” It could be stories of your own back story… How you came to arrive at the creation of this offer? It could be a story of somebody else. It could be a story you even made up, it doesn’t really matter. Don’t make it out like it is real if it is actually not, but there is nothing wrong with telling a fictional story if it parallels the pathway that your prospect is going to probably be traveling themselves. Let them put themselves into the mindset of the person in the story ultimately leading them up to a point where they might want to seek a solution by way of the thing that you are selling them. What stories of struggles being overcome can you tell? What kind of cliffhangers can you put in there? I mean, all the things that you have observed worked well in the telling of stories of leaving a cliffhanger to get people to read into the next chapter; those types of things, you can work into your sales message. And in fact, this will be a sales message which doesn’t even seem like a sales message because it would be communicated via a story. Now, obviously when it comes to the point of getting them to take action, you are going to be out of story mode at that point. But at that point, you have set them up. They feel what it is that you want them to feel and that was because of the story.

People are going to read a story much better than they are going to want to read a sales letter. And so the best kind of marketing that you can do is the kind where it is based on stories. I have seen very well-known internet marketers; even lesser known internet marketers where the primary thing that they email you is a story; something that happened in their life just recently or some story in their past, but it has a theme, it has like a motto, a meaning to that story… That is why they tell it. And so, they will tell some story about something that they have experienced or observed or what have you and they will transition it into “Here’s why you should go, do this” and of course, that is the call to action, it gets them to click on that from the email. So stories are really, really powerful and I want to leave you with the idea that I want you to go into what you are doing with your blog post writing and also your sales messages, even your emails to your list and think about how you can incorporate stories as much as you can. It shouldn’t all be about just matter-of-fact, instructional-how-to’s; it works really well when you do it via storytelling.


2. Making Things  Simple And Easy

The avoidance of effort as we might put it. There’s this thing out there where we all have this built-in laziness. We want to do something for the least amount of effort required. If we are given several paths to the same goal, we are almost in the everglade going to choose the path that requires the least amount of work. That is just the way we all are.

Water tends to go downhill and so do we! And so for this reason, if you show people how your offer is going to show them how to get the result that they want as easily as possible and with the least amount of effort, you are going to win. You want your product to show to them from the outside that they are going to get what they want without having to work very hard at it. Now, I want to say here that obviously, most things worthwhile achieving in our lives require real work. Look at the business that I am in… I am here to show you how to build an online business from scratch. Well, that is not necessarily an easy thing to do. It is not a short thing to do. I would be lying if I sat here and told you that it was easy. But you do see a lot of internet marketers out there basically selling big red buttons. Almost like they want you to think that all you got to do is push a few buttons and some magic combination and money is going to fall out of your computer screen. But we all know that is a bunch of bull crap and yet people buy it all the time!

So what I would say that you do is you never want to give a false impression. But there is nothing wrong with having the easier side of things on the front-end as the thing that gets them to take the next step in your funnel. But then when it comes to the nitty-gritty, you are going to show them what actually works. There’s nothing wrong with doing that at all. You always make sure that you never caulk it in a lie. But it doesn’t mean you have to go out of your way to say “This is going to be tough! You are going to wish you never freakin’ did this!” That’s not marketing. Nobody is going to do it unless they are really kind of crazy. They are probably not going to sign up for big pile of work. And so, that is not the face you want to put forward in your marketing. What they do want is to feel like your product is going to alleviate problems and it is going to get them to where they are going in a simpler fashion that it would otherwise have and in an easier fashion.

Going back to the very first Conversion Trigger we talked about in the last episode of the Avoidance of Pain… Well, a lot of things that we want to accomplish, if we’re wasting our time by doing the wrong things and postponing the results or spending a lot of time in information overload and confusion; that is pain for many of us. And especially in a market like mine, if I can do things or provide things that are going to promise to alleviate the confusions and provide a simpler path… that is avoidance of pain. It also happens to fall into this Conversion Trigger which is Making Things Simple and Easy. So the kinds of words that you might associate with this kind of thing will be things like, well… the word “easy” because that is obvious… Step by step; that phrase leads itself into that… The idea of calling something “fast”, the word “system”, the word “framework”, the word blueprint; which I like… These words have that connotation of simple and easy and followable.

I am not telling people that this is going to be so easy and all they got to do is press a couple of buttons; but people will understand it when I am giving a framework or a system or a blueprint that I am alleviating a lot of extracurricular activities that might be a waste of their time, because I am showing them the step-by-step path. And you just follow along with that.

I hope that makes sense. The idea is SIMPLE AND EASY. It is just a matter of how you are going to communicate that to your audience in a way which is honest. I don’t want you to be one of those people who just position it as push-button easy, when it is not! But there are other ways to go… The avoidance of a bunch of needless complications is one of the ways that you can make this simple and easy for people.


3. Common Enemy

Now, this one you see in a lot of different places out there. It is the idea of uniting your prospects into a group, but what makes them truly a group is giving them all one unifying goal. And in this case, the unifying goal is going to be defeating an enemy… A common boogeyman, so to speak. And that boogeyman is going to represent all things evil to your group. It is going to be like a symbol of the things that they do not want to be and you are going to orient your prospects and your customer based on your audience, together to defeat that common enemy. People like to be in groups of people who think and act like them. And one of the ways that you can do that is to orient them and point them out external to the group and say, “See that? That is our enemy! Charge!” And it works really well. It is just a basic part of human nature. To give you some examples of common enemy and usage would be… Well, I have mentioned Apple a few times here since we started talking about Conversion Triggers… Apple does a fantastic job. If you look at some of their old commercials, who do they have as their common enemy? Microsoft! That is who they are pointed at.

To the Apple fan base, Microsoft was the common enemy. I think of the 1984 style commercial they did where they have the guy up on screen and it was like this communist utopia thing… well, they were basically positioning Microsoft as that; as the big enemy. And then Apple was the Maverick who was defeating the big Goliath… It was that kind of thing. And Apple has done a fantastic job at this. You look at the Mac versus PC commercials and they were quite humorous, actually, but they were basically making fun of Windows. And even to this day it is bred right into the Apple community, they are kind of like nitpicking Windows. That is a fantastic example of a common enemy.

If we look at politics, you see it all over the place. If you follow the Conservative media or the Republican media, their big boogeyman is the President… President Obama. It doesn’t matter what is going on with their lives, they will try to blame President Obama for it. And don’t think it is only the Conservative. The Left did the exact same thing with President Bush. No matter what, they called Bush the Nazi, all these stuff… It is like they always like to point at the figure head of the other side and that is their common enemy. So it is done all the time in politics. And they use that common enemy in order to drive people into action, to donate to a political party, to various causes; so they are using it to seek money which is their version of a sale, you know.

If you look at the natural health market, their big common enemies are typically big pharma, big pharmacy, big pharmaceuticals, the big Capitalistic food companies. Those types of things… that is like their big common enemy.

Another example; and this is not used for sales but not at least with money making sales but sort of kind that was, we think back in the 60’s with the United States and going to the moon. The reason why the country came together and made that happen, even though that was such an insurmountable task to get that done by the end of the decade was because the USSR was the common enemy. And so, everybody united around just beating the Soviet Union to the moon! That is why it worked so well. And I would say that is one reason why NASA has kind of fallen apart today is the fact that there is not really a common goal or a common enemy uniting it; that is why it is kind of plummeting around these days.

So those are really good examples of common enemy and usage and how it really does work.

Now, what the common enemy really does is allow people to explain their problem away, but in simple terms. People do not necessarily like to look at what they are experiencing as a pain and take personal responsibility for it. They do not want to look at it as a complicated matter. It is a lot easier to look outside and cast blame on something else or somebody else. It also gives a sense of meaning. I was saying earlier how people like to seek meaning when it comes to the reason why. Well, this idea of Common Enemy kind of provides that Reason Why that we all seek. And it is just the simpler path. It is kind of going back to Simple and Easy. You can kind of see how these things kind of interconnect.

When we have a problem it is a lot easier for us to blame an outside source for that and that is where the Common Enemy can come to be. So ask yourself, in your marketing and when you are positioning your products and services or even your entire brand… What can you stand against? Now, the answer to that question could be a competitor, but you need to ask yourself does that make sense for what it is that you are doing? If you come out and inadvertently rip in to one of your competitors, it can kind of rub people the wrong way. So you might not want to go that way. I mean, that would be like the Apple ripping on the Microsoft thing. They got away with it, but it doesn’t mean that you are going to take a competitor on your space and just rip them to shreds in your marketing. That might not be the cool way to go.

But there are other ways to do it. You can make your common enemy be an idea.

Now an example of this, if with myself being that what I do would be kind of a subset of the whole internet marketing space and we know that the internet marketing space has a lot of scammy people… I think the percentages of those types of people might be going down, but let’s face it, they are there. Go to Warrior Forum, you are going to find them.

So if I were to stand against something, my common enemy would probably be to stand up against scammers. The other thing would be to stand up against the idea of a boss. And the boss would be like the idea of like, having a job and that person who is like telling me what to do and making me sit in my cubicle all day. And it would be this idea that I could create and I stand against that. I stand for life on the outside of the cubicle and the boss would be the common enemy.

You see how that can work with my marketing? And that is what you can look into. You can create your own fictional Common Enemy, like an enemy that is a symbol of an idea. It doesn’t have to be a direct named person that you are attacking. In most cases, for most of us listening that is probably NOT what you are going to do. So that is Common Enemy as a Conversion Trigger.


4. Curiosity

We all have a natural sense of curiosity, but in a more accurate term, it might be called the Information Gap. It is a gap between what we know and what we want to know. Now, what fills in that gap, would be MYSTERY. Mystery is like that magic fly paper. It what makes us stick to things. We want to know the answer, we constantly are trying to fill that information gap. Now, this is a strong Conversion Trigger and you can use this very effectively in your marketing. Especially when you match it up well with the Novelty and Newness factor. The idea of you having this new version of something and you can spark their curiosity as to what are they going to receive when they get the new version.

This curiosity is also often associated with the pleasure potential that we talked about when we were discussing the idea of Novelty as a Conversion Trigger. So, you can do this very easily and you should, in all of your marketing. We are talking everything from even getting people to open your emails because that is a small micro-commitment; just opening the email. Think of subject lines that you might have seen that there. There’s Frank Kern, who likes to do those subject lines of “Dude!” I mean, that is his subject line, you know… It gets to a point, if you are on his list you are like, “Yeah, okay… Another “Dude” email.” But for many people, you really want to know what he has to say, so you open that. Another one I’ve seen is “Do not open this email!” That’s kind of counterintuitive, right? It’s like, “You just sent me an email and now you’re telling me not to open it?” You are probably going to open it, right?

So those are simple ideas of how you can spark somebody’s curiosity.

Another thing that I recommend that people do on squeeze pages and things like that when you are trying to get people to opt-in for a lead magnet is to take certain points out of the lead magnet and position it into a point of curiosity so that they wonder what it is. Put some counter-intuitive bullet points there that is going to make them want to see the inside of that lead magnet in order to fill in the Information Gap. Because you are going to get them to opt-in because they have got that pleasure potential to the lead magnet but also that lead magnet is going to make things Simple and Easy and it is also going to fill the Information Gap when they get it.

These are all the various Triggers that are going to make people want your lead magnet. And this is just for something as simple as an email opt-in. And so, you need to look at how can you spark curiosity in your marketing. How can you create that Information Gap and then use that information gap, that “mystery” energy in between the two to drawl them over and get them to take that action and move in to the next step.


Quick Review:

  1. Stories
  2. The idea of making things simple and easy
  3. The idea of providing a common enemy… And this is something that might work better as an overall orientation of your brand; not necessarily just one single product.
  4. The element of curiosity. And that is something that you should be using, creating that information gap whenever you are trying to get people to take that next step because it is a very powerful, attracting energy is that mystery.


I want to end off yet again, by reminding you to check out the Blog Monetization Lab. So much of what we are talking about here is filled in inside the Blog Monetization Lab. I mean, here’s another thing that I didn’t tell you about yet, that is now live inside the Lab, and that is the Membership Site Blueprint, the latest Action Plan of the Blog Monetization Lab which talks all about how to build your membership site. Not only I take you behind the scenes and the how the Blog Monetization Lab itself was built, including every little setting of my membership software, but there are a lot of things there that has nothing to do with the software that you are using. I talk about retention, how to keep members from cancelling, what to do when they do cancel, how to determine what to give people in your membership site, how to determine what to charge and various ways of charging for them… There’s a lot to discuss. This is actually the biggest Action Plan in the system, and in and of itself has over 5 hours of training video inside one Action Plan. Now, all that you could buy separately but your most economical way to get that Action Plan is to join the Blog Monetization Lab itself.

I will see you next time here at Coffee Break Blogging where we are going to continue talking about more Conversion Triggers so that you can make more sales, get more people to open your emails and get more people to opt-in to your email list.

I’ll see you then! 😉


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