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You’ve spent days fine-tuning the sales pitch (buyer psychology copywriting strategy) on your product page. It’s been a heart-burning experience but the finished product looks good.
Don’t celebrate just yet, we need to nail one more thing: your opening.
To illustrate the power of the opening let me share a personal story.
This morning, as I got onto the treadmill I started scrolling through Netflix to see what I’d like to watch during my workout.
Happened to stumble on Smurfs 2
My rational side said, “This is going to be bad”.
My irrational side said, “Don’t you remember enjoying watching Smurfs as a kid?”
Even though I hit play I was thinking about all the other things I could be watching. I pretty much had 1 foot out the door. By the time the opening scene was done I was pretty sure this was a waste of my time. But then, somehow, I must’ve heard a joke that got a chuckle and bought 2 more minutes.
Shortly thereafter I was hooked. Sunk cost❓ had set in, and now I was in too deep to pull out. Also, the universe of Smurfs was gradually coming alive for me.
Slippery slide effect
In my favorite book on copywriting by Joseph Sugarman, the author talks about the idea of the “slippery slide”.
The idea behind “slippery slide”: the copywriter’s job is to get the user to read the headline. The headline should be written so well that it compels the reader to read the opening sentence. The opening sentence should be crafted so well that the reader is sucked into the next sentence. This chain of events creates, what the author calls, the “slippery slide”.
According to the book once you get the reader to read 25% of the ad they will end up reading the entire ad.
This is exactly what we need to do as copywriters. Our opening should be so strong, so enticing, so filled with mystery and intrigue that the reader is sucked into the wormhole as soon as they start.
This is at the heart of buyer psychology copywriting.
If I can get the reader to read my whole pitch I am 8x more confident I’ll get them to pull out their credit card.
How this relates to eCommerce
Here is how shoppers behave: there is a problem that’s been nagging them. They go to Google and run a search. See a bunch of product ads and click one. They land on your product page. This quick video explains the whole process:
In the video above you saw how that user, who just landed, knows there are plenty of other products to choose from. That’s the last thought she had when she landed on your site. To develop the slippery slide for this shopper the opening sentence in our product description needs to address this point. It should be structured so the shopper doesn’t even think about the other products.
Here is how brands typically describe their product on the product page. You’ll notice they just talking about their product (click to see zoomed view):
Notice the new opening I added (click to see zoomed view):
Raw copy from the screenshot above:
Eye patches aren’t created equal. There are many styles available online and before starting this looooong project we tested them all.
Our objective was clear: update our bestseller only if we were certain we could create something far superior.
New product development takes years of research and development and if a solution existed for $55 or less we simply didn’t feel the need to add just another product.
Now that you understand the importance of the art of the start allow me to reveal other ideas to maximize content conversion rates:
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Product pages matter because that’s where our prospects make the crucial buy / no-buy decision.
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