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Four Reasons Why People Buy

Author: Mike Jezek   |   December 15th, 2009

Pain is the key to profits. It’s vital that you understand this when you’re creating sales letters, landing pages and ads. Many people create ads by tossing out a bunch of benefits and hoping something sticks. This is a big problem especially with beginning copywriters. In copywriting and sales, you’re taught to find the benefits and promote the benefits of your product or service that you’re selling.

However, you have to understand the right way to do this. There are four reasons why people buy products or services:

  • For immediate gain.
  • For foreseeable gain.
  • For absolving immediate pain.
  • For absolving foreseeable pain.

Of these four, the most powerful is immediate pain. That pain needs to be greater than living with the status quo. That said, in your advertising you want to agitate that pain to the point where you’ve taken a perfectly happy person and you’ve whipped them up into an emotional frenzy.

Ideally you want to target several pains but if you can find the biggest pain and rub salt into it, then that’s the goal. That pain must become so real, so troubling that they will gladly pull their credit card out and go through the trouble of entering in all of their order information.

Put another way, imagine your prospect lazily sitting in front of their computer, sipping coffee, skimming your website. Now for them to sit up in their chair, dig for their credit card and then spend a minute or two filling out your order form is too much trouble for most people.

This is your goal – to bypass this inertia.

It’s important to add that you make that pain very real to the reader by giving colorful depictions of how it affects someone, how it’s caused turmoil for others and the consequences of doing nothing. From there, you insert your product or service as the solution and you make it crystal clear that your product or service is the solution that will resolve those pains. Get very detailed in showing how it will resolve those pains and prove your claims.

I want to add that not every product or service will work well with this copy format, but the vast majority will. For those particular situations, where it won’t another article devoted to that topic would be necessary.


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