Copywriting is an essential aspect of any marketing strategy, and it can make or break the success of a campaign. With so much content out there, it’s crucial to create copy that stands out and captures the attention of your target audience. That’s where Vosler’s guide comes in. Using the seven deadly sins as a starting point, you can craft copy that evokes specific emotions in your readers, making them more likely to act and convert into customers
Sean Vosler lays out the seven deadly sins of copywriting, which are easy to remember and correspond with emotions that you can draw on in your marketing copy. These sins are Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, and Pride.
- Lust (get what you desire/be what they desire)
- Slothfulness (this will help you be lazy/do less work)
- Envy (rise about your particular Joneses)
- Pride (be amazing)
- Wrath (be angry)
- Gluttony (get everything!)
- Greed (the ultimate me-focused bullet – it can all be yours!)
In this blog post, we’ll dive deeper into each sin and learn how to use them in our copywriting.
Sin #1: Lust – Appeal to Desire
When it comes to tapping into desire, Sean Vosler emphasizes the importance of highlighting the benefits of your product or service in a way that plays up the customer’s desires. This involves understanding your target audience’s desires and showing them how your product or service can fulfill those desires.
By doing this, you can create a sense of urgency and excitement that motivates customers to take action and make a purchase.
- If your target audience is looking for a new car, they may be driven by a desire for prestige and status. To tap into this desire, highlight the luxurious features of your car, emphasizing how they will make the customer feel more successful and prestigious.
- Framing a weight loss supplement as a way to achieve the body of their dreams.
- Another example of tapping into desire in marketing copy is in the beauty industry. Many customers are driven by a desire to feel attractive and confident. To tap into this desire, marketing copy could highlight how a beauty product will enhance the customer’s appearance and boost their confidence, making them feel more attractive and desirable.
Sin #2: Gluttony – Appeal to Self-Interest
Self-interest is one of the most fundamental human motivators. Everyone has some degree of self-interest, and there is nothing inherently wrong with that. It is natural to want to prioritize our own needs and desires over others.
When it comes to copywriting, appealing to people’s self-interest can be a highly effective way to persuade them to take action. By highlighting the benefits of your product or service and how it can meet their needs or desires, you can tap into their self-interest and make them more likely to make a purchase or sign up for your offering.
Vosler suggests playing into this by framing your product or service as something that will benefit the customer directly. The key is to make the customer feel like they’re making a smart choice that will benefit them personally
- A software company might highlight how their product will save the customer time and make their work easier rather than focusing on the technical details of how the software works.
- if you’re selling a weight loss product, you might highlight how it can help the person achieve their desired body image and boost their confidence.
- If you’re promoting a financial planning service, you might emphasize how it can help them achieve their financial goals and provide long-term security for themselves and their family.
Sin #3: Greed – Appeal to: Possessiveness
Greed is all about the desire to acquire and possess more. As humans, we often seek to accumulate wealth, material possessions, or experiences that provide us with a sense of ownership and status. In marketing, appealing to this desire can be an effective way to motivate customers to make a purchase.
Vosler suggests that when creating marketing copy, it’s important to frame the benefits of the product or service as tangible possessions that the customer will “own” once they make a purchase. This can be achieved by highlighting the unique features or experiences that come with the product or service, such as exclusive access or limited edition items.
By emphasizing the sense of ownership that comes with the purchase, customers are more likely to feel a sense of possessiveness towards the product, leading to increased sales and brand loyalty.
- A luxury car company might highlight the unique features and customizable options of their vehicles, emphasizing the sense of ownership and exclusivity that comes with owning one of their cars.
- A clothing brand might promote its limited edition collections as a way for customers to own a piece of exclusive fashion, creating a sense of possessiveness and status among the brand’s followers.
Sin #4: Sloth – Appeal to: Laziness
Appealing to laziness might seem counterintuitive, but it can be a powerful motivator for customers. People are often willing to pay a premium for convenience, so highlighting how your product or service will save them time and effort can be a great way to win them over.
Sean Vosler suggests that when appealing to the sin of sloth, it’s important to use language and imagery that communicates the idea of ease and simplicity. He advises emphasizing the convenience and time-saving benefits of your product or service and using phrases like “hassle-free” or “effortless” to make the customer feel like they’re making a smart choice that requires minimal effort.
Another way to tap into the sin of sloth is to offer a free trial or demonstration of your product or service. By making it easy for customers to try before they buy, you remove some of the work and risk involved in making a purchase, which can be very appealing to lazy shoppers.
By tapping into the sin of sloth strategically and ethically, you can create marketing copy that resonates with customers and drives results for your business.
- A meal kit delivery service might emphasize how their service takes the hassle out of meal planning and grocery shopping, allowing customers to spend more time doing what they love.
- A cleaning service might use the tagline “Relax, we’ll do the dirty work” to appeal to customers who don’t want to spend their free time cleaning.
Sin #5: Wrath – Appeal to Anger and Annoyance
Appealing to negative emotions like anger and annoyance might seem risky, but it can be very effective in marketing. When customers feel like a product or service is addressing a problem they’ve been struggling with, it can create a strong sense of urgency and motivation to make a purchase.
Sean Vosler suggests that when appealing to the sin of wrath, frame your product or service as a solution to a specific problem or pain point. Use language that highlights the frustration or annoyance that customers might be experiencing, and position your product as the antidote to that negativity.
- A headache medicine might emphasize how it quickly and effectively relieves headaches, allowing the customer to get back to their day without being sidelined by pain.
- A software company might advertise its product as “The answer to your slow, outdated computer”, acknowledging the annoyance and frustration that many people feel when their technology isn’t performing at its best.
Sin #6: Envy – Appeal to Jealousy
Appealing to envy can also involve emphasizing the status or social standing that comes with owning your product or service. Sean Vosler recommends emphasizing the exclusivity or desirability of your product or service to create a fear of missing out (FOMO) in the customer, which can prompt them to take action promptly.
By emphasizing the exclusivity of the product, the brand creates a sense of scarcity that can make the customer feel like they’re part of an exclusive group having access to something special. It’s essential to strike a balance when appealing to envy, though. You want to make the customer feel like they’re getting something special, but you don’t want to come across as overly boastful or arrogant.
By highlighting the unique benefits of your product or service in a way that makes the customer feel special, you can tap into the sin of envy in a way that feels authentic and compelling.
- A high-end fashion brand might highlight the limited availability of a particular item, making customers feel like they need to act fast to get it before it’s gone.
- A luxury car company might emphasize the high-end features of their vehicles, such as leather seats and advanced technology, to make customers feel like owning one of their cars will elevate their status and make them stand out from the crowd.
Sin #7: Pride – Appeal to: Confidence
Sean Vosler suggests that appealing to the customer’s ego by making them feel good about themselves and their purchase decision can be a powerful motivator. This can be achieved through flattery or by positioning your product or service as a symbol of status and prestige that the customer can take pride in owning.
By tapping into the sin of pride, you can create a sense of confidence and self-assurance in the customer that they have made a wise and stylish choice by purchasing your product or service. It’s important to make the customer feel like they’re not only buying a product but also investing in their sense of self-worth and identity.
- A fitness program might appeal to the customer’s confidence by emphasizing how their program will help them achieve their desired body shape and boost their self-esteem.
- A premium skincare brand might appeal to the customer’s confidence by positioning their products as the secret to flawless skin and emphasizing the positive attention they will receive from others due to using their products.
In conclusion, understanding and utilizing the seven deadly sins of copywriting is an effective way to appeal to your audience’s emotions and create more engaging and effective marketing copy. By following the principles laid out by Sean Vosler, you can tap into the desires, needs, and wants of your target audience, making them more likely to convert into customers.
When crafting your copy, it’s important to ask yourself about the desired outcome you want your audience to have. Do you want them to feel confident and proud of their purchase? Do you want them to feel like they’re getting something no one else has? Do you want them to feel like you’re solving a problem causing them frustration and annoyance? By identifying the desired outcome, you can tailor your copy to appeal to the emotions that will get your audience to take action.
For example, let’s say you’re selling a productivity app that helps people manage their to-do lists more efficiently. You could appeal to the emotion of sloths by highlighting how the app will make their lives easier and save them time. You could appeal to the feeling of pride by framing the app as a tool that will make them more productive and efficient, giving them a sense of accomplishment and confidence.