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How to suck readers into your copy – with 2 words

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How can you truly captivate readers?

If you’ve been a student of copywriting for a while you might have an answer.

“It’s about understanding the audience’s stage of awareness…”

“We have to match their intent”


“Their level of sophistication is important”.

All of these are excellent and must-knows.

But there’s a more subtle, yet powerful aspect to consider and look for when researching your target personas.

It’s what I call their “Emotional direction”.

In other words where are their feelerz taking them?

Are they running away from pain…

Or are they moving towards their goal?

This is important to consider because it impacts conversions in a huge way.

Knowing their emotional direction shapes your value proposition, and has a big influence on your positioning, too.

I’ve seen it work wonders with my clients.

If you want to learn this stuff, you have to seek the masters of direct response.

These guys have developed an innate sense for what works and what doesn’t.

Recently I heard Alen Sultanic (a true operator and hidden gem of copy knowledge) talk about this and going even deeper.

He talks about “Emotional states”, and has developed a theory for how to address them:

“The low emotional state customer lives in the state of “why”.

  • Why me?
  • Why is this happening to me?
  • Why can’t I get rid of this?
  • Why am I sick?
  • Why can’t I lose weight?

The reason is…why is a mirror reflective word of the past, it looks to the past and creates an emotional loop of justification.

Now…as for the high emotional state customers…

…Most simply don’t care about the why…

…They know why, because they figured that out…

…What they’re after is the “HOW”…

  • …HOW do I make money?
  • …How do I get jacked?
  • …How do I lose weight?”

Powerful if you ask me.

To the point where we could go into ethical and moral discussions on whether it’s fair to use these tactics – especially with people in low emotional states.

But I’m not here to debate.

I’m here to learn and share what works.

This highly related to my concept of “Emotional direction”.

You could say that the low emotional state people are running away from pain, hence they need to know why.

And that the high emotional state ones are moving towards their goal, seeking the how.

And, meta-lesson: all of this might also explain why, my highest open rate emails to this list, start with “How” (yes, including this one).

Because most of you are likely to be in a high emotional state.

You are doing stuff, you want to learn and need to know how to do even more, better.

Makes sense.

Now you know how I’m purposely trying to control your minds…

Just kidding.

But you have a new tool in your arsenal.

Use it responsibly.

And in case you need help, did you know we can now work 1-on-1 on anything?

P.S. A quick update on my first ebook: We’re done selecting the past emails to include. It’s going to be juicy and packed with knowledge. But also, it will include some homework for you. I want this to be actionable and helpful. Stay tuned.

P.P.S. Thanks Craig, for the feedback. I’m super humbled.

Quote and reflection of the day:

“Before you can question your intuitions, you have to realize that what your mind’s eye is looking at is an intuition—some cognitive algorithm, as seen from the inside—rather than a direct perception of the Way Things Really Are.”

– Eliezer Yudkowsky, Rationality

It’s easy to deceive yourself into assuming that your intuitions are correct most of the time. That’s confirmation bias. But a very minor part of those intuitions might be indicative of reality and helpful. To truly understand and use intuition constructively, you have to get outside of your own head and then question what your mind sees.

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