Skip to content

This equation explains how to sell to more people

I hated maths.

All the way through my teenage years I coasted the subject, trying to get the bare minimum to pass in my assignments.

I still believe all that stuff was pretty useless in retrospect.

And don’t get me wrong, if you plan on becoming an engineer, solving complex equations might make or break your success.

But me, nah.

What if they taught us more about social skills? Money management? Productivity? Sales??

All things you can apply to life.

But no, we were forced to chug a big gulp of meaningless numbers and even weirder symbols.

So, I was pretty shocked when one day, I stumbled on an equation that can actually have a huge impact in almost every aspect of life.

How’s that possible?

Because it’s about people’s psychology and human behavior.

Admittedly the equation format is just an easy way to visualize the concepts.

But still, this is the perfect use case for my shitty math skills and I have been using it in every single client project since.

It’s the MECLABS heuristic (I’ve already mentioned how highly I think of Flint McGlaughlin, head of the institute) and goes like this:

C= 4m + 3v + 2(i-f) – 2a

Meaningless, yes, until you learn about what each of those letters mean.

C: Conversions

m: Motivation

v: Value

i: Incentives

f: Friction

a: anxiety

And the number multipliers next to each letter give you a sense for how important each of these factors are when persuading someone on a web page.

We’ll dig deeper into this stuff in the next emails, but for today, I want you to pay attention to just 3 of these: Motivation, Value and Anxiety.

If you ever want to understand what a web page is doing (whether it’s a competitor or your own site) in terms of strategy, you just need to know these 3 elements.

Motivation simply means what people are looking for. What brings them to the page. Is it a pain they’re trying to solve? Is it a desired outcome they want to reach?

Value is what your product or service is going to provide for them. And it’s made of any features, benefits or needs.

Anxiety is any element that on the page counters objections, alleviates fears or clarifies things for the prospect.

Understand these 3 and you understand how people are persuaded online. Because they create a narrative arc, a story that grabs the reader and moves them to taking action.

Forget all copywriting formulas or templates. Start with these basics and you’ll get way further.

Enough brain farting for today.

As you can see in the formula, Motivation has the biggest impact.

That’s what we’ll look at in another email. Tomorrow?

Maybe. Or I might break the pace to let all this simmer for a moment.

Want to learn how I apply this and more to my client projects?

Get in touch.

brain dump?

Every day (yes!) I write about what I’m learning at my copywriting/UX desk ,with fun, insightful and quirky stories.

Let’s nerd about decision making, persuasion, habits, and conversion optimization.