Three More Advanced Techniques from Clayton to Persuade Prospects to Buy

Will Newman

Yesterday, we looked at the first three of Clayton Makepeace’s six strategies for persuading your prospect to believe you and buy from you.

Today, we’ll look at Clayton’s final three strategies I gleaned from his article “Advanced Copywriting Techniques Persuading Prospects to Buy.”

I urge you to check out Clayton’s complete essay and I’ll give you the link to do that in a moment.

Clayton’s ‘Suasion Strategy #4: Seduction

Let’s start by listening directly to Clayton:

“Most of us approach sales copy like an army would attack a walled city: With a full frontal attack.

“But there’s another way to coax the enemy to abandon the city and join us. And in many cases, this alternative can prove far more effective.

“‘Curiosity,’ said Claude Hopkins, ‘is among the strongest of human incentives.’”

When you arouse curiosity in your prospect, he’s already committed to learning more about what you have to say. This commitment is a doorway to persuasion. Here’s Clayton’s example.

He feels Bottomline, Inc. (formerly Boardroom) is the master in the industry of harnessing prospects’ curiosity. (I agree.)

They train their copywriters that curiosity and intrigue is a surer path to sales and profits than in-your-face benefit-oriented headlines and copy.

Clayton cites this classic headline from Bottomline/Boardroom of using fascination and curiosity to sell their products:

“What Never to Eat on an Airplane”

Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? If you saw this headline, you’d want to know more, wouldn’t you?

Enough curiosity to make you take up Boardroom’s “try it free” offer. And eventually lead you to buy.

Clayton points out that this kind of seduction works best for information products like books, special reports, that kind of thing.

But he also says that a creative copywriter could harness seduction by curiosity for just about any kind of promotion.

Clayton’s ‘Suasion Strategy #5: Appeal to Your Prospect’s
Core Beliefs, Values, and Traditions

Every human being is — as Clayton puts it — a bundle of beliefs. This bundle of beliefs is what Mark Ford terms the prospect’s “core complex.”

Everything your prospect experiences is viewed through the prism of the core complex.

And everything you’ll ever say to him is filtered through those beliefs before being accepted as fact.

So if you run counter to those beliefs in writing your promo, you risk reducing credibility. Contradict them too much, you’ve lost it all.

But, if you understand and acknowledge your prospect’s system of beliefs, you’ve tapped into a reservoir of trust. This is one of the most powerful and effective persuasion strategies you’ll ever use.

Clayton uses the example of how he taps into his older prospects’ belief in a “Moral Authority that’s greater than ourselves; greater, even, than our government.”

“It’s hard to go wrong appealing to their shared sense of right and wrong … their belief that they should treat others as they want to be treated … that honesty is always the best policy … in owning up for their mistakes and making things right … in their responsibility to provide for loved ones … in their obligation to forgive others, to care for the needy, defend the defenseless, and more.”

Clayton’s found headlines using Biblical phrases communicate his shared beliefs in a few words.

For instance, one of his most successful — “The Four Horsemen of The Stock Market Apocalypse” — played on a passage from the Book of Revelation and had enormous visceral appeal for prospects.

Results: Millions mailed. Millions in sales. Hundreds of thousands in royalties.

To use this persuasion technique, figure out how your product connects with your prospect’s core beliefs, values, and traditions. Make those connections in your sales messages and “watch your response soar!”

Clayton’s ‘Suasion Strategy #6: Perform a Brain Bypass!

When a prospect’s beliefs are fervently held, it’s only natural he would have strong feelings about people who agree with him. And stronger ones about those who don’t.

If you can tie those beliefs together with a strong emotional argument, you can move your prospect to action without a long chain of logic.

Done well, Clayton asserts, “a well-crafted emotional argument can allow you to bypass the brain altogether!”

Clayton uses the two major political parties as an example.

Both have promised important changes to constituents for decades. Both have fallen short on those promises. Here’s Clayton:

“Anyone with an IQ larger than my shoe size knows that for the average citizen, throwing money at politicians is pointless. Neither party ever delivers the goods.”

“ … And yet hundreds of billions of dollars are raised every year by politicians — freely donated by registered Republicans and Democrats alike.

“Why? Because the copywriters who write political fundraising appeals perform a brain bypass on them!”

Clayton’s “brain bypass” technique can be used successfully in promotions for many kinds of products such as he has done.

For example, for a health promotion, he wrote, “Most surgeons are so greedy, they’ll gladly cut a hole clean through you just to get at your wallet.”

In a financial package on retirement, he said, “The Social Security racket is so shamelessly corrupt, it’s been known to make mafia dons blush, then turn green with envy.”

Anybody reading these headlines knows they aren’t literally true. But they tap into mutually held beliefs and are stated in a way that rouses anger. And spurs the prospect on to action.

Want success? Follow Clayton’s persuasion strategy and “put your prospect’s feelings into emotionally charged words. Offer sweet revenge in the form of your product. Then sit back and count the money as it rolls in!”

My summary here doesn’t do justice to Clayton’s unique style of writing … or to the detail and examples he used in his essay.

So, I encourage you to visit those words yourself. Click here to read his essay in full.

But before you do, let us know your thoughts on Clayton’s final three strategies for persuading your prospect to act. Just a reminder that if you want to become part of an elite group of writers learning directly from Clayton, including the opportunity to be hired to write projects for him, then you’ll want to reserve your spot in his Mastermind Alliance as soon as you possibly can. Not only do you get to learn from Clayton, but you might also get the chance to be hired by him to work on projects together. Talk about the ultimate jump-start to your writing career. Take a minute to check out more about the Alliance by going here.

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Published: January 11, 2017

3 Responses to “Three More Advanced Techniques from Clayton to Persuade Prospects to Buy”

  1. I hope that Clayton's manifestation of Strategy #4: Seduction is more honestly executed than the version I see in most marketing emails. Too many times I have clicked a 'seductive' link to find out 'which 5 foods to avoid' or whatever, and am launched to a site that bombards me with all kinds of other stuff and sometimes never addresses the topic it seduced me with in the first place. I now avoid such seductions almost entirely, trying them now and then to see if they've improved. Not.

    Guest (Sally M Chetwynd)

  2. Reading Mr. Makepeace's copy, even the short snippets in this post, always elicits a similar response in my body as a 100 year old bottle of Grand Marnier I had a chance to sample several years ago...
    It caresses my mental pallet gliding down, then lingers and blossoms into a deeper understanding of the cosmos...
    Almost a spiritual experience.


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