Pushing Prospects’ Buttons: A 4-step copywriting formula

Copywriting that Pushes Your Prospects ButtonsWhether you’re writing a direct mail piece or an online sales page, your content has to compel prospects to purchase. Think about it. When you get an offer in the mail, what makes the difference between you throwing it in the circular file (i.e. your trash can or shredder) and opening it? If you click on a Web page, what makes the difference between you reading what’s there or clicking to another site?

What makes the difference is whether or not the content speaks TO you . . . has you thinking “that’s me” or “yes, yes, this company understands my dilemma.”

I call it “pushing your buttons.” If the words reach out and grab you, make you feel you’re understood, you’re likely to keep reading. And, if the copywriter has done his/her job well, you’ll get to the order form and fill it out, call the toll free number, or you’ll click on the “buy now” button.

Here’s a simple four-step copywriting formula to follow:

Pushing Prospects Buttons1. Determine the problem. What is the issue facing your target audience? Touch on the emotions they might be dealing with daily. They may be stressed out about past due bills . . . frustrated with their jobs . . . experiencing chronic back pain . . . afraid of losing a loved one.

2. Push their buttons. Let them know you understand their feelings . . . you can relate to their stress, pain, anger, etc. Your goal is to create that “AHA” moment. As they’re reading, you want to get them thinking “Yes – this company gets me. Yes, they understand my feelings . . . fears . . . anxiety. Yes – they can relate to what I’m going through. Therefore, I want what they have.”

3. Offer the solution to their problem.
As direct marketing pro Bob Stone wrote “. . . people respond to any given proposition for one of two reasons: to gain something they do not have or to avoid losing something they now possess.” For instance, they may want to:

  • Make money or avoid losing it.
  • Save time.
  • Avoid losing possessions.
  • Have great health or avoid getting sick.

Let prospects know how your product or service will affect them personally. Tell them how you can help alleviate their problem. Remember, prospects and customers want to know “what’s in it for me?”

4. Get them to respond. Of course, last, but not least is your call to action. Don’t forget to tell your prospects what you want them to do. Should they complete & return the order form, dial a toll free number, click on the “buy now” button? Check out my blog post on this topic at https://writedirection.com/call-to-action

Now, go back and review your copy. Are you pushing prospects’ (or customers’) buttons and letting them know how you can help them “see the light of day?” Post your comments (or questions) below and let me know your thoughts because I’d love to hear from you.

Debra Jason

Marketing & writing with heart, not hype at at The Write Direction
A recipient of the “Creative Person of the Year” award, Debra educates and empowers creative solopreneurs and enthusiastic business owners to create a lifestyle business that provides them with the flexibility, fun and freedom to do what they love. She also inspires you to communicate your marketing message in a way that captivates and converts your prospects into loyal, raving fans - even if you have been struggling with how to transform your ideas into words in the past.


  1. I have noticed from the statistics of visits on my blog that certain topics get more visits than others. Interestingly, there seems to be a seasonal element too. More career topic posts nearer appraisal time and more metaphysical topics nearing Thanksgiving and Christmas. When choosing a topic, perhaps the blogger needs to take into account that pain is a moving target? Just sharing my recent analysis!


    • Interesting what you uncovered regarding topics around the holidays. It does seem like, at those times of the year, people are looking inside themselves more as well as acknowledging their gratitude for others. Thanks @Vatsala. ~Debra


  1. […] 1. Great tips for writing for your audience – Pushing Prospects’ Buttons: A 4-step copywriting formula  […]

  2. […] are certainly guidelines to follow for writing captivating content that converts your prospects into […]

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