Deadly Sins Of Copywriting

More often than not – as humbling as it can be to concede – we are all influenced by pride and a little bit of ego to some extent. We also want to be respected and to feel like we belong in some way, which is not such a bad thing. That’s what makes us human.

We buy “stuff” for all sorts of reasons that are uniquely important to us. We also want to be seen to be making a good, smart decision when buying goods or services, that’s a pride thing right?

You can pretty much be assured that in some way, our buying decisions will at least in part be swayed by outside opinion, and there are many factors that influence what we define as a good decision.

Composing sales copy, persuasive content involves connecting with these “human factors”, the unseen but powerful motivators that influence a buying decision.

It can be a bit daunting, trying to think of ways to relate your product or service to a customers’ needs and wants sometimes. So we came up with a list of “deadly sins” that tie in with our who, what, why, where, when and where format in Lesson 4: The Difference Between Browser, Shopper & Buyer Content in my Copywriting essentials book

When searching for ways to connect with a audiences wants, needs and concerns, you can refer to the 7 deadly sins to come up with some ideas.

These are:

  • Pride:
    is an overconfidence in one’s abilities or self-admiration. Pride is also called vanity.
  • Envy:
    is the desire to have others’ attributes, status, abilities, or circumstance.
  • Gluttony:
    is an extreme desire to spend, eat or consume exorbitantly far beyond the extent of what is required.
  • Lust:
    is pretty self-explanatory.
  • Anger:
    or fury is being really annoyed or pissed at something or somebody.
  • Greed
    is the want for material riches, sometimes at the expense of others.
  • Sloth:
    Sloth is laziness or lethargy.

You might find it strange to be thinking about the seven deadly sins of copywriting on a website about selling stuff online. The general consensus is that anybody showing one or more of these traits are without ethics or morals, yet that is not completely true.

If we just get real with ourselves for one minute, we have to accept that all of us have some small aspect of these traits. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t.

For example, the Loreal makeup brand uses the slogan you “are worth it”. You can buy their makeup and look your best (pride).

Alot of us are overcome by a lazy streak from time to time. Can’t be bothereditis! I am a person who likes to do things in the most efficient way possible, call it laziness (sloth), or call it wanting to complete my work tasks so I can go do fun stuff. Either way, it’s my wanting to do things in the least painful way so I can enjoy life. I am sure you can relate!

Lust….. if you see a Calvin Klein underwear commercial, or Victorias Secret, they both use lust and envy to sell underwear.

You get a general idea here. Think about how you can use these concepts to come up with motivating sales copy ideas.

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About Mia Gordon

Author of Copywriting Essentials For Content Marketing, mad scientist online marketer, adcopy results experimenter & analytics nut since 2003, practicing PPC, Website Conversion Optimization, Search Engine Optimization, & Copywriting. I also co-own Adventure Helicopters a helicopter scenic charter business which means I'm lucky to be able to fly helicopters for fun!