Imagine making one small change to your sales pages to get more people scrolling down the page and reading? But not just reading. Rushing to the buy button and purchasing your product or service.
This change hooks your ideal prospects and turns them into customers with less work. You could save time and energy, sell more than you ever imagined, and impress the socks off your family and friends.
Now tell me something.
How do you feel when I ask you to imagine this kind of success in your own business? You may feel energized and ready to start planning a new campaign or product launch. If nothing else, you want to keep reading to see if this article is as good as I suggest.
Now imagine stirring that same level of excitement in your customers… simply by putting their own imaginations to work.
What’s the most persuasive word in your arsenal?
You guessed it…
Why is it so persuasive? Because it taps into your customers’ deepest desires, no matter what they are.
How does it work? When you ask people to imagine something, it helps them engage their imaginations. Go figure, right? Until then, they were simply reading your words. By prompting them to imagine, you make it personal. Now they see themselves using your product or service and enjoying its benefits.
And that, my friends, makes your product a necessary step in achieving those benefits. Once people see themselves with more money, less stress, or whatever else you promise, they essentially talk themselves into buying, often before they’ve reached the Buy Now button.
You see, people buy for emotional reasons, not practical ones. And by tapping into the hopes and dreams they already hold dear, you trigger a deep desire for any product that can give it to them.
In another article, I share specifically how imagine triggers the buying response. Today, I’d like to share three formulas for putting this little-known trick to use in your own sales pages, drawing from three promotions that do it right.
AWAI – Can You Write a Letter Like This One?
In most cases, you don’t open a sales pitch with an invitation to imagine. Your readers aren’t ready to start dreaming until you’ve explained what’s possible.
While there are probably multiple ways to do this, the best example I’ve seen is AWAI’s control-breaking Can You Write a Letter Like this One? campaign.
The letter opens with a picture of life as we all wish it could be.
That’s just the opening of this powerfully persuasive sales letter. Let’s breakdown the structure of this powerfully persuasive letter…
First, the letter paints a picture of the easy life: exotic trips, expensive gifts purchased on a whim, home renovations and other extravagances.
Then it paints an equally vivid picture of most people’s reality: living paycheck-to-paycheck, working at a job they hate, barely able to make ends meet, unable to afford the break they so desperately need.
The promise is made: no matter who you are or what your previous experience, you can have the easy life.
The proof is piled on: examples of real people who went from financial difficulties to raging success.
Then the reader asked to tap into the power of their own imagination.
After such detailed descriptions of life as it could be and life as it is, the pump is now primed. Readers see all the possibilities. Having been told several rags-to-riches stories and details about how they can live life on their own terms, they’re ready to take a close look at their own dreams.
At this point, just before the offer is made, they’re asked to imagine life on their own terms. See how AWAI works it into the flow of the copy. (I’ve highlighted the “imagine” statement.)
First, notice where it is in the sales page: right above the offer. Imagine is a great way to wind up your presentation as you prepare to make your offer.
Notice also that the reader is asked to imagine his own version of success. That’s the power of imagine. You don’t define it. Your readers do. It’s their own dream, personalized by their imagination.
Could anything be more persuasive?
The formula for this type of promotion
This type of promotion is built on a simple 4-step formula…
Idyllic Picture + Bold Promise + Proof + Offer
Spend lots of time painting the picture of how wonderful life can be after buying your product. Then, when you make your promise, pile on the proof.
Save imagine until just before the offer. By this time, you’ve given readers a lot of visuals to feed their imagination. Simply tell them to “imagine,” and their favorite dream is at hand, building their desire and pushing them toward the sale.
180DegreeParenting – Change Your Parenting, Change Your Child
This example, from 180 Degree Parenting, is one I wrote for a nonprofit organization offering help to parents of difficult teens.
It begins with messaging designed to get the target audience emotionally involved from first glance.
In this promotion, we’re targeting people with a specific problem: they have difficult teens and need an effective way to improve the situation. The offer is a program that teaches them professional techniques for handling difficult teens.
We could, as in the AWAI promotion, paint word pictures of happy families. But let’s be honest. For this audience, it’s simply not believable yet. So we introduce the idea that a happy family is possible in the photo at the top of the page, but then we focus on the problem at hand.
For some promotions—and this one is a good example—you can’t talk about the dream too quickly. Perhaps it’s tied to strong emotions, your readers haven’t dared to hope for it or, worse, they’ve already decided it isn’t possible.
In this promotion, that’s what we’re dealing with. Most parents of difficult teens, while they want a well-behaved child, believe the turmoil they’re experiencing is normal. So we have to build rapport quickly, establishing that we understand their situation. Once that’s done, we have enough trust to present the solution.
The structure of this landing page is this…
We introduce the problem: difficult teens. But we’re careful not to blame the parents or the teens. That’s counterproductive, especially since we’re trying to give hope. Instead, we tap into the emotions that are already present.
Next, we introduce the solution: a new style of parenting, which you can easily learn.
Proof elements follow, and then the invitation to imagine:
When you’re dealing with an audience who is afraid to imagine your solution, you need to focus on rapport. Communicate that you understand your prospect, his problems, and his feelings of helplessness. Then when you introduce your product, you’re also introducing hope.
Once you’ve done that, you’ve effectively set the stage for imagine. Go ahead and use it liberally.
In the highlighted text above, you can read our first invitation: “Imagine the weight being lifted from your shoulders….” We’re setting the stage here. Before they can imagine a happy home, they need to imagine a solution exists.
In the next section, we give the second invitation to imagine:
This time, we’re asking people to imaging how easy the solution really is. All they need is the training offered in this program, and they start transforming their own home—possibly even achieving their dream of the happy family in the cover image.
Now, it’s relatively easy for readers to imagine. We’ve established that we’re a trustworthy resource since we understand the problem. We’ve given proof that the techniques offered are working for professionals and other parents. Even if it seemed beyond their reach before seeing this offer, readers can begin to hope.
The formula for this type of promotion
The base formula here is a common one…
Introduce Problem + Agitate the Problem + Present the Solution
The problem-agitate-solution formula allows you to quickly weed out anyone who isn’t your ideal prospect. Only people who want the promise you make or are struggling with this particular problem will read.
But here’s the thing: They’ll only keep reading if you convince them that you understand their problem and have a credible solution. That’s why it’s critical that you build rapport early in your promotion.
As in the first example, don’t start your presentation with imagine. Instead, start by talking about the problem in a way that builds your credibility. Basically, you understand it and have solved it, and you’re sharing your expertise.
Be sure to provide lots of information to support your claims, and give credible proof that your solution works. Once you’ve laid this ground work, when you invite people to imagine a better way, they’re ready.
Ted Nicholas – You, a Millionaire Information Publisher
We just looked at two sales letters that hold off on triggering imagine until just before the offer. The beginning of the promotion is all groundwork. Does this mean you never open with imagine?
Not at all.
In most cases, you need to seed people’s imaginations, to help them see possibilities where they didn’t dare to see them before. But sometimes, people are already primed. They have the dream. They just need the vehicle to get them there.
That’s when you can use imagine as the big idea for your promotion. Let me show you how Ted Nicholas does it in this promotion.
He begins in the headline, immediately telling people to turn on their imaginations: “Imagine… You, a [insert dream here].”
After painting a quick picture of what your life might look like if you achieved this dream, he tells you yet again to imagine. The letter begins like this:
Notice here that he doesn’t just tell you to “imagine.” He also tells you to “think of” the joy. Phrase it however you like. The point is to encourage people to let their imaginations run wild.
One word of warning. If you’re going to be this obvious with imagine, your promotion can easily cross the line and feel like hype. To keep it believable, you must focus on credibility. In this letter, Ted does this by piling on the proof:
- His own success story
- Teasers about the information included in the program
- Testimonials from previous students and big name business people
He paints a picture of what you’ll lose if you don’t accept his offer. Then, after a long list of who should own this home-study course, he returns to imagine:
The only thing that follows is the final offer and guarantee. In essence, this promotion begins and ends with imagine.
As you can see, you can sometimes build your entire campaign on imagine. The key is to know how open your audience is to the promise you have for them.
If they’re the type of people who are seeking a dream already, this style of promotion may be your best bet.
The formula for this type of promotion
This promotion is based on a simple structure…
Promise + Proof
The promises are piled on. But each is followed by rock-solid proof, much of it social proof that keeps your statements believable.
So, for example, ask people to imagine the easy life they’ll enjoy if they use your product or service. Then tell them why it’s possible. Make a big promise about how rich or happy they’ll be. Then tell them a few success stories.
Pull in research or case studies that prove your methods work. Showcase other well-known people who agree with your claims. Tell stories of ordinary people who have followed your system and achieved their dreams. Create lists—the longer, the better. Just make sure every proof element is credible.
Putting Imagine to work for you
Imagine is always tied to emotions—love, joy, greed and pride are big ones. The dreams your readers dream are their deepest, most cherished desires. So be careful using this technique. You must be able to tap into those dreams without becoming manipulative or hyped.
Sometimes your readers have already made the dreams public and are actively working on them. In this case, you can rev up their imaginations early—even in the headline or introduction if you want.
But in most cases, your readers aren’t aware of how much they want the dream. It’s something they never talk about or haven’t admitted even to themselves. In that case, you need to set the stage by including:
- pictures of what life can look like when the dream is achieved
- stories of ordinary people who have achieved the dream
- testimonials from people who are living the dream
- credible research that supports your claims
For these readers, introduce imagine just before your offer. By then, they’ve begun to pull out their dreams and dared to hope they’re possible. Ask readers to imagine their own life changed. Then make the offer and let their own desires drive them to accept.
Imagine is one of the most persuasive words in your arsenal. But you’ve got to use it right. Plug it into the formula that most suits your readers. Tie it to strong emotions and powerful images. Build rapport and credibility. Then stand back.
Let your reader’s imagination take over. Their dreams will do the rest.