Copy Writing – Getting through customer barricades


Customers have up to five mental lines of defense that your product offer must break through to succeed. So how can you break through their natural defenses?



How customers think and act is an emotional subject that has been analysed by academics and scientists for years using complicated research methods.

However, what’s more important to you as a niche business owner is ideas for your copy that have been proven over and over again through customer clicks and customer sales. We’ve analysed a whole heap of information and have identified five key lines of defense, five barricades if you like, that your copy and your site must break through to win the sale and long term relationship.





Barricade One – Interest

SO WHAT? – does your copy pass the SO WHAT test? Does it answer some or all of these questions?

– What’s in it for me?

– Is it good value?

– Is it any different to all the other offers I’ve seen?

– Does anything in the offer grab my attention?

– Will I miss out on something if I leave now?

– Is it worth looking elsewhere?

– Does it help me or my business?

A key part of breaking through this barricade is your main copy elements – your headline and your first paragraph of text so it pays to spend time and effort on these and to test and keep testing different approaches to find what works best.

Don’t make over inflated claims – or make promises you or your product can’t deliver on but fundamentally answer at least some of the questions in the list above.

Barricade Two – Reaction

After winning the battle to get the customer beyond their first personal defensive position the second barricade is crucial to build up a body of positive thoughts about your offer before their natural indecisiveness and caution kick in through other barricades.

If your copy and offer is good enough your customer may allow you through all their other barricades and straight to ordering and paying you money.

Within this barricade you really need to bank a series of hits – good positive benefits, benefits and more benefits that make the customer drop their natural guard and feel:

“Wow look at this”

“I must get this”

“It’s just what I’ve been looking for”

“It does what I need”

“There’s all I want but there’s also that”

“My business/life/hobby will fly if I can get my hands on this”





Barricade Three – Pause and hold

If you can’t get your customer to go straight to ordering, the need to bank a stack of positive thoughts and benefits becomes crucial when you reach the next barricade – the black hole of ‘Pause and hold’

This barricade is best summed up by a single customer thought

“Hey – just wait a minute – what about…..”

This barricade is a natural defensive reaction as it’s all about insecurity and not trusting a stranger. Here’s where your allies can help you blow away the customers defenses and take you ever closer to a sale.

Your allies are your partners and other customers who give you testimonials and message of support. If you have real testimonials and real customer case studies you can immediately give your suspicious customer a sense of trust, a sense of community and a sense of belonging to an expert skilled group. That’s why having a social presence where people can see people and what they say about you becomes so important.

But if your testimonials are weak or seem unreal – just don’t insult your customers by trying to use them in your copy and any fake or false testimonials may land you in red hot water with the FTC or other Government Consumer Protection body.

Barricade Four – Decisions

This step is a killer to lots of sales – it’s where the potential customer goes through their own process of checking to ensure the decision they’ve reached so far is the right one for them. It’s a time of a whole mix of emotions and clashes:

“This offer won’t go away – I’ll sleep on it till tomorrow”

“I’ve still got a question”

“What if I miss out”

“Is this the right choice”

“I’m just not sure!”

Here’s where a summary of benefits, a FAQ that answers these unasked questions and a guarantee kicks in.

If you can answer questions – reassure the customer and lower or remove the risk of buying your product – you have the tools to breakthrough to the final barricade.

Barricade Five – Reaction

The final barricade to break through is the reaction – either the customer clicks and buys or clicks and bye byes.

Even if you get a click and buy reaction you still need to hold the customer through the ordering, fulfilment and post sales processes – otherwise you may find the customer changes their mind later on and becomes a disputed transaction, a complaint or a refund headache.

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