“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” Albert Einstein.
Imagination is arguably the most powerful tool in our toolbox.
Because when you can trigger positive images, feelings and hopes in your reader’s mind of the salvation that awaits with your product… just watch those conversions fly.
So what’s the best way to do it?
Well, I found some great tips in a surprising place: An AMAZING self development book called ‘The Success Principles’ by Jack Canfield (of ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ fame).
It came out 15 years ago. But the amount of research that went into writing it makes it the only self development book you’ll ever need.
So if, like me, you’re looking to get strategic about plotting the direction of your life this year (as best you can under the circumstances) I highly recommend getting a copy and keeping it for posterity.
So anywho… The Success Principles has a section on creating positive affirmations for imagining the future life you want. And I thought these tips would also work great for writing the ‘Just imagine…’ section in copy, where you talk about the reader’s future experience in a compelling way:
- Talk about their experience in the present tense – If you describe what the reader wants as though they already have it, it’s a lot more visceral and vivid. It’s no longer daydreaming but their new reality.
- Talk about specifics to make it more real – Vague copy gets vague results, whereas specificity sells. Talk about the specific details that will bring the future vision to life. Talk about the sports they’re playing, which places they visit on their cruise and provide specific details about their hiking trip in the mountains, with them leading from the front and striding up rocky paths like a mountain goat.
- Make it visceral – Talk about deeper inward desires rather than surface level emotions. So talk about them feeling powerful again, respected, desired and self reliant. To get to their deeper desires, start with a list of your product’s benefits then keep asking ‘why does that matter’ to get to the deeper emotions underneath.
- Include action words ending with ‘ing’ – Active verbs add power by evoking an image in your reader’s mind of them already achieving the life they want e.g. You are enjoying following conversations and remembering key details instantly, and feeling smart as a result.
- Include dynamic emotions or feeling words – Make their emotional state as intense as possible with dynamic or feeling words like delighted, enthusiastically, secure, serenely and triumphant.
- Add ‘or something better’ – When describing a specific accomplishment add the phrase ‘or something better’. This allows the reader to imagine accomplishing something even bigger and better for themselves than what you propose – which is precisely direction you want their imaginations to go in e.g. You have the vibrant health to enjoy going on a long cruise up the Norwegian fjords, or somewhere even better.
- Talk about sights, smells and sounds – Make the experience as vivid for the reader as possible by describing what they can hear, see, smell and feel in a specific moment in their future reality e.g. the sound of crashing waves, the taste of salt in the sea water and the sound of their partner’s laughter as they slip off their board again while you’re both learning to surf in Bermuda.
So there you go.
Follow these 7 imagination triggering tips and you can look forward to your future pacing section becoming more vivid, visceral, visual and higher converting as a result.
What’s more, with compliance getting stricter by the day, talking about the reader’s emotions and experiences may soon be the only avenue we have for talking about a product’s benefits.
So this year, I recommend digging deeper than ever into the reader’s core emotions and finding ways of describing the future they want using actions and images, rather than vague health claims.
In fact, for this reason I’ve added women’s magazines (e.g. Women’s Weekly) to my reading list – both for their awesome headlines but also for their stories. So if you’re also writing health copy, I recommend you do the same.
If you find these tips for writing the future pacing copy helpful, I’d love to hear about it. Or if there’s any you’d add just hit reply and let me know.