3 Ways to Get What You Want by Giving People What They Want

3 Ways to Get What You Want by Giving People What They Want

Reader Comments (59)

      • “Tell me more” – words often spoken by psychotherapists and ‘closers’. Hope it doesn’t take 7 years to make the sale! Then again if you are an artist and view your audience as ‘consumers’ and your art as a ‘product’ … it just might. So said the apple to the banana.

  1. Great article. I think the Men’s Health ad really brings the point home. Out of the ideas I think appealing to a desire is something people are mostly responsive to. I think that one is going to be the first one I am going to try.

  2. When I was a sales manager, one of my motivational sayings to help my team get more sales was this: “You’ll have everything in life that you want, if you help enough people get what they want”.

    I moved some words around from the original saying from Zig Ziglar, of course.

    This is still true today! If more marketers or sales people put the needs of the prospect before their own, they will always have a great outcome. Great article.

  3. Good post Demian…. WOw! Wow!

    I love this.

    Your points reminds me of an sale page I wrote for a client in the seduction niche

    I love the ”demonstrate difference” point… I just noted it on my wall..

    Thanks man

    Daniel, the web content writer

  4. Honestly, this is the 1st time I read a post that is mind blowing from this site. This is really great content and insightful. I just want to add that a good product performance really does help with the product’ success. So always brag about it or use good testimonials.

    Headlines are also important. Make sure that your headlines have the end results and period (how long it will take to get to the end goal) then you have a winner.

    Really great post Demian, Thnx.


    • Glad to have blown your mind this morning. Aim to do that with every post. And regarding product success, it really begins with building the audience first, then selling something they want. That’s the key.

  5. When you can provide a solution to a “high in-demand” problem.. Then find and target where the ones with problem exist.. You are golden..

  6. Excellent article. Agreed with every word, except one. Swedish.

    Volvo is Chinese. And before that it was American (part of Ford).

  7. Great post, as usual, Demian.

    It’s amazing how well know brands still talk about features in headlines.

    My wife bought a Dyson vacuum cleaner yesterday. Being the copywriting nerd that you’ve made me become, I went to their website.


    Headline about suction power. Of course, you watch the video and you learn the true benefit. A clean house with minimal effort.

    BTW, I love that sinking thing. It will have a profound effect on my the cleanliness of my house and office for years.

    • Yes! That’s music to my ears.

      You wonder if Dyson had their engineers write that copy … because you know they are in love with the suction power. But it boils down to is a deeply cleaned house with less hassle (I especially like the rotating blades that don’t get tangled … that’s a real issue).

  8. Great post. Do you (or anyone else reading this) have any thoughts on how to pick which benefit you focus on?

    For example, I’m in the early stages of opening a ballroom school. There are many reasons people might want to learn to dance (lose weight, reconnect as a couple, enjoy it as a hobby, etc.). I’m struggling to pick a selling premise that satisfies all groups – or if I have to focus, figuring out which one to focus on.

    Also, I’m guessing that as people’s brands progress, they move up through your “3 ways of channeling that desire” – how do you know when it’s time to switch it up?

    Any thoughts from you more experienced peeps would be greatly appreciated. 🙂

    • I like to segment my prospects by giving them several options to choose from and I also use surveys to drill down the most important “desire” to find out what’s the number one solution I can provide..

      • I like that. My website design thoughts definitely are to segment people, but the surveying idea for the most important desire is solid.

        Thanks for the input. 🙂

      • Yeah, for example, you could build multiple landing pages for each benefit online (like Copyblogger does), but ultimately you need to serve one benefit in your advertising … which for us is how to become a smarter content marketer.

        You won’t know what benefit to lead with unless you know your audience, and then test each benefit. See which one gets the biggest response, and roll with that.

        You can do this through Facebook ads or (cheaper) ask your intended audience through a survey, phone calls, or look for relevant research or do a customer panel.

        • The problem as always, is there so much contradictory information, as anyone who’s been studying marketing for awhile eventually finds
          out.The ‘ask your audience’ is one.It’s based on
          conventional thinking that says that people know
          what they want and make rational choices.I think
          it was Steve Jobs or someone equally well known that said”don’t ask”. More likely,emotion
          decides and then rational mind agrees.

  9. Right on!

    I think this is where an A/B split test could be useful. Create two different campaigns/advertisements and see which one does best. You can do the same thing with your headlines. A little research and experimentation goes a long way.

  10. I love the idea that your headline serves as the bridge. You’ve got to hit readers over the head with the benefit. For example, the fact my iPhone is 16 gigs means something to a select few people. When you put that in terms of how many albums, photos and apps you can store, now you’re speaking the universal language.

    Another solid post!

    • … and then put that performance into a benefit and you are winning it. Too many people expect us to see the benefits behind 16 gigs … and wonder why they don’t sell anything. For the original iPod what sold was “1,000 songs in your pocket.” Spotify has taken this to another level with their premium: millions of available songs anywhere in the world.

  11. Wow, Demian, are you trying to compete with Robert Cialdini or something? 😉 Great stuff!

    I always thought Safety and Novelty with Volvo. Safety is obvious. Novelty because it is a Swedish car (owned by a Chinese company) that’s a wee bit quirky. Now that Saab is out of the picture they could probably use this, but it seems they’re trying to edge into BMW, Audi territory: Luxury performance … now those companies have great ads.

    By the way, my reliable Acura is still running fine at 10+ years old 😉

    Also, I would play on getting jack’d up and ripped … at any age … have you seen pics of Jeffrey Life?

  12. Another EPIC post Damian, and brilliantly laid out as always… I particularly loved the way you worked myCopyblogger into the mix… a true master of the craft!

    Reading it all laid out like this makes it sound so logical, yet I still catch myself making many of these mistakes over and over, even though I know better… this will be a great resource to refer back to.

  13. hi Demian

    I like this post, is full of great examples and eye catching photos – well done!

    I hope to see you post more often here @ Copyblogger…

    I’d like to add a little remark in regard to satisfying people’s desires…

    Let’s face it! Most individuals love getting instant gratification or free stuff, but hate the work or extra effort…

    Imagine you’re a gardener … would you ever think to get the fruit without actually planting the seed first and caring it before it crops?…

    For this reason alone, when I write copy I try to craft a message from the heart and connect to their uttermost desires, but at the same time, I emphasize that the solution is not the blue pill which solves their problems overnight…

    Does it make sense?

    • It does make sense, but short cuts are always going to out perform the hard work … people will pay a pound for a cure rather than an ounce for prevention … so when you are talking about the leading benefit then you need to lead with the one that so perhaps the short cut (continuing with your gardening metaphor) is to “the best petunias this week” sort of like the “Learn to speak French in fifteen minutes” where they actually mean you can get down the fundamentals (and order foie gras instead of being shown the restroom) … where you and I both know learning French to speak like a diplomat takes years … and even that headline “Speak French like a Diplomat” which was a successful Caple’s headline sold it because the hard work was reduced to the short cut of “15 minutes a day.” This is why the Men’s Health ad adds “in 30 days.”

  14. As you stated, it is important to know what your product can do, in addition to what you designed it to do. If a product has features you almost don’t notice but which your audience would go crazy for, those are the details you need to emphasize in your marketing. (Sometimes, people will surprise you in what they really want.)

  15. I don’t know.

    Perhaps because I recently finished reading Breakthrough advertising and the words are still in my head but this post seemed eerily close to what was written in that book. Probably a lil’ close for me.

    I was left with an icky feeling after reading this. I understand you made a quote reference to Eugene Schwartz and you added examples (which were good btw) but the article made it seem like the idea came from you. (could be just me though)

    Even the car example and word usage. I don’t know.

    I’m not accusing anyone of anything. I could be way off too. In fact, I don’t know what I am trying to say except how I felt. Does my opinion and feelings matter in the end to you or anyone else? No, but somehow felt to state it.

    Aside from all that though, loved the specific examples you selected. Almost like what was missing in the book itself.

  16. I see a lot of people trying to implement these 3 steps in their content marketing (especially marketing agencies themselves), but the one thing I see in common with the end product is that what they’ve written has been written before…..many, many times. It’s repetitive and boring. I love this article, but it’s good to keep in mind the importance of writing about a subject in a way that no one else has in the past and then to of course express that in the headline as you recommended.

  17. Reminds me of the golden rule. “Do unto others what you want others do unto you.” It’s always give and take in a HEALTHY relationship, may that be personal or professional. It’s the way of the world, and to not follow that rule means disaster.

    I find this article really interesting especially the practicality of the suggestions.

    I have to agree about using desire as a marketing tactic, since humans are always enticed by their own desires. If you get a hold of that and make sure that you satisfy their desires, they are more than willing to repay you.

    Nicely written!

  18. Great post, thanks for writing and sharing it, some of the pointers m, mentioned here are really executable.

  19. The go-giver principle is really popular these days… And with good reason! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing the ideas.. Not sure if I will use them directly, but somehow I will.

  20. Absolutely brilliant thank you Damian.

    Mind blowing stuff. It offers such a powerful blueprint for engaging content in such a simple, straightforward way.

    I loved the psychology. It really helped to lock in the principles.

    Providing insights into how people think and how it affects their behaviour is something that I’d like to include more in my writing.

    How do you do the research?

  21. Great detail in the article. Most people will explain this in about a paragraph. Desire is the ultimate tool in opening people up to your ideas. To sell and get people’s attention you must listen to what they want first. This article helps explain that in a detailed way.
    Thanks for the great explanation.

  22. Great article, lots of food for thought! But how does this work with a service that the prospective customer doesn’t realize he or she needs, but which could make a big difference for him or her? How do I go about creating a burning desire for what I have to offer?

    Case in point: I’m holding a webinar next week that explains 10 ways that bloggers can use mind maps to manage their work much more effectively. I’ve emphasized that it’s an antidote to information overwhelm, and that smarter, visual-based thinking, planning and doing can help them increase their productivity by up to 20%. But the number of registrations has been disappointing so far.

    What am I missing?

    • That’s a more advanced copywriting problem — essentially, you need to figure out the bridge between what they know they want and what you know will be useful and beneficial to them. That will take lots of talking with (and listening to) your audience so you can understand their problems.

      That’s why it’s much easier to market a solution that comes out of your audience need, vs. something you think is cool and beneficial. You may be 100% right that they would love it, but it’s much harder to “push” that desire than to use the “pull” of what they’re already looking for.

      • Thanks for the advice, Sonia. Yes, that is a tough nut to crack. All I really have right now is a perceived problem (bloggers tend to face information overload) with little to connect it to my proposed solution. I don’t know if most bloggers consider that to be enough of a problem to invest in my solution. Time to talk to some bloggers and learn from them!

        • you would get me with arguments like being more effective, being more focused, being up to 20% more productive, easy to learn and implement in my current working schedule

    • Hey Chuck, that is a tough nut. The problem with your proposition is that it’s not entirely unique. The mind map/brainstorm for blogging bit has been played before.

      If you want people to listen to you then you need to establish a distinction that no one else can offer … like you’ve got 20 years of research on mind maps and bloggers … your method will make them 90 times more productive … an angle that people would feel stupid missing.

      • I did much of that, Demian – informing readers that bloggers tend to view mind mapping software for only 1 role (content development) but it can actually do at least 10 things – most at more of a strategic level. I also explain how it can improve their productivity by 20%+ (based on survey results, not my own estimation). I also cite my thought leadership. I guess it’s too much of a leap for many bloggers – I would need to convince them to not only invest in my webinar, but also download and learn some new software…

    • Chuck, you’re getting a LOT of good advice here. But one thing I see that is problematic (for me, personally, as someone who is interested based on what you just said here) is this:

      There’s only 1 option you’re giving me.

      Pay you.

      Your Webinar would do very well (I’m betting) as a freebie … where you up-sell me from the freebie into a lead-nurturing program.

      There, you give me some “results in advance” of my purchase.

      This PROVES to me you’re worth the investment. By changing my success rate at __________ (you have lots to pick from) you earn my trust. Plus, what you sell looks more like a “logical next step” versus something I need to think about investing in.

      Hope this helps.

  23. Hi, Benefits will always rule. Folks don’t care as much about what something does, as much as what’s in it for them and how it will help them. The secret I have always found is to find out what the prospect really wants (the benefit – normally a secret – especially the REAL reason), and the features (what they tell everyone else – the obvious).

    Thanks for this great post. Good to see someone out there truly passionate about the art of copy.



  24. Yep, here we are again at the benefits vs features crossroads. I find it useful to always lead with benefits. That is, what is in it for them. Not how shiny and alluring it is, but what it can DO for them to HELP them get what they want.

    Thanks for the post. Very good, and very true.


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