Piggy Bank“Faith means trusting in advance what will only make sense in reverse.” – Phillip Yancey

How often has your initial satisfaction with a purchase faded over time, leaving you with the bitter aftertaste of buyer’s remorse?

It’s an all-too common experience that makes us all wary with our hard won paychecks. Not that we necessarily expect first-rate champagne for second-rate beer prices, but we do hope, at least, that we’ll look back on a considered purchase and think, “That was money well spent.”

We may spend money to “take a chance” on something – say a book, a course, or even some wonder vitamin – but only with the hope that our future selves will look back and thank us for the decision to buy, deeming it “money well spent…”

Copywriting magic begins when you understand this backwards look and bake it into your copy by bringing the prospect, in their mind’s eye, into that promised, happy future, where they can look back on the present purchase with gratitude at the purchase that brought them so much satisfaction and happiness.  Use this mental time travel to invest the present purchase with the full weight of fate and fortune, and to replace your reader’s tentative hopes with the certainty of experience – imagined experience, yes, but experience none the less.

So what does this have to do with Merlin?  Well, you don’t think it was an accident that Merlin travelled through time backwards do you? How else do you think he worked his magic?

Want to see this in action? Click the link, watch the video, and see a masterful use of this persuasive time travel. Oh yeah, and it’s a great movie clip as well – you’ll be smiling all day thinking about it 😉

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  1. Shane Arthur on 09.16.2010

    What movie is that? Entertaining indeed.

  2. Jeff on 09.16.2010


    The clip was taken from Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise. Well worth the watch and something of a cult classic for many of us Gen Xers 😉

  3. Mark@ Make Them Click on 09.17.2010

    Ah yes, “Buyers Remorse” here in Australia we just call it “the guilts” , unless of course we’re on a consulting gig, when it becomes “post cognitive dissonance”

    Oh, and thanks for the lovely Julie Delpy. “French and fantastique”