When writing copy for products and services designed to help someone do X, the best persuasive tactic is to re-sell them on the dream.

In other words, whenever prospects got into X in the first place, they did so because they had bought into a dream. For instance, most people take up blogging because they buy into the dream of blogging: be able to put their “voice” out into the world and finding an appreciative, receptive audience that not only tweats, re-tweats, comments on, and forwards their posts, but also finding financial benefit through that same audience buying their books, come to their conferences, etc.  That’s the dream most people are chasing when they start up a blog.

Needless to say, the reality frequently falls short of the dream.  And the frustration at the gap is where the incentive to buy comes in.

So if you’re selling a service to help people with their blogging, you not only want to sell the prospect on the service, but also re-sell them on the dream.  More specifically, you want to sell them on the ability of your service to help them re-capture the dream.


Because they already bought into the dream once, and they haven’t yet given up on it (they’re still X-ing, aren’t they?), and nothing is easier than selling someone on the dream they’ve already bought into.  Doesn’t matter what the dream was, and it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in; the easiest sale you’ll ever make is selling the prospect on the dream they’ve already dreamt.

Jonathan Morrow’s new product is a perfect example of that. Check out the product announcement over at Copyblogger and see for yourself.  What’s Jonathan doing for the first 2/3rds of the copy?  Invoking the frustrations and dream-reality gap involved in blogging, and then re-selling the blogging dream, baby!

Because Jonathan Morrow knows what he’s doing.

  • So what dream where your prospects chasing whenever they got into your market?
  • Are you minding (and mining) the gap between the dream and the prospect’s current reality?
  • Does your copy re-kindle the dream?


  1. Nicole Rushin on 09.22.2011

    Interesting. It is totally about the dream and lifestyle. I guess what I am trying to sell people on is the fact that it is okay to dream and that their lifestyle dreams are possible. We are a society who has forgotten or been forbidden to dream.

    I like this part, ‘And the frus­tra­tion at the gap is where the incen­tive to buy comes in.’ This is helpful as I am working on products and trying to define my services in the writing and personal growth niche.

  2. Jeff on 09.22.2011


    I think that in your case, you’re talking to people who are so used to walking around at a -3 on a scale of 1-10 — and thinking that that’s about normal — that when you try to get them to imagine living at a level of 7 or 8, they dismiss it as pure BS.

    What you need to do is to find out when they used to live life at a +4 or +5 and get them to remember the goals and dreams they had back whenever that was. Then you can resell them on capturing that feeling and reclaiming those dreams.

    So whenever it was, whether it was as a junior in college or a you kid in the first years of his job, or a newly wed, you need to reach back to those times and those dreams. Practically speaking, that probably means much more sophisticated segmenting of your list, or much craftier copy, and a whole lot finer-grained psychological insight into your prospects. But without all that, you’ll never be able to get this technique to work for you.

    – Jeff

  3. Nicole Rushin on 09.22.2011

    These are great tips. According to my alexa stats most of my readers are between 45 to 54 with no college. A good balance of men and women. I think maybe my writing appeals to this type of person because they feel like their dreams are over. But getting them to buy or move on something. Yikes. Thanks for the tips. I know the alexa is just a vague snapshot and what you are saying is I need to really focus in better. Thanks.