Pleasure & Pain, Ego & Fear

Nelson Tan

Visitors: 360

It’s been proven when somebody makes a buying decision, they do so for one of two opposing reasons:

1) Pleasure or Ego: They want to move toward something. This is known as “chance of gain" positioning. Your product or service helps people further their pleasure, realize a passion, or take some action that makes them happy, e. g. a new car; a pair of skis; a book about being successful.

2) Pain or Fear: They want to move away from something. This is known as “fear of loss" positioning. Your product or service helps people avoid trouble, risk, or eliminate something that keeps them up at night, e. g. an insurance policy; an accountant; a gun.

The best thing about businesses with websites is you can use both of the above appeals to attract them in your sales communication. Both pleasure and pain, ego and fear will motivate them to take action, and that can be a gold mine, because when you figure out what to sell and how to sell it the first time, you can do it again and again!

Which reason would you predominantly reflect in your copywriting? Which reason sounds more impactful or relevant to your subject matter? As an example, we know focusing on pain more likely push prospects into buying a health product. Maybe you can come up with 2 versions of a sales copy and have someone read through them and see which one they prefer (although their preferences do not represent the whole market), or you can run both sales copies at the same time and track the results.

Nelson Tan is one-half of the Internet Mastery Center. Create Your Online Profits with the RIGHT Products, Environment and Mindset! For more information, visit

You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated.


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