Business Writing Copywriting 2017-06-26 00:00

How to Take Advantage of the 7 Deadly Sins When You're Copywriting

What is it about the 7 Deadly Sins that grabs readers' attention? Face it—you clicked through to read this post just on the title alone!

Sex, sloth, greed, envy… it all sells. Right?

Wrong. It's all in the presentation. Here's how to use the 7 Deadly Sins like an angel to present your product or service in its best possible light. Master these tips and they'll be eating out of your hand.

  1. Lust
  2. Gluttony
  3. Greed
  4. Sloth
  5. Wrath
  6. Envy
  7. Pride
  8. Conclusion


Ahem. There are different forms of lust. Have you ever read a cleverly crafted product description or sales letter and felt a physical desire to own something? That's mastery of this deadly sin. If you can make your reader feel a physical pull from their core urging them to purchase quickly, they'll be lusting after your product.


"No one can eat just one." Who hasn't heard this catchy phrase? Think of ways to appeal to the part of your reader that craves more of something. Does anyone remember the Beanie Baby craze from a few decades ago? The manufacturer couldn't keep those things on the shelves in stores because everyone had to have the next one. The sensation was all about "How many Beanie Babies do you have?"


If your product or service can make your reader wealthier, you've hit the gold mine. There are many ways people consider themselves wealthy besides money. People with good health are wealthy, as are people surrounded by loving family and friends. Some people consider themselves wealthy if they can travel the world and meet new people. Find out what makes your target audience tick, and make them want it more than anything else.


A little creative license here goes a long way. Obviously, you can't advocate laziness, but you can help people save valuable time or find ways to do something quicker or easier. As they say, "Work smart, not hard." If your target audience is full of procrastinators, appeal to their sense of being able to wait until the last minute and still come out shining. Show them how your product or service can be master of the late save.


Who hasn't gotten angry at the cell phone billing department, cable company or other providers who seem to take advantage of hard-working individuals? Dial in on your audience's "pain" and reveal how your product or service can help them. Hit your reader where they're most upset, then offer them a way out. Show them the rodents in their kitchen and they’ll snap up your new-design mouse trap.


This deadly sin barely needs introduction. Make your target audience want something that someone else has. Most people want the latest and greatest version of whatever they're passionate about. This approach doesn't take much more than describing how someone's life is better now that they are using your product or service. Stir up their jealously.


Your target audience is making the best decision possible when purchasing your product or service. Make them feel smart and accomplished, or show them how they're light-years ahead of the competition. Flatter their intelligence when they decide to contract with you for services or purchase your product. Make them feel part of an elite group who understands the finer things in life.


What do you think? Do you use the 7 Deadly Sins in your copywriting?

You do if you understand your target audience intimately and know what they desire or fear. When you speak to that deep part of them and connect with their wants and needs, and then show them how bright the other side is thanks to your product or service, wallets will open.

Let's hear from you in the comments below. What's your favorite Deadly Sin to fashion your content around when selling with words?

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