7 Human Engagement Triggers - Worditude

Essential Ingredients For Every Piece Of Copy:

7 Human Engagement Triggers

I’ve taken what I know about human motivation theories, psychology of persuasion, and effective copywriting, and smooshed it all together into an easy-to-remember, and simple-to-implement list of 7 Human Engagement Triggers.

Humans can be motivated to take a desired action (click, read, download, opt-in, buy) if you present them with at least one of these seven triggers.

Every piece of content should have at least one trigger included, otherwise it’s not going to get read, remembered, or make any kind of impact.

Warning: Once you know these triggers, you can never unsee them. You’ll notice them everywhere you go, in everything from TV ads and movie trailers to product packaging and  public service announcements - especially #7 - that dude gets me every single day.

Here’s the 7 - in no particular order.

#1 The Chance To Win

We ‘win’ any time we get an outcome that is disproportionately positive when compared to the time, money and energy we have invested.

Bingo, competitions, Lotto, gambling, Buy One Get One Free, 50% off, 100% extra free

#2 Protection From Loss

We value products / information /services that help us maintain, sustain, or protect something we already have and value.

Exercises to maintain our strength and flexibility, skin cream to maintain a youthful appearance, vitamins to protect our children’s health.

#3 Self Expression

We value opportunities to express our own identity - to align with something that supports our values or our self-image. We share social media posts, leave comments, buy products as a way of self-expression. Apple products are for Rebels. Maybelline products are for people with charisma.

#4 Belonging & Community

Similar to ‘Self Expression’ we value content and products that allows us to feel as sense of belonging, to feel like a valued member of a community or inner circle. If you drink Haig Club whiskey, or use Lynx body spray, or share posts from Hurrah for Gin, you are part of a particular club.

#5 Efficiency - Better, Quicker, Faster

We want to complete our tasks minimal time and effort and/or to a higher-than-expected standard. Cleaning products are marketed by promising the brightest shine with the least amount of time and effort possible. Ready Meals feed us quickly. Dishwasher tablets give you cleaner dishes.

You get the idea.

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#6 FOMO

We do NOT like to feel like we are missing out. Urgency and scarcity both examples of the FOMO trigger. Tends to be more effective when there is a genuine time or quantity limit.

Nobody’s going to believe that you’ve only got 100 copies of a digital product to sell. Everybody knows that every day’s a sale day for certain kitchen and furniture companies. 

Look for ways to build in genuine scarcity and/or urgency. Maybe you only want to take a certain number of free discovery calls each week? Or you’re holding a live kick-off party for your group programme.

#7 Curiosity

You know at the end of {insert name of favourite addictive TV show here} you catch a preview of what’s going to happen in the next episode. If it’s available to stream on demand, that teaser is probably enough to keep you glued to your sofa binge-watching back-to-back episodes. If you have to WAIT for the episode to release, you are now committed to seeing it - it’s in your mental diary, it’s set to record on the planner - the date with your screen has been set.

That’s an open loop.

You know how I told you at the top there were ‘7 Human Engagement Triggers’ in this list….that opened a loop….and that loop didn’t close until you found out what all 7 of then were.

Questions - ‘Which Disney Princess Are You?’ - also open loops

So can statements - ‘The Disney World restaurant everyone’s talking about’

Curiosity is most helpful for getting people to take a low-stakes action - click a link, open an email. Sometimes it’s used to sell (mystery boxes of movie-inspired t-shirts, LOL dolls, blind bags of LEGO minifigures) - but in every case the buyer is already confident the value of the product they receive will at least be equal to the money they spend.

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Remember: Just like Oreos, Pringles, and onion rings - these are better when stacked and often sales pages will include multiple examples of all 7 triggers.

See All 7 Triggers In Action - Every Week

The Weekly Swipe file is a growing collection of copy breakdowns that shows these triggers, and other copywriting principles in action.

You can upgrade your copywriting skills in just 5 minutes each week by watching my copy breakdowns.