Egoic Label – Magic Marketing Words that Make Offers Irresistible

Egoic Label - Magic Marketing Words that Make Offers Irresistible

Today I am sharing a simple little technique – just an extra word or two added to any form of sales copy – that can ‘double’ response rates/opt-ins/even sales. This extra word or two is called an ‘egoic label’.

For many years I gained 80% of my clients via introductions from CPA firms. (I can talk more about why CPAs are a great source of business and the secret to getting them to refer you if people are interested.)

The first step in my process was to write to accountants to get a meeting with them to discuss my proposition. This was pre-internet so I used direct mail. (I’m still very active in direct mail today by the way).

The consensus of opinion at the time was that using a personal salutation would increase response rates – Gary Halbert’s ‘Coat of Arms’ letter showed how powerful that was, right?

So I’d spend hours researching the partners’ names each time I did a mailing.

Using “Dear {accountant’s name}” was getting a 7% response rate to my mailings. Not too shabby. But I got lazy one day and sent a mailing where I simply addressed them as “Dear Accountant”. That still generated a 7% response rate.

Interesting right? Unlike other markets I was selling to, they seemingly didn’t care whether you addresses them personally or by profession.

Wrinkles in the universe like this fascinate me. You can say I get obsessed over little things like that.

At the time I was already obsessing over the concept of ‘identity’, how it controls people’s thinking and behavior, and the role it plays in decision-making – like should I buy your stuff or not?

So I decided to use the CPAs that had responded to my original letters as lab rats to see if could uncover a useful shared ‘identity’.

Through ‘deep conversation’ I found that amongst other things, every single one of those accountants had a ‘frustrated entrepreneur’ identity. You can see why right?

Sitting in front of swashbuckling entrepreneurs all day, listening to their stories, peaking inside their bank accounts, and all the while thinking to themselves ‘I could do that!’

Now it’s important to know that none of them actually said they were a ‘frustrated entrepreneur’. The very best ‘egoic labels’ are locked away from the prying eyes of people like us by the subconscious. You have to listen between the words when people are speaking to discover them.

So I changed the salutation to “Dear {Entrepreneurial Accountant}” and that letter – I didn’t change another word – started to pull at just over 11%.

They were still the same old accountants. They were no more entrepreneurial than before but now they read the rest of the letter differently. From that point forward I became obsessed with egoic labels and they became my #1 copy enhancer or quick fix.

The very next client had been struggling for months to sell an oversupply of tractor tires to farmers, so they asked me to rewrite their sales copy.

I simply changed Dear Farmer to Dear ‘Bargain Hunting’ Farmer. And they sold out their inventory in a week WITHOUT CHANGING A SINGLE WORD IN THE REST OF THE SALES COPY.

It turns out that farmers generally consider frugality as a badge of honor and acted accordingly when addressed by that egoic label.

On a good day, a business selling to teachers was getting the customary 2% response rate to their mailings. I had them segment their database of 27,000 customers by identifiable egoic labels. How? Using a psychographic survey.

From that point forward they very rarely didn’t get a double-digit response rate to their mailings.

I once added Dear ‘Tearful’ Parent to turn around a failed campaign selling home tutoring courses. Again hardly changing anything about the rest of the copy – just a tweak here and there to align with why the parents were tearful over their kid’s struggling.

A large camping equipment business was being eaten alive by internet-only competitors until I coined the term ‘Born Again’ Campers as an egoic label and we repositioned the whole business to appeal to the highly lucrative family camper – the guy or gal that had camped out at weekends for kicks as a teenager and could now be sold on the idea of introducing the activity to their kids as a way of bonding and keeping them off the streets at weekends.

Put really simply, the Egoic Label whether used as a ‘call out’ or a traditional salutation works because it triggers a ‘that’s me’ feeling in people which makes them read the rest of your sales copy with ‘buying eyes’. This is why adding those one or two words can often be so transformative. Also; This is deep personalization and a mini masterclass of why you need to understand your audience and find the right button to press. 

Frequently asked questions

would you use a more positive gain type label or an away from pain label?

For example ‘Frustrated FB Advertiser’ vs ‘Future FB Ads Rockstar’.

I’d say at least 50% of the egoic labels I’ve created are ‘away from pain’. And if I look at headlines I’ve written then it’s probably at least 80%! And I very rarely use more than one exclamation mark

Why do I personally favor using ‘away from pain’? Because pretty much every single earthling is more motivated to avoid pain than gain pleasure.

When I used to do seminars on all this psychology stuff, to demonstrate this concept I would select people from the audience and ask them to talk about what they wanted from their life – after a couple of sentences, people would invariably start talking about what they didn’t want. You can’t fight human nature.

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