Triggering Dopamine Shots in Copywriting

When your phone rings, or you hear that chime telling you an email, text or other notification has come in, what do you do? Most likely you drop everything to see what it is. It’s a conditioned response, and there are reasons why your brain stops thinking and checks what just came to your attention. It’s called …

Marin blog brainWhen your phone rings, or you hear that chime telling you an email, text or other notification has come in, what do you do? Most likely you drop everything to see what it is. It’s a conditioned response, and there are reasons why your brain stops thinking and checks what just came to your attention. It’s called the fear of missing out.

But let’s dig a bit deeper for a moment about what happens in the brain. It’s actually dopamine at work. And in a moment I’ll share three ideas about how marketers and copywriters can use it to grab attention.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter chemical that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Dopamine also helps regulate movement and emotional responses, and it enables us not only to sense rewards, but to take action to move toward them.

When we’re alerted, a dose of dopamine is naturally released. It makes us feel important. When we’re rewarded, we feel good. And if the reward is unexpected, the mood of pleasure will soar.

Technology, it would seem, is wiring the primitive human brain more and more to expect and crave dopamine. We want to hear a chime to distract us (especially if we’re bored or need an attitude boost). We’re rewarded when that happens. The more dopamine “shots” our bodies release, the more it takes to experience the same lift next time. It’s a vicious cycle.

How do we inject a dopamine shot in our marketing and copywriting? Three ideas:

  • Alert prospects and customers so they’re the “first to know.” When people fear missing out, they want to be the first to know of an important development, new product or news. And, when your prospect is the first to know, they get another dopamine fix when they’re first to tell others and pass it along (to your benefit).
  • Share an inside story. People like to know the inside scoop. Combine insider information with storytelling. Then spin insider information as your unique selling proposition.
  • Leverage limited time offers. When there is a limited time a product is available, it intensifies desire to acquire it now.

What other dopamine shot ideas do you suggest in copy? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Want more tips and advice about how to align your messaging with how the primitive mind thinks so you can attract more customers? I’ve put together a seven-step guide to help you titled “When You Need More Customers, This Is What You Do.” Or get all the details in my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code” available at the DirectMarketingIQ bookstore.

Author: Gary Hennerberg

Reinventing Direct is for the direct marketer seeking guidance in the evolving world of online marketing. Gary Hennerberg is a mind code marketing strategist, based on the template from his new book, "Crack the Customer Mind Code." He is recognized as a leading direct marketing consultant and copywriter. He weaves in how to identify a unique selling proposition to position, or reposition, products and services using online and offline marketing approaches, and copywriting sales techniques. He is sought-after for his integration of direct mail, catalogs, email marketing, websites, content marketing, search marketing, retargeting and more. His identification of USPs and copywriting for clients has resulted in sales increases of 15 percent, 35 percent, and even as high as 60 percent. Today he integrates both online and offline media strategies, and proven copywriting techniques, to get clients results. Email him or follow Gary on LinkedIn. Co-authoring this blog is Perry Alexander of ACM Initiatives. Follow Perry on LinkedIn.

2 thoughts on “Triggering Dopamine Shots in Copywriting”

  1. Good points Gary — and thanks. While this is somewhat similar to your first category, I would add “privileged information” — valuable information that only a select few (and now YOU) know about. Extra appeal for implying or stating a conspiracy: “What Big Pharma Doesn’t Want You to Know About Vitamin D” or “Your Bank Doesn’t Want You to Know About this Amazingly Easy Mortgage Payment Trick!” Yes, people like to be among the first to know, but they also like to be on the inside track — or to have “secret information” that they can use to their immense advantage.

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