7 Things Copywriters Can Learn From Pick-Up Artists

by John McIntyre

Have you ever spotted a girl on the other side of the room, and wondered how you would approach her? What you would say to her? How you would ask for her number and ultimately get her on a date and into your bed?

And have you ever stared at a blank screen, wondering how the hell you’re supposed to write that sales letter or email?

You might not believe it at first, but the world of pick-up and the world of copywriting are incredibly similar. In both situations, you are trying to sell.

In pick-up, you’re trying to sell yourself.

In copy, you’re selling the product.

To be successful in either of these scenarios, you need to leverage a potent brew of psychology, language, and empathy.

And just like in seduction, to create compelling copy, you need to take your prospect on an emotional journey.

Why You Should Work on Your ‘Game’

If you’re a single guy who’s trying to break into the world of copywriting, one of the best things you can do is work on your pick-up game.

You’ll improve your social skills, get more women, and experience all the secondary life benefits that come along with being more desirable.

I did it the opposite way: I learned copywriting first, and then decided to get off my ass and start meeting girls.

I’m by no means a casanova, but I use copywriting concepts every single time I hit on a woman.

And when you cut through the bullshit that is MOST of the PUA-universe, you find that the general concepts are actually pretty simple.

At its core, “game” is just applied sales theory.

So let’s take a look at 7 of the most useful pick-up tactics that can make your copy irresistible to women…or anyone else who’s interested in buying your product.

Copy Techniques of the Pick-Up Artist

1. A Powerful Opening

80% of copywriting success lies in the headline. I’d say it’s even more important in pick-up. As they say, the first impression is everything.

When approaching a woman, you can go direct or indirect. The difference in these two?

“I like your dress, it really suits your style.” vs. “Do you know what time the train is leaving?”

In the first statement, you’re explicitly telling the girl you like the way she looks. In the second example, you’re initiating an interaction, but she isn’t sure what you want just yet. Do you really want to know the train times? Or are you trying to hit on her?

Both openers are effective, but each will create a unique emotional environment for the girl. You’ll want to tailor your opener for the situation. Direct openers may work great sometimes, and completely flub at other times.

The key concept to draw from this is calibration.

Your headline or lead has to be calibrated to the buyer’s situation. Where are they in the buying process? Do they know about your product yet, or they just aware of a problem they have?

If you approach a prospect who doesn’t even know they have a problem with a giant claim like, “Improve your LSAT score by 15 points!” you’ll get blown out of the water.

Maybe they don’t know what the LSAT is (for international readers, it’s the admission exam to American law schools), maybe they’re not even interested in law school, or maybe they already got a perfect score and have no use for your product.

But, if you use the same headline on a prospect who’s been studying for the LSAT for six months, hasn’t had very good practice tests, and is freaking out about not getting into law school, then she would be MUCH more interested.

Calibrate, calibrate, calibrate. Your headline has to match the awareness level of your prospect.

The opener in copy and seduction is all on you, and it will make or break the sale.

2. Intrigue

“I went to SUNY, work as an accountant in an office downtown, and like to go hiking most weekends.”

Don’t ever introduce yourself like this to a girl. EVER. You could be a touring musician, artist, or world-famous copywriter a la Don Draper, but if you introduce yourself in the above manner, I guarantee that she’ll next you. Quick.

Why? Because that’s boring. Laying all your cards out on the table creates no suspense, no piquing of emotions, and doesn’t elicit any reaction in a woman.

So let’s try that intro again, but with a dash of mystery.

“I work as an accountant during the day, but I make sure to save my nights for what’s really important to me.”

That’s much better. You see what we’ve done? We created intrigue. Now the girl is wondering what you do after work. Her mind starts racing, and she NEEDS to know.

Who is this mystery man? What is he so passionate about?

As humans, we all seek resolution, and by creating an open loop like above, you draw her into your world. Now she’s interested in your life.

Likewise, your copy needs to build intrigue until the very last moment. Think of it like this: Have you ever read a really good book, and noticed yourself speeding up, just to get to the next paragraph and discover what happens next?

That is what your copy should do to your prospects. They should be craving a resolution from you.

You can create intrigue through a story, or allude to a benefit you don’t talk about until later in the sales letter.

In emails, you can use the P.S. to say something like, “And tomorrow, I’ll show you the exact email I sent to a client that landed me a $2,000/month contract.”

People will be salivating to see what comes next.

The scientific term for this is the Zeigarnik Effect. When the brain views something as incomplete, it will enter a state of tension and restlessness.

The cause could be an unfinished project, chore, or story.

But the only way to resolve this tension is to “close” the open loop.

If you set it up right, people will feel psychological tension until they finish reading your sales letter, email, etc.

This means you have an amazing opportunity to sell them on your product while their brain is literally forcing them to read your words.

Powerful stuff, indeed.

3. Always Be Closing (ABC)

In sales and dating, you should always be moving for the close.

In dating, this might mean trying to get a girl’s number or getting her out on a date with you.

In copy, this means you’re always pushing for the sale.

For example, say you strike up a conversation with a woman. Things are going good, the conversation is flowing, and you can tell she is into you.

Now would be the perfect time to ask her to grab some coffee or at least get her number.

Because if you don’t, eventually the conversation will lose steam and get awkward.

Once that happens, you’re done. The girl will wonder what your intent is and will probably get annoyed, indifferent, or even creeped out at you.

The same thing happens with customers. Remember, we’re copywriters–not content producers or inbound-marketers.

We’re not trying to write a fabulous blog post that gets thousands of clicks and increases that rather bullshit metric of “engagement.”

We’re after the hard, measurable sales. Our species takes pride in translating words into direct profit.

If you dick around with customers for too long, and don’t push for the close, they’ll lose interest in you and move onto the next product.

But won’t they get annoyed that I’m trying to sell to them?

No. They signed up for your list or clicked through to your sales page didn’t they?

In this day and age, if people give you their time or their info, they understand what’s going on.

And frankly, they want you to sell to them.

Think about it. Why would the girl keep talking to you if she wasn’t interested in what you’re offering?

She wouldn’t.

And customers are bludgeoned over the head with marketing from the time they wake up from the time they go to bed.

If they’re giving you the time, that means they’ve deemed your offer or service important enough to separate from the noise.

They want you.

So don’t piss them off by being too passive.

Push for a sale every email, and if you’re writing a sales letter, don’t be ashamed to admit to the customer that you’re trying to sell them something.

When your reader sees that you’re confident about your product and the positive effect it will have on their lives, they’ll be way more likely to buy.

Confidence breeds trust.

It’s why people naturally gravitate to the most confident people.

And when you’re direct, customers won’t think you’re trying to manipulate them or pull the wool over their eyes.

Because you’ve told them what you’re goal is. They can either hate it or love it, but they won’t feel cheated.

Be direct and ask for the sale. And then do it again. And keep on asking for it until the customer either buys or tells you to go away.

Of course, you have to do this with tact. And tact is exactly what separates the great copywriters from the mediocre ones.

So practice.

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