How to Increase Your Amazon Sales

IBM Selectric (1971) with 'golfball' element
IBM Selectric (1971) with 'golfball' element

How to Increase Your Amazon Sales on Hubs and Blogs

You read that right. You can dramatically increase your Amazon sales on your hubs and blogs by appealing to just three basic emotions of the reader.

Here is how I learned this valuable lesson. While the earth was still cooling, I ran a mail order business. This was in the year 1974 BC. BC meaning Before Computers. In those days we used typewriters. I had a new electronic model – the IBM Selectric – which had a round golf-ball element front and center of the typewriter instead of the continuously sticky keys of older models. I was in love with that typewriter. Any of you old enough to remember it?

To sell products by mail successfully, I learned that you needed at least a basic knowledge of the human emotions that guide a buyer before attempting to write ad copy. Sure, I’m a pro when it comes to human behavior and motivation. (A pro by my definition is someone who knows how little they really know). But “buyer emotions” are something else. I read a book written in the 70s which has since disintegrated due to perverse meteorological conditions; it blew away in a hurricane.

But the good news is I remember the author’s claims that there are four basic emotions that generally motivate buyers to buy: fear, greed, vanity and exclusiveness. As a result of my mail-order experience, I combined the motivations of vanity and exclusiveness since I found them to be two sides of the same coin. Remember now, these three emotions apply to mail order or direct response/marketing as it is now called. The same medium you are using when you display ads from Adsense, Amazon or eBay on your hubs or blogs. The only difference: PayPal is utilized as an intermediary.

First a little background on basic human emotions.

Paul Ekman, Ph.D. (February 15, 1934) is a psychologist who has pioneered in the study of human emotions. In fact, he is considered one of the 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th century.He was named one of the top 100 most influential people in the May 11, 2009 edition of Time magazine. Footnote: In the television series, “Lie to Me,” the character named Cal Lightman (played by Tim Roth) is loosely based on Dr.Paul Ekman.

Here is Ekman’s first list of six basic emotions:Anger,Disgust, Fear, Sadness, Surprise, and Happiness (see video below). Later Ekman added the eleven emotions: Amusement, Contempt, Contentment, Embarrassment, Excitement, Pride in achievement, Relief, Satisfaction, Sensory pleasure, Shame, Guilt.

Dr. Ekman and the Dalai Lama: explanation of Happiness

Other psychologists have added to this list with the motivations of Acceptance/Fitting in, Altruism, Boredom, Confidence, Curiosity, Desperation, Envy, Greed, Insecurity, Patriotism, Revenge, Security, Sympathy, Vanity, Whimsy/Wit.

You may remember I said there are three basic emotions that motivate buyers to buy: fear, greed, and vanity/exclusiveness. So here are some simple operational definitions for these three emotions as they apply to writing copy for potential buyers. And some typical marketing copy.

Words and Phrases that Sell!

Fear can be defined as anxiety, worry,  apprehension, mistrust, dismay, panic. Fear can be one of the most critical negative emotions we may experience. It may cause guilt to arise because of anxiety over the outcome of past failures. The buyer is fearful of repeating past mistakes.

Suppose we are selling gift baskets for Mother’s day. Using the emotion of a potential buyer’s fear, our copy might begin like this: “Show Mom on Mother’s Day just how much you love her with this gift. Don’t ruin her day with just an email.” (like you did last year).

Greed can be defined as desire, cupidity, avarice, acquisitiveness, covetousness, greediness, impatience, even lust. It is the buyer’s desire to acquire something without wanting to pay the cost of the acquisition.

If we are selling the same gift basket, using the emotion of our hypothetical buyer’s greed, our copy could read like this: “Half-price sale on Mother’s Day Gift Baskets right now. Send this delectable basket to your Mom today.”

Exclusiveness/Vanity. Let me explain these two very similar motivations by asking two questions. Why do people buy a new product? Reason #1 - because no one else has it. Exclusiveness. Or, Reason #2 -because everyone else has it. Vanity. Let me illustrate. Why did people line up to buy the Apple iPad when it first became available? Reason #1. Why are so many people buying it now when it is no longer brand new on the market? Reason #2.

We still have some of our mythical gift baskets left so here is the copy for the buyer motivated by exclusiveness: “Supplies are very limited so order this magnificent gift basket today for your Mom for Mother’s Day. She will be thrilled.”

And for the buyer motivated by vanity, your copy might read: “Your Mom’s friends will be so jealous when they see this magnificent gift basket you sent her for Mother’s Day.

Sell More with Behavioral Styles

The bottom line when it comes to analyzing the behavior of buyers is this: People buy things so they can feel better about themselves. The powerful emotions of fear, greed, and exclusiveness/vanity have proven to be some of the most effective motivators you can use. Take advantage of these emotions now so you can appeal to your readers to start clicking.

Buyers buy with their hearts first.The primitive, emotional part of the brain, the amygdala, leads the way. Buyers buy with their heads second. Logic arrives afterwards as the brain justifies the decision the heart has already made.

Everyone is motivated, but they are not necessarily motivated by the same emotions that motivate you.

Copyright BJ Rakow 2010, 2011, 2015. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know About Job Search Just Ain't So."

More by this Author


Comments 131 comments

Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 6 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

Really a fantastic hub, with all the bells and whistles, this is a thumbs up. However, Amazon dropped me because the state of Colorado, (the only state)voted to takes associates for using us as income. They wrote me and explained I was out for this very reason. I lost them on my blogs and on hubpages, very sad... Thanks for sharing...


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

Definitely voting this hub UP, drbj. I'm not into selling online (or anywhere) but I may have to get into it in order to administer my late husband's estate. I'm pretty good at selling if I must and I agree totally with all your points - those I've been aware of and those I hadn't. It is true about buying with the heart.

It's downright comical to hear a grown person argue that they only buy with their heads. If that were so, there would be no need of salepeople, commercials, ads, show-rooms and all the other props used to get ahold of people's emotions. We are seduced into buying the things we buy, rather than those we do not!

Why do I buy Health-Nut bread? Because it's worth the extra money? Not really - it's because I FEEL healthier when I eat it, the brand has name-recognition and it tastes so good. Mostly it has nothing to do with filling a need for that staple in my diet.

I do remember that typewriter. That was a real glamour-machine! However I learned on a really old Royal with the model-T styling and all the sticky keys! LOL

Thanks for a great hub!!


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

I remember that old typewriter - many a good page I typed on one like that! But Like Nellie I learnt to type on the euqivalent of a Model T! This Hub is given the thumjbs up and bookmarked.

Thanks very much.

Love and peace

Tony


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Very comprehensive and informative. I thank you so much.


Susana S profile image

Susana S 6 years ago

This is fantastic drbj! An interesting read, funny and entertaining, and a lot of useful info packed in as well. I'm going to be using these techniques to increase my Amazon sales for sure. Many thanks for explaining it so well and for giving examples of how to write for each type of emotional motivator. Great job :)


Marisa Wright profile image

Marisa Wright 6 years ago from Sydney

Yes, I was a secretary in the days of that typewriter remember it well. I had a collection of the little golfballs because I worked in three different languages at the time and kept having to change to get all the accents!


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Darlene - thanks for the visit and the great comment.

What a bummer that you can't use Amazon. Maybe you could open a postal box in another state and use a new name and address for your internet writing? Just a thought.

Course the box would have to be close enough for you to drive there easily to pick up all your added income.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Nellieanna, m'luv, thank you, thank you.

I, too, learned to type on a relic - I think it was Smith-Corona. Because the "e" would always stick and it is the most-used letter, I would bcom vry crativ whn typing lttrs. Hmm, this may be the material for a new hub.

Anyway, I became such a noteworthy typist (after just 2 weeks of typing class) that I didn't have to take the class any more and was awarded an "A."

Instead, I spent that hour in the middle school office typing copy to be mimeographed. Remember that purple-paper product? I was thrilled by being selected for this honor.

It was only later upon looking back that I realized I was an unpaid secretary. But I still cherish the memory.


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

I don't miss that typewriter one bit! I used up a jar of "white out" every week. I have to try your methods drbj. Amazon has been a total bust for me and I've yet to receive a check from Adsense....ah but I am enjoying the journey ;)


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Tony, thanks for the very kind remarks. So you are a typewriter survivor, too. Although I may miss my ancient typewriter, I do not miss having to type. PCs are so much easier somehow.

Amor y paz to you, too.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hello, Hello, "Hello hello" - I've always wanted to say that.

Thank you for your visit and comments. And you are very welcome; it's my pleasure.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Oh, Susana - I've always wanted to say that, too, although your namesake owned one more "n."

Thank you for the wonderful comments. Let me know how you do. And visit any time.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Marisa. Nice to meet you. Welcome.

I know you were a secretary then because you used that term instead of admin.

You used 3 separate elements for different languages? I'm impressed. Thanks for the visit.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hello, my Lotus Hubbuddy. I'm not surprised you don't miss your old typewriter and I remember the "white-out" days all too well. Messy.

Happy you are enjoying the journey - it will happen. That first $100 Google check will arrive any day now. Amazon returns sometimes take a little longer. Patience is a virtue. Wish I could buy me some.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

Very helpful hub. I bookmarked AND made notes. This information will help not only someone trying to make money with Amazon, but with any web site selling anything. Thanks again for sharing your insights.

By the way, I do remember the IBM Selectric. I also remember the older models with the sticky keys...

Mike


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

This is an excellent hub. I never sell anything with Amazon. Maybe I will do better now. Thanks for some great information.


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

Wow, a hub that is a good lesson on psychology of behavior and selling, thumbs up, Maita


jayjay40 profile image

jayjay40 6 years ago from Bristol England

Great hub, lots to think about


WildIris 6 years ago

Awesome Hub. I like the humor and the information. You articulated what I've seen for years online. One person buys "it," swears it answered all their needs and now everyone needs it, even if they don't--Bandwagon buying. I'm going to come back to this page again. Thanks.


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

drbj, Fantasic hub and what WOW factor, I'll certainly come back and visit this again, for I know I know nothing and with that a repeat visit is a must. Thanks and Peace:) I'm now off to go back and review, love the Dalai Lama video.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Mike. Happy you found my insights insightful. Human behavior is always difficult to predict but consumer behavior often follows set patterns, i.e., our hearts not our heads guide the purchase.

Aah, yes, the sticky keys - those were my salad days.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Pamela - how are you? Don't get discouraged. Like the movie with Kevin Costner, if you write good hubs with good content and add Adsense and Amazon, "they will come" and click. It just takes time.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Maita, thanks for the thumbs up. Much welcomed and appreciated. By the way, how would you say thumbs up in Tagalog? Is it translatable?


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, jayjay, that's it - my mission in life - well, one of them - to give people lots to think about. I've done that most of my life as a trainer, professor, coach, speaker and now writer.

Thanks for the visit - it's always nice to hear from steadfast friends.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hello, Wildiris - what a great appellation. How nice to meet you.

Yes, "bandwagon buying" as you so aptly put it is what makes the producer/consumer world go round. The crowd mentality and being "in" with the crowd often drives our purchases.

Thank you for the kind words and noticing the dollop of humor. Laughter also drives us - if we let it.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

Good for motivation and very inspiring us. I learn much from you. I am glad to follow your tips. Thumbs Up and I rate this hub. Good work, my friend.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Katie, how nice of you to visit, and thanks for the WOW comment - that will sustain me for at least another week.

Don't worry about what you don't know - it will soon all fall into place and you will be the one teaching newbie hubbers what they need to know.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Welcome, prasetio, how nice to meet you.

Thank you for the "motivation and inspiring" comments. It's my pleasure to share what I learn.

And if you're a professional student like me, you always want to learn more.

Thanks for the thumbs up and rating. Good luck to you.


billyaustindillon profile image

billyaustindillon 6 years ago

Great hub - very witty and got the points across in a most positive way and most important in a fun way!


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

What a pleasure to meet you, billyaustindillon. Thanks for the visit.

I've always believed you can make more headway and get points across by injecting some fun and wit, than by preaching in a dry and humorless way.

Nice to know you agree - thanks for the kind words.


EllenGraeger profile image

EllenGraeger 6 years ago from Madrid

Great hub, drbj. I thought it would be your topic ! I love the videos and now I will go to buy the exclusive gift basket before they run out of stock ...


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Ellen. I owe this hub to you. It was your suggestion to write about human emotions whem I commented on one of your informative marketing hubs.

And just so you don't get too worried about the exclusive offer ... they NEVER run out!


frogdropping profile image

frogdropping 6 years ago

Ohhhhh drbj how sorely I needed this hub before I started the month of April. Perfect sense! Perfect adice. Perfectly understandable. In fact - it's practically perfect in every way! Pleasing perfection ... parabéns! ;)


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Olá. É sempre um prazer ler seus comentários. Eles sabem ler e escrever adequada e bem-humorado. Você está na Inglaterra agora sonhando com Portugal? Eu sei que você perca o famoso vinho verde Português. Obrigado pelos comentários como sempre.

Congratulations to you, too, on your superior set of product review hubs. Hope they do well for you.


Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago

Hi drbj, you've written another excellent hub! I really needed this information, my Amazon acct. hasn't been getting much activity. I'm rating this up and will bookmark it. You have a lot of good points I want to try and implement.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Lamme - thanks for the visit and the approving comments. Happy that this info will help you - we all need all the help we can get from our friends. Wasn't there a song like that once?


frogdropping profile image

frogdropping 6 years ago

Ahhhhh drbj ... tu fala Portugûes também?! É sempre um prazer para deixar-nos e sim - estou na Inglaterra. Meu coração está em Lisboa :) Meus cumprimentos drbj!


Jesse 6 years ago

I'm just getting into the Amazon game and I'm looking forward to applying your information - especially the "fear, greed, vanity and exclusiveness." I'm gonna scare the hell out of them, stroke their egos and make them feel like they're the only one! ;-)


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago

I learned quite a bit and am bookmarking this one for sure. You did a great job writing this, you held my interest all the way through. You have offered some very valuable tips.

Great Job!

Sage


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Jesse. Thanks for the visit. Yep, you've got the technique spot on. If you can't appeal to their fear or greed, appeal to their vanity. Works for me.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

What wonderful comments, Sage, thank you, thank you. I expecially appreciate those kind words coming from you. Wanna be one of my new Hubbuddies?


rmr profile image

rmr 6 years ago from Livonia, MI

You've done your homework, here! I think I read that same old book you mentioned.

I also remember those old typewriters. I wrote my first words on a very old one with a missing L key, and eventually graduated to a Selectric II. Good times...


BJBenson profile image

BJBenson 6 years ago from USA

Just so you know I still have my typewriter. Just to drive my husband crazy. It has went with us on every move.He always say, can we sell this. LOL . It drives him crazy.

Back to you, your hub is great. Gave me some wonderful ideas.

I have a question? Do you really look like Bella , the Italian witch. Referring to your avatar or is it someone else? Because when I started my hub profile I thought about using her.


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 6 years ago from San Antonio Texas

Definitely remember the "ball" typewriters. I was thrilled when the typewriter in my clinic at my first base had a "memory function". I have bookmarked and rated your hub up.


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas

This is a great hub I enjoyed it very much you made some very good suggestions and explanations. Good job. Cheers.


Angela Harris profile image

Angela Harris 6 years ago from Around the USA

Great information! As for typewriters, I really miss the tactile sensation. Just not the same with keyboards. But I don't miss the whiteout! And I used a lot of the stuff.


CYBERSUPE profile image

CYBERSUPE 6 years ago from MALVERN, PENNSYLVANIA, U.S.A.

I was in selling way before even BC and I do remember the golf ball typewriter, it would be a BMW compared to the portable typewirter with the two color ribbon I used in college. Emotions do play a big role in why people buy. Thank You


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

rmr - you're lucky only the "l" was missing. Imagine typing without an "e" key. "Would b hard to rad a lttr." Thanks for visiting and the kind comment.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, BJ. Some things like old Selectrics and husbands are hard to lose - so much emotion attached.

Glad I gave you some ideas to use. About Amazon, that is.

No, I don't think I look like Bella, the witch. Although I'm too old to look like her alter ego, the young girl. Do you see the young image, too?

I'm thinking of using a real image of myself as my avatar - but then again it just might be scarier than Bella.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Thanks, mcrayne, for the bookmark and the "up."

Isn't it funny how we can remember in detail, usually, stuff like old typewriters we used back in the day, and completely forget where we just put down our reading glasses.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Cheers to you, too, ladyjane. I appreciate your visit and your warm comments. By the way, just wondering, is there a Lord Jane?


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Nice to meet you, Angela. Thank you for stopping by.

Although I was practically maudlin about my old Selectric, I don't miss it or the whiteout. Though I must admit, don't tell anyone else, that I was typing even before whiteout with - you guessed it - carbon paper for copies. Now that was MESSY!

Happy you liked the information.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Nice to meet you, Cybersupe, and you're very welcome.

You are absolutely right - emotions do play a big part in every decision we make. Even though we justify our decisions with logic, our hearts have first made up our minds.


wordscribe41 6 years ago

Wow, drbj... thanks for the walk down memory lane. "Typewriter" and "mail order business", haven't heard those in a while. Ha ha. Anyway, great copyrighting tips and information. I've forgotten some of this. Rated UP!


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, wordscribe. Of course you heard the words, "typewriter and mail order business" from your grandmother. Right? No matter. We definitely have improved in those areas.

Thanks for the great comments and UP rating. I've learned a lot through the years. Now I just have to find a way to remember it all!


BJBenson profile image

BJBenson 6 years ago from USA

To me it looks like Bella, but that is cool. Because Bella is the smartest person of all of Italy.She is a good witch too. But they do burn her every year in the northern parts of Italy. HEE! HEE! My husband Thinks I'm Bella, LOL.


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder

Thank you for writing this. I have been experimenting with writing more for amazon, and some articles fly, while others seem to flop. I am going to have to take a second look at them and see what emotions they are appealing to.


viking305 profile image

viking305 6 years ago from Ireland

Great information here thanks. To date I have not sold anything from Amazon at all. After reading this I am going to go back and see what I need to add so that I can grab the emotions of my readers. I have only added 'Books of interest' as my heading.... How Boring.... No wonder I have made no sales!

Thanks for waking me up and showing me the WAY!


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Ivorwen. Thank you for your thank you. 'Twas my pleasure. Any time you can identify the emotions your potential customer may be feeling, you will be ahead of the game and see your sales increase. I have spoken.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Nice to meet you viking, thanks for the visit.

Any time I can "wake up a hubber and show him or her the way," then I have gotten my message across. Good luck.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

For me, the Amazon factor is a difficult one as most of my hubs are politically, or opinion charged, and so it makes it more difficult to get any results out of that...granted there are myriad books on politics and political matters and I do try to include as many choices along those lines as I can, even using humor to some extent—for example, including a few book choices on garbage and telling lies when I'm speaking on democrats. ;) Still, folks coming in to my hubs are coming in to view an opinion rather than coming in in search of something they are looking to buy.

That all aside, I do think there are some thoughts here that can be useful in driving the interest in reading on through a book beyond the Hub. Worth taking a closer look at, so thanks.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Springboard. I particularly enjoyed hearing from you on this subject since I am aware that your focus is on opinions, political or otherwise. Especially concerning "demoncrats."

Choosing books from Amazon is obviously the best product to feature to accompany your hubs. Best of luck.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

Glad to share my thoughts. Incidentally, so far to date I haven't made anything on Amazon, though Adsense is doing increasingly better.

"Demoncrats." Like that one. :)


Astra Nomik profile image

Astra Nomik 6 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

What a fascinating hub. What a great informative subject this is. This has been a joy reading and watching, I am going to bookmark this hub page. This beats the socks off newspapers. I have learned a few great things from you. That is well worth rating you up for this, and I am happy to be a fan and follower. Thank you.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Astra, it's a pleasure to meet you. What a great fan you are. Would you like to be my new BFF?

For more relevant info for hubbers, see my two hubs regarding the use of Twitter, and the one for Generating more Traffic. Would be delighted to read your thoughts on those.

Thanks for the kind comments and the up rating. (Love your avatar name).


FCEtier profile image

FCEtier 6 years ago from Cold Mountain

I took the Dale Carnegie Sales Course in the early 80's. What I learned then is still true.

People buy what they want.

They have to be SOLD what they need!

Thanks for a clear reminder.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, FCEtier. You are SO right.

Just about any salesclerk can sell something to the customer who wants it. It takes a sales professional to help the consumer understand why he or she needs the product. That's why understanding the customer's emotions snd behavior is so crucial.

Thank you for putting it into 13 simple words. And thanks for the visit.


theherbivorehippi profile image

theherbivorehippi 6 years ago from Holly, MI

Fabulous information here!!! And sooo very true! I just started seeing some good sales in my Amazon account after so long. Such a great feeling! lol Superb hub! RAted up.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, hbh - wow! "fabulous" is one of my very favorite comments. Together with "superb" and "rated up." You get my AFJUOSA. Award For Judicious Use Of Superlative Adjectives. If you haven't seen it, the statue resembles the Oscar but it's constructed of platinum. Just tell me where to ship it. And oh yes, send S&H fee of $172 first.

Thanks for the lovely comments.


Dobson profile image

Dobson 6 years ago from Virginia

This is another great informational hub with great practical applications. Of all the hubs i read, this type seems to stay with me the longest.

Thanks for covering this subject!


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, Dobson, I appreciate your visit and very kind but true comments. The best way I have found to learn something and remember it is to have it explained with practical applications.

Happy this works for you, too, and the pleasure is all mine.


Website Examiner 6 years ago

Never much of an Amazonist, whether on the buying or selling side, this hub now resonates, as I have the privilege of attempting to get people to buy a self-published author's books. He doesn't have a clue, me neither, but at least we can appreciate the free sales and marketing opportunities that are now available to everyone.

The market has been saturated, consumers are so spoiled nowadays that they expect to get most things for free. Does "vanity" help when selling a signed book? Hardly, unless the buyer tends to be softer in the knees than your average consumer. Thus, we need to build this author from the buttom up, if you ask me, first the man, then the book.

In any event, I appreciate your information and advice, which probably has a lot of truth to it in many product markets.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hello, WE. Good to have you visit.

Publishing a book these days with so many POD publishers available is the easy part. As you point out, marketing said book is where creativity and ingenuity are needed. And you are spot on about championing the author first, then the publication.

One method that has worked for me is always having a few copies available at any speaking engagement as well as business cards to hand out with relevant ordering information.


Website Examiner 6 years ago

I appreciate your valuable advice, thank you.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

It's my pleasure. Any time. Best of luck.


LogicalSpark profile image

LogicalSpark 6 years ago from India

Great hub.

it is interesting to see such nuggets of wisdom packed in a fun-filled, witty manner


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Logical Spark, how nice to meet you. Thank you for the appealing comments: "nuggets of wisdom; fun-filled witty manner." You've got me pegged. Thank you, thank you.


billyaustindillon profile image

billyaustindillon 6 years ago

So many good points here - not just on Amazon but on marketing and the psychology of it all - a must read!


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Coming from you, billy, that "must read" is high praise indeed. Thank you, thank you.


chinweike profile image

chinweike 6 years ago from Glasgow, UK

I think i have heard of the 'fear as a motivating' aspect of selling. my problem is how to instill this fear in people.

Thanks for this mind refreshing hub.

Cheers!


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, chinweike, "mind-refreshing" is nice to hear.

Many sellers inject "fear" into consumers' minds by indicating an item is in short or limited supply, or that the price is lower only for a short time. "C'mon, Mortimer, we have to buy it while they still have it."


Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 6 years ago from Los Angeles

This was a great way to explain the basic motivations of any buyer, no matter what the product may be. I loved the way you illustrated each of those sale techniques with concrete examples appealing to the specific motivation.

I rated useful, rate up and became a fun, all at once. Would you please care to explain what my motivation might be?


chinweike profile image

chinweike 6 years ago from Glasgow, UK

Thanks drbj. I will start putting that into practice.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Petra. I've always found the best way to get a concept across is to illustrate it with examples and language if possible. Makes it easy to remember and hard to forget.

Your motivation? You are a "professional student," like me who is constantly searching for more and more knowledge. No?


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

My pleasure, chinweike. If you have any questions, just ask. Thanks for the visit.


Charles K. profile image

Charles K. 6 years ago from United States

Very helpful hub. Thanks for writing it. I've read that sales copy should emphasize the benefits of the product rather than the features. Aiming the copy deeper and directly at the emotions of the buyer has to make it easier to pitch those benefits and to make the sale. Great ideas here!


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Charles K, nice to meet you. You are so right. Successful copy features benefits and not features. When you involve the potential buyer's emotions, you are taking that further step, as you stated, to make a successful sale. Thanks for the "great ideas" comment - much appreciated.

You might also like to read my hub on generating more traffic: http://hubpages.com/t/131965


5institutes profile image

5institutes 6 years ago from Nampa, ID

I'd like to say as a professional salesman - so I'd like to think! - spot on!!

Fear of loss - usually expressed in the too-overused "only 2 copies left of this EBOOK...!" or "Prices WILL go up next time you visit..." etc. are all playing on that string.

I just wish more subtlety could be had with those online especially, unfortunately a lot of sales copy has lost any sense of the term.

Fantastic hub. I didn't have that typewriter - I'm only 34 - but my mom WAS a secretary of some years - and she had some Stephen-King-ish beast...I loved it.

Spent lots of time wasting her white-out ribbon, then for giggles would waste her red ribbon, too - but she never missed the latter.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, 5institutes, it's a pleasure to meet you. Thanks for the "spot on," one of my favorite comments. You are so right. The emotion of fear is utilized way too often and subsequently loses its power.

And you've won my heart already since you said your mom had a similar relic of a typewriter and not your grandma!

I remember those half black, half red ribbons, too. Very messy when the keys would stick.

Thanks for the visit and the insightful comments.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

I'm not quite sure how I found your Hub today...roaming around, grazing a bit with the morning coffee...but I'm glad I did.

Reading about that IBM Selectric ball brought back fond memories, as did your thoughts on effective sales copy needing to appeal to certain emotions. I, too, had a career stint in writing ad copy, where I learned from an old gentleman skilled in the craft. Some things never change, because they work.

So, what I got to thinking about is how much cr*p is dumped on the Net (spun articles and the like) masquerading as content while intending to sell. I think if you forget (or don't even know) the basics of appealing to fear, greed, and vanity/eclusiveness, and the reasons behind it, you are completely ineffective, and worse, setting a bad example.

Your points are as valid now, and maybe moreso, as they were at the birth of advertising.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Sally's Trove - it is my pleasure to meet you. So glad you stumbled upon my hub. Feel free to gaze at the other 91, too.

You are so right, the more things change, the more they stay the same, and the sales strategies that worked years ago still work because they are based on human emotions which will never change.

Thanks for visiting and the very gracious comments. You and they are most appreciated.


make money on the web 6 years ago

I agree with you. Emotions are what makes a person try, buy or accept things even when they don't need it. That's why we are all trying to make money on line because someone talked to our emotions to get the ball rolling.


gracenotes profile image

gracenotes 5 years ago from North Texas

I learned to type on a manual Royal. I'm older than dirt!

I also remember well those mimeograph machines with the purple ink that every teacher in my school used. I used to like running off the teacher's tests and lesson guides and then holding up the fresh copies to my nose. I kind of liked the smell (which could have had naphtha in it, I think?)

My success with Amazon has been mediocre. I think I will get better with product review hubs the more I practice. In my latest one, I can only say that I used vanity as a motivator. If I really love a product, I tend to identify with it strongly, and it's easy to imagine that there are others out there who share my taste. And why do they like the product? Well, because they are so special, and it calls to them in a unique way.

I have bookmarked this hub. Thanks for presenting this information.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Absolutely right on the mark, mmotw. If you cannot appeal to the buyer's emotions, you are wasting your time trying to sell a product or service.

We don't just buy what we NEED. We buy what we WANT.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

How nice to meet you, gracenotes - another "older than dirt" contemporary. And I remember those old mimeograph machines that printed in purple and left you with purple fingerprints the rest of the day.

You are on target when you try to sell something you are passionate about. That translates so well to your potential customer. Also meaningful in terms of sales is when you can present yourself as some sort of expert - focusing on why people should trust what you are selling.

Thank you for your visit, your comments and bookmarking.


gracenotes profile image

gracenotes 5 years ago from North Texas

I just sold my first piece of silver jewelry on Amazon. From the hub I referenced in my comment above! I am very happy.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, gracenotes, Congratulations on your first sale. I'm happy for you. Soon I will be able to say, "I knew you when ..." :)


Susana S profile image

Susana S 5 years ago

I came back to read this wonderful hub again :) I don't think I've really implemented this approach properly yet, but having had a refresher now I think my brain has finally caught up!

One question - can I use all four tactics in one hub or is it better to choose one?


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

How special to see you here again, Susana. Delighted that you are applying these tried and trusted principles to your product hubs.

If it were applicable, yes, you could use all four tactics in one hub, but I like to make it easier for the potential consumer by focusing on one or two at the most. Good luck! :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa

Complicated psychological structures short and sweetly summarized, and so clear and logic with sales in mind. I’m so glad I’ve chosen this hub to read today. Definitely bookmark to refresh my memories once, if ever, I get myself seriously into sales again. Drbj, you are a genius! My wish for you on this last day of 2010 is joy and peace in abundance.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

What a lovely wish for the New Year, Martie, thank you and I wish the very same to you.

Did you know you have a special talent for summarizing? Your first sentence is cogent, succinct and makes me want to read my own hub again. Thank you for the 'genius' comment. I shall treasure it. Hmmmmmm, maybe I should raise my fees. :)


James McCullough profile image

James McCullough 4 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

What an excellent hub to help us out with our ventures online, or in other endeavours.


ShaamCA profile image

ShaamCA 4 years ago from India

Great share , really excited about the information , thanks for letting us know such techniques


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 3 years ago from Isle of Man

I read your hub with interest and as usual you make the reader think. I do, however, feel that your hub is more of an indictment on the people your hub describes. It is a very shallow people indeed who would be motivated to buy by simply appealing to their basic emotions of fear, greed, vanity and exclusiveness. For people to have degenerated to such a level explains why the west is in such a crisis right now and why those who understand the problem will continue to profit by it forgetting that the people of Easter Island had to have stood by and watched the last tree being cut down! Thank you James.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Well, if You're gonna work on people's emotions and weak points to get them to buy your product, might just well use sorcery and spells. Charm people into liking You and just giving You their money. You can give them little rocks in return, since it seems that we no longer care about how good/useful a product is but how we can successfully push it onto people.

That is why so much money, time and effort is used on marketing and research, to see how to get gullible people to buy useless things they do not need. And voila: materialism thrives, while morality goes down the drain.

Beautiful!


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida Author

Forgive my delay in responding to your comment, James. It's nice to meet you and thank you for finding this information helpful for your business endeavors, online or otherwise.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Shaam, thanks for your visit and it is my pleasure to share these informative techniques to aid you in increasing your Amazon sales.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida Author

Hello, Spirit Whisperer. If I made you think with this hub, then I have done my job. It is up to you whether you use this information to attract readers to buy. It is a fact that buyers act on their emotions more often than on logic. How you utilize this information of course, is up to you.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida Author

I think I understand, Mr. Happy, your viewpoint, but I am not advocating trying to sell people products and services they do not need. I am simply pointing out the psychological motivations that compel buyers to act.

It is true that research and marketing play a big part in advertising products to the public which is why people also need to be aware of the importance of their emotions when it comes to making choices for purchases.

Thanks for the visit but why do I get the feeling that the 'Beautiful!' might have been a bit of sarcasm?


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

It's not what You are trying to advocate ... it's the tactics which You promote here: working on people's emotions to get them to buy stuff ... that to me, means taking advantage of people (to a certain extent).

"It is true that research and marketing play a big part in advertising products to the public" - Yes and it is much uglier than You think or You describe the situation here. Try reading "Consuming Kids: Protecting Our Children from the Onslaught of Marketing & Advertising" (http://www.amazon.com/Consuming-Kids-Protecting-On... and You might understand my point. This has to stop - children are being taken advantage of with tactics which You describe in your article here, even before they can speak ... If You think that is fair or good, or if You think kids who are not even capable of speech yet, can "be aware of the importance of their emotions" (as You put it) and control those emotions ... then, keep promoting these selling techniques. I would suggest otherwise though.

And yes, I was being sarcastic. In my opinion morals are more important than selling stuff and making a profit. I would rather slice my own throat than to make a living like this.

Thank You for your time.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida Author

I have read the book you mentioned, Mr. Happy, and it is true that many companies target children constantly with their advertising. In fact, as I recall, the statistics from the book state that the average child in America views more than 40,000 television ads each year. That is one more reason why it is so important for parents and care-givers to monitor what their children watch on television.

Thank you for your time, too, Mr. H.


Ceres Schwarz profile image

Ceres Schwarz 3 years ago

Great hub on increasing your Amazon sales. I especially like how you gave examples on how to use the 4 emotions to get buyers to buy things. Those examples just made things much easier to understand. I guess we can't use those 4 emotions at once in one sales hub? Or is that actually possible? Would it be better to focus on only one emotion or to use them all?


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida Author

That's a good question, Ceres. Which emotion you appeal to depends on the product or service you are marketing. Generally, appealing to just one or two emotions would bring the best results. Appealing to all four might be confusing to the consumer.


Ceres Schwarz profile image

Ceres Schwarz 3 years ago

Now that I think more about it, what you said makes sense. It will be confusing if we appeal to different emotions all at once. And I guess it does depend on whatever it is you're marketing as to what emotion you should use to appeal to the readers. It will just be hard in trying to figure out which emotion you're supposed to be using and if you're using the right emotion.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida Author

Figuring it out is what makes a successful marketer, Ceres. One more thing I would mention: if you want to attract more readers to your hubs, be sure to make comments (like you have on mine) on all the hubs you read. For more information see my hub on 'Comments and Traffic.'


Ceres Schwarz profile image

Ceres Schwarz 3 years ago

Yes and I guess it would take time to become a successful marketer. I agree and I do try to comment on hubs that I read. I believe I've already read your hub about that and I've left a comment as well.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, Ceres. You and your comments are much appreciated.


supermom_in_ny profile image

supermom_in_ny 3 years ago from NY

Awesome hub! I have read articles where people have mentioned "triggers" for shoppers, but they didn't explain it. (Probably because they were trying to sell me the latest "make money online" ebook / software)! I am going to implement this into my writing. I'm sure I will get great results. Thanks for sharing! ;)

Thumbs up for you!


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, supermom (love your name). I think you got that right. If I were trying to sell you something I would keep the 'trigger' info to myself. We (consumers) buy with our emotions (hearts) but like to think we buy with our brains. You WILL get better results with your writing when you keep these thoughts in mind. Trust me.

And thanks for the visit and the thumbs up!


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida

Hi drbj

I learned a lot here. Guilty too I guess. I think I may subconsciously or maybe even consciously buy some things to 'feel better about myself.' O, that might not be such a good thing....I see.

I was trying to find out about luring others but found some truths about me. o my

Angels are on the way to you this evening

And do I dare admit it??? I know that little Selectric ball.

:) ps


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida Author

If you sometimes buy things to feel better about yourself, Patricia, you are not alone. That's one of the important drivers of the American economy (which needs all the help it can get right now).

So you know that lil Selectric ball? Do not worry, m'luv, your secret is safe with me. Thanks for the angels.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 2 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I wish I had this understnding of motivation when I was young and wanted to be in mail order and/or copywriting.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

Its amazing how all those emotions hit the button so to speak! I really must remember this, great hub drbj! voted up and shared! nell


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

Glad I caught this post on marketing. Banking on emotional appeal is always a win for advertising, it sells! Great tips and information on using key strokes to win an audience.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 2 years ago from USA

You're right, we do need to appeal to people's emotions since that is generally how they buy. Great tips!


Princessa profile image

Princessa 2 years ago from France

Definitely voting this hub thumbs up and useful. Not only I can try to improve my sales but I can understand better why I buy so many things in a whim.


drbj profile image

drbj 2 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Don - Well, it's never too late. You can now use your increased understanding of motivation to sell products online on Hubpages or blogs. Or at flea markets. Or door to door. Oops, scratch the last one - don't think any salespeople sell encyclopedias that way any more. :)


drbj profile image

drbj 2 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Nell. The concept is amazingly simple. If you push the correct emotional buttons of the buyer, you sell the product. Thanks for the visit, the gracious comments, the Up and the sharing. You are really appreciated.


drbj profile image

drbj 2 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Deanna. Happy you found this marketing post. Appealing to the buyer's emotions has always been the cornerstone of successful marketing.

Delighted you appreciate my tips and information, m'dear.


drbj profile image

drbj 2 years ago from south Florida Author

How nice to meet you, Millionaire Tips. It's true that consumers generally purchase with their emotions leading the way. Their brain later validates what their emotion has already chosen.

Thanks for appreciating these 'great tips.'


drbj profile image

drbj 2 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Princessa. Understanding the motivations of why we buy helps us to understand the motivations of our customers. Thanks for the thumbs up and useful. Drop by anytime, m'dear.

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