Copy Writing with Personality Types in Mind

This is a second part of a three-part series on how to build a website with the four personality types in mind. It will show you how doing so can increase your conversion rates. We’ll focus on the kind of content and written copy to which each type responds.

As we discussed in the previous article, there are 4 dominant personality types identified throughout centuries by Hippocrates, Carl Jung, David Keirsey and the Myers-Briggs test. Those personality types have unique traits. Those traits affect the buying habits and decision-making process each personality goes through before giving you money.

In order to sell better, you must satisfy those buying traits. In this article we help you achieve that.

It’s important that you read the previous article in this series to understand the four personality types and what makes them tick.

Who is Your Dominant Personality Type?

This is a very tough one to identify. Do your customers have a dominant personality trait? Are they mostly Artisans or are they Idealists? What if you have a mix of two? What if you have a little bit of all four? How do you know?

Unfortunately, you never know.

Not only do you never know the dominant buying personality of your customers, personality can change depending on the role a person is playing. For example, Jim is a CEO of a major company. As an CEO he is required to make quick, fact-based decisions, which puts him into the Rational category. But Jim’s dominant "off-work" personality is Idealist, so he cares a lot about others. In his workplace, Jim may mix his work-based Rational personality with his regular Idealist personality, operating in two modes. Those two modes affect his final decision; therefore, your website must feature content for both modes.

Your website may get a little bit of everybody, so it makes sense to build a website for all four personalities. It is very tricky and requires major template and content planning, but the results are well worth it.

The upper portion of your top level pages should be aimed at Artisans and Rationals, while the bottom part can get detailed for Guardians and Idealists, since those types do not mind digging for details.

 

FutureNow calls this conversion optimization theory Persuasion Architecture (PA). With Persuasion Architecture, you plan a website for all four personality types, including:

  • website template

  • copy writing

  • headlines

  • benefits

  • pages

  • tools, downloads, widgets, software, etc.

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Persuasion Architecture plans paths for each personality type in accordance with their decision-making process. It marries the sales process with the buying process of your customers. Persuasion Architecture is far more advanced than conversion optimization for four personality types; it touches imaginary personas, structures, wire framing, buying cycles, business topology and a lot more.

The topic is too large to discuss in one article; after all, Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg, the fathers of Persuasion Architecture, wrote an entire book, so here we will only touch on the basics. In this particular part of our article series, we discuss copy writing and after sale support for each of the four personality types. As you will see, copy writing is very distinct when you put it through this lens. If you ignore this fact, your site will be leaving money on the table — for your competitors to grab.

Guardians SJ

Guardians are at home in engineering, programming and other sciences that require a love of detail. They are usually serious and somewhat introverted.

When writing your website copy for Guardians, you must know your stuff. If you don’t, they will be on to you in a second. They are very suspicious of "sales hype" and it usually turns them off, so avoid the hard sell.

Here are two fictional examples to show you good and bad ways to approach selling to Guardians.

Good:

A recent study released by Johnson Research showed that in May 2009, 45,236,641 links were not in use on the Internet. This compares to 34,678,234 in May 2008, one year ago. By using BABA URL Command software, it was demonstrated that companies increased revenues by $23,344 – $564,865 per year and cut time spent on URL optimization.

Bad:

Get BABA URL software and you can earn up to $500,000 per year, by using abandoned URLs available for free on the Internet. For just $5 per week you will make profits of over $1,300 per day!

Artisans SP

Artisans usually succeed as sales people, marketers and entertainers. If your customer is an Artisan, the Internet is a perfect place to sell your product.

Artisans tolerate sales pitches. When writing for them, your pitch should be concise and to the point. Artisans love self-expression, so you can help your sales process by emphasizing how you can aid their self-expression. Don’t get into too many details, as those will bore them. Write something humorous and you will gain more respect in an Artisan’s eyes. Summarize pros and cons.

Good:

Imagine yourself in a luxury hotel, lying in the heat of the sun, on white sand, slowly sipping your drink…. while bikini-clad ladies pass by, glancing at you with interest. Or maybe you will ride that red sports car, taking the clutch up to 5 on the freeway, way beyond the speed limit… screw the speed limits…

Bad:

This 10-year perfected sales system will allow you to increase your income level by at least 15% over the next year. That extra income will help you get a vacation or buy the car you’ve always wanted.

Idealists NF

Idealists are very friendly and artistic people. They don’t like the extreme stuff. Idealists love to be part of a bigger team as opposed to doing solo work. They also put others above themselves.

When writing for Idealists, try a one-on-one, friendly approach. Assume your reader is an old friend and write a warm "personal letter" to him or her. Provide a very strong guarantee, state concrete facts, offer believable testimonials and proof of exceptional after sales support.

Rationals NT

Do not invade their personal space. Rationals are natural-born leaders. They make decisions quickly and don’t like too many details. Pros and cons are usually enough. Rationals disrespect laziness and inefficiency. They honor and respect effectiveness in a person.

When selling to Rationals, avoid even a hint of hype. Speak to them at their level and include a summary along with the bottom line. Write professionally with a business-like approach.

Good examples of Rational personalities are Oscar Schindler in the movie Schindler’s List and Frank Lucas from American Gangster.

Good:

Dear stock buyer. You and I are both aware that there’s no guaranteed way to win on the stock market (unless you’re pulling Wall Street games), but if you give me a minute of your time, I will show you how I’ve developed a strategy that helped me be a winner. There are only 100 copies of this book, because I want the strategy to keep on working, since I still collect a good yield from this field. So if you’re in stock market trade, please ….

Bad:

Hey Friend! My name is Ivan and I am about to share a money-making, well-kept, stock market trading secret. Sit back, kick your legs in the air and relax, because what I’m about to share with you will make you so much money you will quit your job. You are about to learn how to make a lot of money and always win in the stock market, by applying my mega-money-making formula.

Guardians SJ

A good way to make Guardians happy is to ask them for feedback. If a Guardian replies with a specific problem or issue, say that you will fix it, but also ask for ideas on how to fix it. He will be very pleased to "consult" with you and suggest a solution.

Artisans SP

This personality suffers from impulse buying with a high probability of "buyer’s remorse." Take extra time and effort to reassure Artisans that this is the right choice and that they made the right decision.

Right after the sale, send them an auto responder email stating all the benefits he or she will receive. Then send a second email asking if he’s happy. After that, send a third email about a week later asking for feedback and a testimonial.

Idealists NF

Idealists do not like change. It’s like a 100-meter-high brick wall for them. Once climbed over, though, they become loyal repeat customers (assuming you deliver what you promised, along with good customer service).

After the sale, follow up with an email asking if everything is okay. If you get a reply, be warned that it might be a negative response, because Idealists are slow to change. Keep in touch with them as a friend, and they will get over everything.

Rationals NT

Rationals are used to being treated like a boss, and expect that from you. Ensure that this customer has all of the contact information he or she needs, such as email address, phone, fax and postal address. Send it out again in your auto responder email. If a problem arises, answer right away. If you delay, a Rational will give business to those who reply promptly instead.

We’ve discussed how the four personality types approach their buying decisions, how to write copy for them, and how to treat them after the sale, so what’s left? In the third part we’ll discuss the web site design elements you will want to include to cater to the four personality types. You won’t want to miss it.

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