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7 Neuro Writing Tactics to Get Inside the Minds of Your Audience



7 Neuro Writing Tactics to Get Inside the Minds of Your Audience

Joe Sugarman nails the essence of the written word’s power in marketing: “A mental process … for the purpose of selling.”

I’ll shorten it: “mental … selling” – getting inside users’ heads to turn them into leads and motivate them to take an action.

As content marketers, your tool to accomplish that is engaging and persuasive language. Using words, you use your art to influence your audience’s minds and help you get results.

What is neuro copywriting?

Neuro copywriting is the process of crafting a marketing text to appeal to human psychology, thus influencing engagement and motivation to learn more and purchase.

Create content that appeals to human psychology and better motivates your audience, says @WritingBreeze via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

It refers to mental hacks included in your content to compel the audience to act. The addition of tiny elements – odd numbers, particular words, formatting tricks – hook users and make them stay with you.

Neuro copywriting has nothing to do with manipulation. While it can relate to natural-language processing communication techniques like anchoring and mirroring, it’s more about the application of concrete, actionable writing techniques. Let’s look at seven ways to do this.

1. Use 2 numbers in headings

The brain is wired for numbers, which explains why people love listicles so much. Numbers can make the content easier to digest, tricking the brain into assuming it’s more efficient to consume. Your audience’s brains see listicles as cheat sheets to scan and get the info they need.

Numbers also provide order to chaos. They help content consumers see and reach the end goal and be rewarded by a dopamine release.

Using numbers in headlines provides order to chaos, says @WritingBreeze via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

To double the effect, use two numbers in a headline. The first number invites audiences to read, while the second answers the what’s-in-it-for-me question. This example from HubSpot – 11 Conversion Copywriting Tips That Grew Our Revenue by 240%, According to Lately’s CEO – uses two numbers.

The first number – 11 – sparks interest from the audience who wants to learn those tips. The second number – 240% – tells the audience what those tips have helped the company Lately gain.

TIP: Understand the psychology behind odd and even numbers. Even-numbered lists look friendlier and imply something didn’t get mentioned, encouraging the brain to find out that “something.” Odd numbers are more thought-provoking: “11 tips? Why did they choose such an odd number? That 11th tip must be interesting.”

2. Add beneficial adjectives

Beneficial adjectives in headings and subheads explain why your content is worth their attention.

Writers use many beneficial adjectives – new, free, unique, quick, exclusive, cost-effective, etc. But here’s the kicker: Readers see those words so many times in the content, that they think, “Yeah, of course. Everyone says it.”

So, here’s a neuro copywriting tactic to replace this ubiquity objection: Combine two rarely matched beneficial adjectives in headings.

Combine two rarely matched beneficial adjectives in headings, says @WritingBreeze via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Ensure both adjectives relate to a noun and appeal to the reader’s emotions, such as:

  • A Practical, No-Nonsense Guide To Earning Passive Income Online
  • The Best Free Business Plan Template For Individual Sales Reps
  • 35 Cheap and Ingenious Ways to Have the Best Classroom Ever

3. Ask questions

Given people usually scan content online to ascertain if it’s worth their time, pay precise attention to your subheads. Use them to ask a question.

I do this on my services page – Need a Writer for Your Blog or Marketing Content? The next subheading gives the answer – How I Can Help You.

Questions use the social instinct – the brain’s built-in mechanism to assume what others know, want, and feel:

Questions clarify what the audience will learn when reading. They can spark curiosity in the audience who wants to see if the answer is something they don’t know. It can appeal to a kind of fear of missing out (FOMO). They continue reading to ensure they haven’t missed anything.

TIP: Don’t limit questions to headlines. Add relevant questions in proper places throughout your content to grab a reader’s attention and interest.

4. Format headlines as quotes

The second neuro copywriting tip for headlines and subheads is to make them a quote. Take a sentence from your text and format it as a quote, or take quotes from industry experts if they fit the context.

Why does this trick work? Quotation marks signal expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (EAT) – attributes that both audiences and Google appreciate.

This neuro writing tactic works with headings in case studies, press releases, and blog articles:

  • ‘I Tried These Top 10 Proposal Software, So You Didn’t Have To’
  • ‘Trust yourself and take your time’ – Maria Meireles
  • ‘The One-Page Document We Use to Plan Our Blog Posts’ [PODCAST]

Note: AP Style uses single quotes in headlines.

5. Use the Socratic method

The Socratic method is an argumentative dialogue between individuals asking questions to stimulate critical thinking.

As you can guess from the name, this conversational technique belongs to the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates. He used it to engage students in communication. In content writing, you can use this method in your introductions to hook readers, as Barbara Sturm did in this Smart Blogger article: “Wondering how to become an editor? Need guidance on mapping out your new career path?”

Ideally, you should ask three questions because the brain grasps three the best – numbers, colors, fonts, statements, etc. It becomes more challenging to focus and remember beyond the three.

Use the Socratic method in your intros: Ask three questions, says @WritingBreeze via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

I bet you heard about the Rule of Three in writing. As Brian Clark explains: “If you want something stuck in someone’s head, put it in a sequence of three.”

Besides posing three questions, try a modern version of the Socratic method: Give readers three statements they will agree with. Nodding at your words gives them subconscious proof you understand their problem and can provide a solution.

Brian Dean uses the statement technique in this intro: “So, if you’re looking for: More traffic. More leads. More Sales. Then you’ll love the actionable techniques in this guide.”

6. Write with power and sensory words

As Smart Blogger shares, “Power words are persuasive, descriptive words that trigger a positive or negative emotional response. They can make us feel scared, encouraged, aroused, angry, greedy, safe, or curious.”

Power words push your audience in the direction you want them to follow. The active verbs and descriptive adjectives indicate, explain, and add action to your content.

This example from the Content Marketing Institute’s consulting services page uses many powerful phrases – let’s set up, figure out, and put together. It also starts each bullet with active verbs – educate, consult, assist, audit, provide, and conduct.

Sensory details in your content also matter. Sensory language appeals to five physical senses – helping readers see, hear, smell, taste, or touch your message. Use them throughout your content. Here are some ways to incorporate sensory details into headlines:

  • 5 Tips for Turning Drab Information Into a Tantalizing Tutorial
  • How To Avoid Using Cringeworthy Stock Photos in Your Content
  • 12 Expert-Vetted Sample Business Plans to Help You Write Your Own

On HubSpot’s marketing services page, they scatter sensory-type words throughout – tough, juggling, stuck, scattered, lackluster, and fussing.

Why are sensory words so effective? Why do they captivate customers so much?

The human brain processes sensory words differently than ordinary ones. They activate the somatosensory cortex, which recognizes those words more quickly. In plain English, the brain processes non-sensory words as text. With sensory language, it processes scenes.

When painting scenes in a reader’s imagination, they experience your words as if they are in your story. Such content is your surefire way to stand out in the sea of grey, same-sound voices and influence the desire to take an action.


7. Consider negative language

Aside from the FOMO seemingly mentioned in every second guide, fear of failure, loss, looking stupid, etc., often come into play in your audience’s minds. Fear is a primal human motivator. It triggers your audience to act. That’s why it can be your ally in persuasive content.

Use negative language in the content’s headings and intros. In this CMI article, the phrases “ban” and “right now” in the headline – Ban These Words and Phrases From Your Communications Right Now (an A-to-Y Guide) – could instill fear in the reader.

When people read negative words, such as damaging, idiot, crash, stuck, devious, fail, miss, ban, and never, they get confused, feel uncomfortable, and begin to worry, even if subconsciously. Here are three negative headlines based on three types of fear, as noted in the parentheses:

  • That’s Why Your Blog Will Never Succeed (fear of failure)
  • How to Network at Conferences If You’re Not an Extravert (fear of rejection)
  • Are You Damaging Your Content With These 11 Mistakes? (fear of inadequacy)

Use your brain to get to theirs

Neuro writing applies language patterns to create persuasive, brain-friendly content. Write with human psychology in mind – and you’ll engage audiences, win their trust, and motivate them to choose your content and your brand.

It’s time to take these seven tricks to jump inside your audience’s heads and take your content marketing to the next level.


Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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How to Write YouTube Titles for SEO



How to Write YouTube Titles for SEO

Creating a video is a creative process which involves a lot of brainstorming, editing and producing. But the success of your video does not 100% rely on the quality or originality of that video.

Whether your video is going to be a success is determined by how many people will be able to find it and watch it.

Don’t underestimate the discoverability of your video. It may make or break your whole video marketing strategy performance.

One of the biggest channels that can drive findability of your video is search engine optimization, i.e. optimizing your video page for it to rank in search engines (mainly Google and Youtube search) for relevant keywords.

And one of the most important SEO elements of any page is its title.

What is a Youtube title?

“Title” is what you see on the browser tab when you open any Youtube page:

It is controlled by the “Title” field which is required when you upload your video to Youtube:

In the code of the page the title can be found within <title></title> tags.

On a Youtube video page, the title is also repeated underneath the video as the main heading making it also an on-page SEO element.

Youtube allows you to enter up to 100 characters to the title field and I recommend making the most of those 100 characters.

How can titles impact the findability of your video?

Page titles are key on-page SEO elements because they do both:

  • Page titles are direct ranking factors (Google uses them to understand what the page is about)
  • Page titles impact click-through by being the most visible parts of standard search snippets.

In that respect, Youtube SEO is not much different from any other types of SEO. The only slight difference is Youtube videos also get an additional section in organic results which you can target: Page titles are also included next to video thumbnails in video carousels:

Since titles are so important for your video findability and clickability, spend some extra time brainstorming effective video titles. Here are a few ideas:

How to create an effective Youtube title

1. Include your keyword

This is important in the context of this article. Keywords are still very important for SEO because they still help search engines understand the main topic of your page.

Keyword research is also a great way to estimate a demand for any topic (by looking at the search volume).

Identifying your main keyword and including it into the page title will help that video page rank for that keyword driving views for your video and generating additional brand visibility to your business. There are lots of tools and plugins allowing you to identify your target keywords.

It is a good idea to grab URLs of your competing videos and run them through this SEO Content Checker to identify their keyword usage and learn from that:

2. Make it sound interesting

I know it sounds obvious but there are too many boring video titles for me not to mention it.

Your video title needs to invite a click, so make sure it is interesting enough to invite one.

I realize it sounds easier than it really is and in many cases it is also highly subjective. But there’s a tool to help.

Using ChatGPT will help you find some ideas, in case you are stuck. Here’s what the tool was able to generate when I requested the following “Generate video title ideas that will include “Youtube marketing” keyword. Make those titles sound intriguing:”

There are quite a few pretty nice ones. If you don’t like what the tool suggested, keep asking it for more, changing your request just a bit to make it think harder.

This tool is great but make sure to pick a title that won’t over-promise. There’s a fine line between “intriguing” and “click-baiting.” Try and avoid the latter as it may reflect badly on your branding strategies.

3. Include numbers

Including a number in your page title has proven to be an effective way to get more people to click it. Click-through is likely to be an (indirect) ranking factor, so if more people click your title, there’s a good chance it will rank higher.

You cannot make each of your videos a listicle though, so you won’t be able to use this trick in each of your Youtube titles. But it is a good format to keep in mind and use from time to time.

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4. Mention a brand (if there’s one to mention)

Finally, if your video is about a well-known brand (for example, if that video is of you speaking at an event) or, more importantly, if you create it in collaboration with a well-known expert and/or influencer, include that name in your title.

Not only will it help your video rank for that searchable name, it will also increase its click-though thanks to people recognizing that name. 

Youtube also allows you to tag that name in the title (much like tagging works on Twitter or Facebook). If you add @ and then start typing that name, Youtube will allow you to select that name from the drop-down (if that brand or person has a Youtube channel). This will notify them on the mention and urge them to engage with the video helping its visibility:

No need to include your brand name though (unless that video is all about you or your company). If you pick your Youtube name well, it will help you build your brand’s recognizability with every high-ranking video because the channel name is always included in search snippets.

Keep a close eye on your results

Finally, creating an effective title is something that you can never do perfectly. There’s always room for improvement and experimentation. Learn from other well-performing videos in your or outside your niche and never stop experimenting.

Monitor video carousels for your important keywords to get notified when a new video succeeds in getting there and not what may have brought them that success. There are SEO monitoring tools that can help you with that task:

Additionally, keep a close eye on your Youtube analytics to monitor keywords that generate views from Youtube search and learn from those results:


You spend hours creating your video. It deserves a good title which will help your video get found. Spend some time brainstorming an effective title, experiment with different formats and measure your success. Good luck!

The post How to Write YouTube Titles for SEO appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

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Amazon Announces Auction System for FBA Storage Space [What Sellers Need to Know]



Amazon Announces Auction System for FBA Storage Space [What Sellers Need to Know]

Amazon’s FBA program is a tremendous asset for brands who sell products on the platform. With FBA, retailers can outsource the heavy lifting of logistics such as warehousing, fulfillment, and distribution for a fee. In the last few years, sellers have expressed the need for more capacity, predictability, and control over their inventory. Amazon’s recent update helps sellers tackle those challenges and so much more.

Amazon just announced a new streamlined FBA capacity management system that will go into effect on March 1, 2023. With this new system in place, Amazon FBA will be turned into an auction where sellers can bid for additional storage space.

The system will now incorporate a single, month-long FBA capacity limit rather than weekly restock limits that can make inventory planning challenging for sellers. Now, capacity limits for the upcoming month will be announced in the third full week of each month via the Capacity Monitor in Seller Central and email notification. According to Amazon, the majority of sellers will now have access to greater capacity volumes than before.

With this new update, Amazon also announced they will provide estimated limits for the following two months to help sellers plan over a longer period. In a recent blog post highlighting the announcement, Dharmesh Mehta, Vice President of Amazon Worldwide Selling Partner Services stated, “We will forecast how much space and labor we expect to have to provide these estimates, but these estimates may vary up or down based on how efficiently sellers are using their capacity, as measured by the Inventory Performance Index (IPI) score.”

With the new Capacity Manager in place, sellers will also be able to request additional capacity based on a reservation fee that they specify. Mehta noted…

“Requests are granted objectively, starting with the highest reservation fee per cubic foot until all capacity available under this program has been allocated. When additional capacity is granted, sellers’ reservation fees are offset by earning performance credits from the sales they generate using the extra capacity. Performance credits are designed to offset up to 100% of the reservation fee, so sellers don’t pay for the additional capacity as long as their products sell through.


Our goal is to provide sellers with more control over how much space they can have while limiting unproductive use. We’ve piloted this feature with certain US sellers, and we’re excited that with this launch, we will expand it so all sellers can request higher FBA capacity limits.”


The recent announcement also highlighted how Amazon will set capacity limits and measure sellers’ inventory usage in cubic feet (vs. number of units), which better represents the capacity sellers’ products use in our fulfillment centers and transportation vehicles. As many sellers prefer to plan in units, Amazon will continue to show inventory usage in units but will also provide an estimate of how many units specific cubic volume capacity limits are likely to permit.


Tinuiti’s Take on the New FBA Capacity System


Change is certainly on the horizon. Let’s hear from Tinuiti’s own Bjorn Johnson on tips for how you can prepare for the FBA change coming March 1st.

“These changes are likely to be impactful, especially to sellers with larger products. Amazon reverting to cubic foot-based storage limits is likely to reintroduce previous issues for these clients in maintaining healthy inventory levels. Their difficulties look to be exacerbated by the addition of the bidding system. In order to keep their already high-fulfillment-fee products in stock, they’ll need to bid on large amounts of space. On the other hand, sellers with smaller products are likely to be able to store more units than before, and have the flexibility to bid on smaller amounts of space. The decision from Amazon looks like a clear effort to encourage small, light, easy-to-ship and fulfill products.”

– Bjorn Johnson, Operations Manager at Tinuiti


Want to Learn More About the New Auction System for FBA Storage Space?


We will continue to keep you informed as we learn more about the new FBA capacity system. If you’re interested in learning more about our Amazon offerings or if you have any questions concerning FBA, contact us today.


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How to optimize your online forms and checkouts



How to optimize your online forms and checkouts

Forms are probably the most important part of your customer journey. They are the final step where the user entrusts you with their precious personal information in exchange for the goods or services you’ve promised.

And yet, too many companies spend minimal time on making sure their form experience is a good one for their users. They don’t use data to establish where the UX problems are on their forms, and they don’t run form-specific experiments to determine how to improve their conversion rate. As a result, too many forms are unnecessarily driving potential customers away, burning potential revenue and leads that could have been converted if they had only spent a little time and effort on optimization. Two-thirds of people who start a form don’t go on to complete it, meaning that a lot of money is being left on the table.

This article contains some of our top tips to help optimize your forms + checkouts with the goal of improving their conversion rate and delivering more customers and leads.

Use data to identify your problem fields

While user testing and session replay tools are useful in identifying possible form issues, you should also be using a specialist form analytics tool, as this will allow you to quantify the scale of the problem – where are most people dropping out – and prioritize improvements accordingly. A good form analytics tool will have advanced insights that will help work out what the problem is as well, giving you a head start on creating hypotheses for testing.

A/B test your forms

We’ve already mentioned how important it is to nurture your forms like any other part of your website. This also applies to experimentation. Your A/B testing tool such as Optimizely should allow you to easily put together a test to see if your hypothesis will improve your conversion rate. If there is also an integration with your form analytics tool you should then be able to push the test variants into it for further analysis.

Your analytics data and user testing should guide your test hypothesis, but some aspects you may want to look at are:

  • Changing the error validation timing (to trigger upon input rather than submission)
  • Breaking the form into multiple steps rather than a single page
  • Removing or simplifying problem fields
  • Manage user expectations by adding a progress bar and telling them how long the form will take upfront
  • Removing links to external sites so they are not distracted
  • Re-wording your error messages to make them more helpful

Focus on user behavior after a failed submission

Potential customers who work their way through their form, inputting their personal information, before clicking on the final ‘Submit’ button are your most valuable. They’ve committed time and effort to your form; they want what you are offering. If they click that button but can’t successfully complete the form, something has gone wrong, and you will be losing conversions that you could have made.

Fortunately, there are ways to use your form data to determine what has gone wrong so you can improve the issue.

Firstly, you should look at your error message data for this particular audience. Which messages are shown when they click ‘Submit? What do they do then? Do they immediately abandon, or do they try to fix the issue?

If you don’t have error message tracking (or even if you do), it is worth looking at a Sankey behavior flow for your user’s path after a failed submission. This audience will click the button then generally jump back to the field they are having a problem with. They’ll try to fix it, unsuccessfully, then perhaps bounce back and forth between the problem field a couple of times before abandoning in frustration. By looking at the flow data, you can determine the most problematic fields and focus your attention there.

Microcopy can make the checkout experience less stressful

If a user is confused, it makes their form/checkout experience much less smooth than it otherwise could be. Using microcopy – small pieces of explanatory information – can help reduce anxiety and make it more likely that they will complete the form.

Some good uses of microcopy on your forms could be:

  • Managing user expectations. Explain what information they need to enter in the form so they can have it on hand. For example, if they are going to need their driver’s licence, then tell them so.
  • Explain fields. Checkouts often ask for multiple addresses. Think “Current Address”, “Home Address” and “Delivery Address”. It’s always useful to make it clear exactly what you mean by these so there is no confusion.
  • Field conditions. If you have strict stipulations on password creation, make sure you tell the user. Don’t wait until they have submitted to tell them you need special characters, capital letters, etc.
  • You can often nudge the user in a certain direction with a well-placed line of copy.
  • Users are reluctant to give you personal information, so explaining why you need it and what you are going to do with it is a good idea.

A good example of reassuring microcopy

Be careful with discount codes

What is the first thing a customer does if they are presented with a discount code box on an ecommerce checkout? That’s right, they open a new browser tab and go searching for vouchers. Some of them never come back. If you are using discount codes, you could be driving customers away instead of converting them. Some studies show that users without a code are put off purchasing when they see the discount code box.

Fortunately, there are ways that you can continue to offer discount codes while mitigating the FOMO that users without one feel:

  • Use pre-discounted links. If you are offering a user a specific discount, email a link rather than giving them a code, which will only end up on a discount aggregator site.
  • Hide the coupon field. Make the user actively open the coupon box rather than presenting them with it smack in the middle of the flow.
  • Host your own offers. Let every user see all the offers that are live so they can be sure that they are not missing out.
  • Change the language. Follow Amazon’s lead and combine the Gift Card & Promotional Codes together to make it less obvious.

An example from Amazon on how to make the discount code field less prominent

Get error messages right

Error messages don’t have to be bad UX. If done right, they can help guide users through your form and get them to commit.

How do you make your error messages useful?

  • Be clear that they are errors. Make the messages standout from the form – there is a reason they are always in red.
  • Be helpful. Explain exactly what the issue is and tell the user how to fix it. Don’t be ambiguous.

Don’t do this!

  • Display the error next to the offending field. Don’t make the user have to jump back to the top of the form to find out what is wrong.
  • Use microcopy. As noted before, if you explain what they need to do early, they users are less likely to make mistakes.

Segment your data by user groups

Once you’ve identified an issue, you’ll want to check whether it affects all your users or just a specific group. Use your analytics tools to break down the audience and analyze this. Some of the segmentations you might want to look at are:

  • Device type. Do desktop and mobile users behave differently?
  • Operating system. Is there a problem with how a particular OS renders your form?
  • New vs. returning. Are returning users more or less likely to convert than first timers?
  • Do different product buyers have contrasting expectations of the checkout?
  • Traffic source. Do organic sources deliver users with higher intent than paid ones?


About the author

Alun Lucas is the Managing Director of Zuko Analytics. Zuko is an Optimizely partner that provides form optimization software that can identify when, where and why users are abandoning webforms and help get more customers successfully completing your forms.

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