The Great Credit Card Levitation Trick

so 7 hours ago, the lovely Norma Rickman posts this on FB (the post itself demonstrates why she’s such a great copywriter, and yes, you should hire her when you need copy written;-)


(see here what Norma is talking about)

but, perhaps more importantly, it illustrates

the one big principle that separates the true Credit Card Levitation Magicians from the wannabe-hype-shysters:

when you focus on the fundamentals, then credit cards start levitating naturally…

… if on the other hand you never bother to figure out what really moves your prospects, …

… then you’re left with with the super-slippery slide of having to use ever more sales-psychology tricks just to keep your prospects’ attention (on the thing they deep down don’t really want, or at least think they don’t want … and usually for a good reason!)


I recently heard about an online video-player being developed that adds ‘gamification’ to videos.

The reason for its existence (according to the sales-hype):

statistics show that 95% of prospects stop watching videos after a handful of seconds…

… so we’re adding adding gamification so they stay hooked until the end.

Think little squares popping up every few seconds … and the viewers then get points for clicking on them little happy dancing squares.

A bit like Woody Allen’s orgasmotron I guess: keep pushing the button …

The big problem:

your prospects now push the button, because they like pushing the button!

The video only becomes a ‘container’ for the push-action (and hence is pretty much irrelevant <- as in: as before, your prospects couldn’t care less about your video!)

To make matters worse:

The moment you have an ‘impulse’-buyer or subscriber, you’ll only keep their attention by putting on an ever more extravagant dog ‘n pony show in front of them, aka: wield the biggest ‘sales-psychology-tricks’-gun you can find.

It’s simple:

There’s a reason why people drop off – your content simply doesn’t move them …

and I’m not talking about using the ‘moving’ part as yet another dodgy example of mis-guided use of sales-psychology, …

… but instead: move your prospects in all the senses of the word:

Here’s how you ‘move’ your prospects in 3 easy steps:

Step #1: move from them from a place where they feel stuck and powerless … to a place where they feel empowered, and ready to tackle their obstacles.

You see, one of the biggest, most valuable things you can do for your prospects is to give them hope!

Make no mistake:

when they land on your landing page, it’s NOT the first time they’ve tried to overcome the obstacle they’re looking at (the one you’re promising you can help them overcome)

in practice, they’ve tried many things, little has worked, much of it has been a rip-off.

And the more this happens, the more disillusionment sets in!

So, if you can demonstrate that there’s hope, you’re providing something of real value.

You can, and should do this in 2 steps:

  1. tell them your story. Demonstrate how you were where they’re now, and how you got to where they’d like to be. (note:
    1. don’t make up shit, it sucks!
    2. people come to you because they’re hoping that you can help them overcome an obstacle!
      So, by all means demonstrate, show that you’re “like them” (great for bonding), but also that you’ve moved on!!!)

      this is where you absolutely want to use stories, because as Sheila Carroll says in a testimonial for StoryFluence: “Story takes us out of ourselves and heals our sense of isolation

  2. enable them! I find it mindboggling that most marketers get this backwards!
    Say you’re selling an SEO keyword research tool.

    Most marketers will then sell a course on how to do SEO and proper keyword research as an upsell.

    Do it the other way around!Enable them to do SEO & market research, and show them how your tool makes the process even easier. (note:

    1. don’t make up shit, it sucks! (seriously, aim to be genuinely helpful, and show them there’s a way out of their situation EVEN IF they don’t buy your product)
    2. people come to you because they’re hoping that you can help them overcome an obstacle! Help them overcome that obstacle!

Step #2: move them to an action that serves both you and them …

and that’s NOT usually “hey, click on yet another orgasmotron-button”

There’s a common (and commonly totally ignored) marketing wisdom that says:

you’re always competing with several options … and one of them is taking NO ACTION whatsoever.

The key to getting people to overcome their natural intertia and to start taking action is have them take a series of small action-steps, each one aimed at 2 things:

  1. remove an ‘obstacle’ from their decision making process
    (as in: handle ‘objections’ in the wider sense, this is basically answering all the questions the mind has …
    and typically these are not voiced out loud, but if unanswered lead to an automatic ‘no’.)

    Example: if you’re asking someone to sign up to your email list, the first question they have (often sub-consciously) is this:

    is this worth my while/do I want to invest my time in this AND do I want to give up my privacy for this?

    Fail to answer all of those subconscious questions, or answer them in the wrong order, and boom, it’s one of the other options, usually ‘no action whatsoever’

  2. get permission to proceed to the next step of the ‘conversation’.
    If they feel you’re doing something ‘to them’ without them having asked for it, it’s ‘unsubscribe’ at best, spam-button at worst.

now, ask yourself:

how does in-built gamification that gets people to try to hit small squares and bubbles inside your video help with any of this?

(not a trick question, I don’t know the answer;-)

Last but not least:

Step #3: move them emotionally by demonstrating that you truly understand where they’re at, and that you can show them how to get to where they want to be

Yes, finally, ‘classic’ sales-psychology:

figure out what their pain-points are (and I’m talking about the real ones, not what people admit to in focus-groups, interviews or surveys & questionnaires), what their aspirations are, and then tell a story that connects those with the solution you have.

I’ve been saying it for years, and I’ll say it again:

Creating an ‘avatar’, that ideal client image on paper is a futile exercise!

You cannot guess this kind of stuff.

Nor can you pick up what’s REALLY important to your prospects if you have zero understanding of the market!

The whole idea of ‘entering a niche in an afternoon’ with no personal interest in that niche is total and utter BS!

You may do moderately well, but you’ll never get to the point where people publically post on FB that they’re glad that you’ve made their credit cards levitate!

Now, creating a real avatar requires some elbow grease – e.g. our process is always ‘direct response marketing’ oriented, i.e. we let the market tell us not only what they think their pain-points are (the language usually resonates with what people ‘WANT’), but also what they’re willing to let their credit cards levitate for …

And as it’s ‘direct response marketing oriented’, it involves a little bit of testing & optimizing.

Which is good news and bad news:

The bad news first:

that part requires a little bit of work, and as we all know, most people don’t want to do what it really takes, “it’s just too hard”:

The good news:

most people don’t want to do what it really takes, “it’s just too hard”:

Meaning: in the real world, there’s very little REAL competition for you if you decide to make the effort and get the fundamentals right.

You’re the one who is ‘moving’ your prospects, and gets those credit cards levitating … and has your customers love you for it! …

… whilst everybody else is adding orgasmotrons to their videos in the hope that some will randomly stick

Orgasmotron or ‘Mover’ … which one is your’s?



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  1. Matthew Newnham says:

    Perfect – so well said as ever, Veit.

    And for those who aren’t familiar with the Orgasmatron [Woody Allen’s film ‘Sleeper], here’s a 2 minute clip that’ll make you giggle [or at least smile]:

    • lol, … now that we have a Woody Allen expert in the house … there was another Allen movie (I *believe* it is Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex) where they have a similar device installed in a (public?) park?

      Alas, it’s a good 35 years since I’ve seen it (yes, thanks to my granny I watched it WAY before I was anywhere near old enough….), so I can’t quite remember…

  2. Norma Rickman says:

    So honoured to have inspired this post!

    I recently started working with a world-class copywriting coach, and he’s brought me back to finding that pure emotion to drive my copy. It was buried under layers of IM clap-trap.

    At last, I can write like a grown woman instead of a testosterone-fueled 15-year-old boy!

    I hope I can bottle a little Chaperon magic, and master the Great Credit Card Levitation trick for my own buyers very soon.



  3. you’re gonna start getting a new audience Veit if this page start ranking for “orgasmotron” related keywords 😀
    (…and I’m a little nervous to click on that YT link kindly provided by Matthew – I want to educate myself on WhoTH is Mr.Allen and WTH is his device but I’m scared to think what my YT suggested “timeline” will turn to 🙂

    Yo, Norma, are you kiddin’ me bro! like totally… no more killer ninja underground no-brainers?! No “BOOM”?! …OMG! :p
    Will be very interested to see some fresh true-Norma style copy – let us know when it’s out pls

    I’ve been seeing(and experiencing) examples and confirmations of effectiveness of what you’re talking about here, Veit, more and more lately( think RAS kicking in as I’m gradually tuning out of “IM clap-trap” 🙂

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