John Bonini is a leader in growth and user acquisition. He works at databox. He’s also an award-winning writer, and his podcast, Louder Than Words, was named by Inc. as one of the “12 marketing podcasts you should listen to every week.”

How to Create Masterful Copy That Wins The 2 Biggest Buying Objections

How to Create Masterful Copy That Wins The 2 Biggest Buying Objections

Let me start off by telling you something you already know: convincing people to choose you is hard work.

(I mostly mean in business, but take it as you will. It works in any context.)

The act of being chosen is completely out of your hands. And boy, as marketers, do we hate that. 

People are freakin’ complex, and their decision-making mechanisms even more so.

Where most marketers go wrong is in their effort to counter this psychology with marketing. 

While the act of being chosen is out of your hands, positioning yourself to be chosen is not.

But before you can do that, there are a few things you need to know.

The two main buying objections

Within any buying process, there are two main objections people will have. 

The first is driven by anxiety:

"What if it doesn’t fit?"
"Can I return it?"
"Is my information safe?" 
"Do I really need this?" 

The second is driven by friction: 

"I have to fill out this form? Pfft. Nevermind." 
"I don’t really feel like speaking with a rep on the phone."
"I’m in a rush. I don’t have the time to wait."

Your success in being chosen – in any context – hinges on how well you work within these objections. 


The most effective way for addressing people’s anxieties is by knowing what they are ahead of time and baking your response right into your messaging. 

Let me show you what I mean. 

Recently I was having breakfast with my friend Matt, and since this is a regular occasion, we take turns picking up the tab. (Nothing is sillier than two grown men splitting a check for $17.34.)

This particular Saturday Matt took out a brand new debit card.

"What's that?" I asked.

It was called Simple. Immediately I started asking questions, well, anxieties thinly veiled as questions. 

“Is there a minimum balance?” (I HATE that about TD Bank.)

"What kinds of fees do they whack you with?"

He did his best to answer my questions, which is to say he told me “just go to the damn website.”

Here’s what I found: 


Wow. They already knew my anxieties, and more importantly, created messaging 100% focused on addressing them. 

Where many companies waste this space with some variant of “Learn More”, Simple used valuable real-estate to address the anxieties they already knew existed within the minds of their audience. 

Baked right into the messaging. Now that's marketing.

The next time I met Matt for breakfast, it was my turn to pick up the tab. And this time, I didn’t have to worry about a minimum balance.

Tap into this train of thought: Start by identifying three central anxieties people would have prior to buying from you. Start broad and narrow your scope. Are they financial? Time-based? 

Then do your research to learn more. Interview customers. Talk with support. READ REVIEWS! Reviews, particularly bad ones, are a great place to uncover the anxieties people are having, because these are often the basis for how they’re formed in the first place. 

And they don’t have to be your reviews. Look up some of your competitors. Look up books your audience is reading. Use crowd-sourced sites like Quora to delve further into topics more specific to your industry. 


By nature, unless there is something that we want, we’re really adept at dragging our feet to make purchases. In fact, we’ll look for any excuse not to spend money right now.

"Hmm. Let me look around and see what else is out there."
"I can probably find it cheaper online."
"I’ll wait until I really need it."

This is self-induced friction. People create it themselves. 

Compounding this problem, and making a sale even less likely, is company-induced friction. This one is all on you. 

Super long form for people to fill out? Friction. 
I have to contact a sales rep on the phone? Friction.
I have to download something? Friction. 

The more you can reduce or eliminate friction in your messaging, the more successful you will be.

Check out how Litmus, an email software company, reduces friction by lowering the barrier of entry. 


30 seconds? No sign-ups or obligation to speak to a sales rep? 

They’ve made it very easy to choose them. (And conversely, very hard to come up with an excuse not to.) 

Tap into this train of thought: How easily can someone buy, consume, or try your product?

Could it be easier? (The answer could always be yes.) 

Even if you have a low barrier of entry, your messaging may suggest otherwise. Reversing this can be as simple as trading words that suggest more work to be done for words that instead reveal benefits and provide people with a shot of dopamine. 

Here are just a few examples:

Remember, people are already equipped with their own self-induced friction. Don’t add to the problem by adding friction of your own. 

I mentioned this earlier, but the key to selling more IS NOT by countering psychology with marketing. 

That’s like trying to catch a butterfly by flailing at it. 

No, the key to selling more is by embracing psychology with empathy. 

That’s more like floating gently in the same direction as the butterfly and allowing him to land right on your nose. 

Which are you practicing? 

2 Scientifically Proven Ways for Capturing People’s Immediate Attention with Your Content

2 Scientifically Proven Ways for Capturing People’s Immediate Attention with Your Content

The HubSpot Blog Drives 2 Million Monthly Views – Here's How

The HubSpot Blog Drives 2 Million Monthly Views – Here's How