How To Use Fear To Increase Sales & Conversions in 4 Steps

Knowing a customer’s basic pain points are half the battle. When pitching your product as the solution to their needs, sometimes it takes a little more than stroking their ego until they’re pumped up enough to buy…Sometimes it takes fear.

Taking weight-loss veggie pills may interest you a little, but for the most part, it sounds rather boring. That is until you find out that 2 out of 3 adults in the United States alone are obese and overweight; or that obesity is linked to dramatically increased risks of heart and cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and even death…

Suddenly those weight-loss veggie pills don’t seem so bad.

When you’re a woman and learn that 1 out of every 5 women experiences rape or sexual assault in their lifetime, it’s no surprise if the first thing you think about is protecting yourself from danger as you roam the streets during the day. In fact, you may even rejoice when you learn about that nearby gun shop around the corner that also sells pocket knives and pepper spray…

The point is this: Whenever you attach a scary fact about a situation that your prospect feels they have no control over and THEN provide them with a solution or a way out (AKA your product), you can aggressively “motivate” your prospects into doing whatever they want.

Why Fear Works So Well

Not only does fear urge and motivate – fear also sells. Most of the time, fear triggers the Life-Force of Survival – the need for self-preservation and to stay safe from harm. When our lives or safety is threatened it creates stress, which eventually pushes us to take action. If there’s anything that can potentially threaten our wellbeing in any way, shape or form, we will do anything to get back to center – even if it means spending a little money.

Now I know what you’re probably thinking: “Manipulating people with fear to increase your sales and conversions? That’s not okay, bro…”

But here’s the thing…

Manipulation and persuasion are actually two different things.

You see, when you’re MANIPULATING someone, you’re triggering their emotions to get them to do what YOU want by any means necessary – even if it means lying, cheating and stealing from someone. You don’t care about what happens to the other person, so long as you get what you want.

That’s when YOU become a threat. And that, friends, is the furthest from what I’m talking about.

However, when you’re PERSUADING someone, you’re triggering their emotions to get them to do what THEY want or need. And in return, YOU benefit from it.

You’re persuading them into seeing your product as a solution to their REAL problems. Because of this, you are adding potentially immense value to their lives.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I see nothing wrong with that. And if you don’t either, allow me to introduce to you the 4 steps to inducing fear into your copy – for their benefit, of course…

The 4-Step Guide To Inducing Fear

So now that we know that fear can be used as a key element to wake up and take action (and in turn, increase your sales), here’s how to effectively use it to your advantage.

  • Scare Hell of Your Prospects – you want to make sure that whatever the premise of your product is (whether it’s to lose weight, prevent cancer etc.) it needs to really make your prospect lose sleep at night.
  • Offer A SPECIFIC Recommendation To Overcoming This New Threat – After scaring your prospects, you need to offer that one, clutch solution that can help them overcome and prevent this fear-arousing threat (AKA your product).
  • Give A Recommended Action – If they want to rid themselves the risk of being affected by whatever the big threat is, then tell them to take a specific action (buy your product).
  • Give The Message That They Can Defeat This Threat – Sometimes your prospects need a little encouragement (or permission) before they take action. Ensure that saving themselves with your recommended product is the right decision.

    A Few Quick Tips

Now, before you go on giving your ideal prospects unnecessary heart attacks, there are a few things I would strongly recommend:

1.Make sure your fear appeal is realistic, and your product can realistically save your customers. Otherwise, your fear appeal will crash and burn.
2.You need ALL of the fear-inducing steps above to successfully use the fear appeal. Any missing step and you may scare away your customers for good.
Use fear to inform, persuade and encourage your prospects to take action, and there’s a great chance that you’ll see your conversions and sales skyrocket at a “scary” rate.

Check out for more tips and tricks on high-converting copywriting.