Copywriting is 80% Psychology. Here are 10 Psychological Triggers to Prove It

Kushagra Oberoi
4 min readDec 25, 2022
Source: Author

Copywriting is 80% psychology & only 20% writing.

But most people don’t have time to read lengthy research studies.

So I decided to curate the best ones for you.

Here are the 10 most effective psychological triggers in action (with *real-life* examples)

Cognitive biases are “mistakes of reasoning.”

When people put more value on their:


-Social factors

-Pre-conceived notions

They make decisions that might not be as rational as they think. So you can get them to do what you want.

1. Nostalgia Effect

→Our sentimental feelings about the past influence our present actions.

That’s why a sci-fi show like Stranger Things is based in the 70s to invoke a familiar, relatable vibe.

Source: Author

2. Incentivization

→We work harder when we know there’s a reward.

That’s why e-commerce stores offer free shipping above a certain $$$ threshold.

Source: Author

3. Zero-risk bias

→We seek certainty in situations that seem risky.

This happens with digital products because we cannot experience them before buying.

Jon Brosio uses it to market his cohort course and increase sales.

Source: Author

4. Hyperbolic Discounting

→We value decent but immediate rewards more than great but long-term rewards.

In other words, prioritizing instant gratification.

Here’s how Everlane does this.

5. Framing Effect

→We base our perceptions on THE WAY information is presented to us.

Like Jay Clouse calling his membership a lab to grow & experiment with other creators.

Source: Author

6. The IKEA Effect

→We value things more that we help create.

Carrd uses the IKEA effect in their headline subtly to show how effortless it is to build your own website.

Source: Author

7. The Decoy Effect

→Our perception of an option changes when we’re presented with a third option.

Kieran Drew presents 3 options for his digital product and positions the middle option as the ideal one.

Source: Author

8. The Bandwagon Effect

→We believe popular opinions without confirming because we feel if the quantity of opinion is more, it must be right.

Look at how Maybelline does it by showing how much of the product is sold in mere seconds.

Source: Author

9. Loss Aversion

→We tend to avoid losses more than earning equivalent gains.

Dan koe compares his course to a college degree to make you visualize the loss of money spent on uni.

Source: Author

10. Anchoring Bias

→Our mind tends to rely heavily on the information that’s presented first.

That’s why Steve Jobs presented the iPad as a $999 device but later made it seem like you’re getting it at 50% off.

Source: Author

P.S. If you want more copywriting tips, join my newsletter for free by clicking here.

Plus, check out my thoughts on how AI writing tools can actually benefit good writers.

What’s the psychological trigger you relate to the most?

Let me know in the comments below!



Kushagra Oberoi

Snippets on What I learn about Copywriting & Marketing. 👀