How to Target Core Desire on a Landing Page

Set aside thinking about landing pages for a moment…

And imagine you’re stuck in traffic and it’s 105 outside.

Sweat trickles down your brow because your AC broke two days ago. You haven’t had time to fix it because you’ve been so busy lately. In fact, you’re on your way to a big meeting that’s been in the works for weeks. The problem is, this traffic is making you run late. You’re now worried you’ll show up not on time and in a fraz-zled state.


The person in back of you thinks honking will help. As if! Maybe you feel the urge to honk, too. But before you do, the situation gets worse. People are trying to con-verge into opposite lanes, making you cringe at the crash about to happen…

Right now, you desire nothing more than for traffic to instantly clear.

It’d be even better if you also had a glass of ice-cold lemonade to sip on.

You close your eyes and dream of showing up on time and all of your problems go-ing away…

Your imaginary happy ending to this fictional situation would be your “in the mo-ment” desire. It’s specific and based in the present. When you’re in an unwanted state, you seek specific solutions for helping you out of the bad place you’re in.

When your customers visit a landing page, they also seek specific solutions. They want targeted answers. You can provide them, of course. But that’s not the only thing you can do, especially if you want to speak to their core desire.

What Is a Core Desire?

Think back to the traffic jam. When you were stuck, you wanted to get out. But in the big picture, is traffic really that bad? Yeah, it’s not fun, but there are far worse things that could happen to you.

At the end of the day, getting out of traffic isn’t your primary desire. Because you’re human, you have core desires driving your behaviors. These core desires very likely consist of one or more of the following…

Happiness. Laughter is a universal feeling. No matter your culture, people love to laugh.
Pain Avoidance. People want to avoid pain more than want to seek out pleas-ure. It’s innate for you to detour from things that cause harm.
Acceptance. Being liked is a big one. Hop on Facebook, and you’ll see billions of people seeking clicks for likes and moments of your attention.

Core desires are long-term wants. They’re the things that compel you to keep living and pursuing your goals.

It’s in your best interest to speak to a single core desire on a landing page. Before you write a word of copy or change the color of a button, think about the core de-sire of the person reading it.

• What long-term results does he want?
• What motivates her to get out of bed in the morning?
• What things keep them awake at night?

Once you have your core desire in mind, you can speak to it broadly and specifical-ly.

Speak to Core Desires Broadly

If you’re overthinking a landing page, stop. Seriously, just stop what you’re doing and give yourself a moment. Go take a walk or distract yourself with someone else.

Still struggling with it? Then chances are you haven’t figured out what core desire you’re speaking to. Once you know the core desire, it’s simply a matter of speaking to it broadly and specifically.

For example, let’s say you’re in the learn to speaking a new language market and you’ve found the core desire for this market is wanting to feel culturally intelligent.

The following headline is an example of speaking to this core desire broadly…

“Want to Impress the Locals? Now You Can Easily Show Off Your Linguistic Fluency!”

Someone with your core desire will read this and think, “Yeah, that’s what I want. Now, how are you going to help me do that?”

Since you’re a smart person, you know you have to preemptively answer this ques-tion. This is why you’re also speaking to their core desire specifically.

Speak to Core Desires Specifically

Once you’ve got attention by speaking broadly, you can retain a person’s attention by being specific.

In your subhead, bullet points, or lead, you would put a targeted follow-up mes-sage similar to the following…

“Learn the 10 phrases of Swahili to get a free dinner.”
• “Learn this one French sentence that instantly builds trust.”
• “Saying these 8 words of Spanish gives you a better deal 95% of the time!”

I’m having fun with these examples. Even though this is work, it can be fun, too. Entertainment aside, you can see how these follow-up messages speak to a specific action — something doable within 10 minutes of opting in.

Repetition is important to learning, so I’ll say it again. To create a powerful, per-suasive effect on a landing page, speak to a targeted core desire generally and specifically.

A landing page is just a step in the stairway of your sales process. While it is im-portant, a landing page alone won’t run your business. It takes more than a high conversion to reach your core desire.

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Photo Credits: Walter Parenteau stef thomas Jeffery-Turner

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