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In the journey of a copywriter, there’s an evolution that transcends the mere structure and storytelling of copywriting. It culminates in the profound understanding of selling identities. This concept revolves around the idea that people are more willing to invest in who they aspire to become than in a mere product or service. This insight is at the heart of what’s called the “Identity Close” – a powerful strategy in persuasive writing and sales.

The Psychology Behind the Identity Close

The Identity Close is based on a simple, yet profound truth: while people may reject a product or service, they are much less likely to reject an aspirational version of themselves. This approach focuses on aligning your product with the identity that your target audience desires to assume. It’s about selling not just a product but a future self.

The Arc of Growth in Copywriting

  • Initial Stages: New copywriters often focus on structure and basic storytelling.
  • Advanced Stages: As they grow, they learn to incorporate mechanisms, tackle problem-solving, and shift beliefs.
  • Mastery: Ultimately, they reach the pinnacle of selling to identities, where the real transformation and profitability lie.

Understanding Customer Aspirations

The key lies in understanding that most of the price elasticity is in who your customers want to become. When you sell to that aspirational identity, customers are willing to pay significantly more because they’re investing in their future selves.


Implementing the Identity Close in Copy

The Structure of the Identity Close

  • Initiating Self-Reflection: Start by using phrases like “If you’re someone who…” This invites the reader to reflect on their current identity and aspire for a change.
  • Balancing Choice and Aspiration: Use “if” to offer a sense of choice, letting the identity feel like a natural progression rather than a forced label.
  • From Negative to Positive Identity: Begin with what they don’t want to be and smoothly transition into the aspirational identity they desire.
  • Personalization and Association: Shift from a general “someone” to a more specific group they can relate to, like “if you’re a woman who…”
  • Affirming Decision-Making: A line such as “Then you’ve already made the decision, otherwise you wouldn’t have read this far,” subtly affirms their readiness for change.
  • Linking Identity to the Product: End with “Let’s make it a reality for you,” seamlessly connecting their aspirational identity to your product.

The Magic in the Details

  • Subconscious Influence: The real power of this approach lies in its ability to communicate with the subconscious mind. While the conscious mind focuses on the product, the subconscious gets entangled with the idea of the aspirational self.
  • Creating Price Elasticity: By selling an identity, you create price elasticity. The value is no longer in the product but in the transformation it offers.


Example: A Beauty Product Close

“If you’re a woman who’s (aspirational identity), then you’ve already made the decision, otherwise, you wouldn’t have read this far. So let’s take everything we’ve just said about how you’ll (benefits) and let’s make it a reality for you.”

The Bigger Picture: Selling Identities, Not Products

The essence of this approach is the realisation that we’re not in the business of selling products; we’re in the business of selling identities. This shift in perspective is what differentiates a good copywriter from a great one. It’s about understanding that your audience is more inclined to invest in a version of themselves they aspire to be.

In conclusion, mastering the Identity Close is about understanding and appealing to the deepest aspirations of your audience. It’s a powerful tool that, when used with insight and empathy, can transform your copywriting from simply selling products to empowering transformations.


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