Stronger Ads: Leverage The Motivating Forces Filter to Set Fire to Response Rates!

How Are You Going to Get Your Prospect to Make the Leap?


One of my earlier articles on “Spicing Up Ads Using the 7 Deadly Sins Filter” has caused quite a ruckus!

Most people said it was great… others thought I was Satan Incarnate for suggesting it. But… please realize:

Number one, I’m not Satan and, number 2, that is just ONE of many Ad Filters I’ve accumulated and put to good use over the years. (If you don’t know what I’m calling an “Ad Filter” here’s the brief summary: An idea or viewpoint you can overlay a basic ad/offer over and test to see if it boosts response.)

Typically, you can find an appeal that works better than all others. THEN, you can write additional headlines catering to THAT appeal and get some real winners. (Many people don’t understand APPEALS and instead write headlines that are basically all the same. First, nail the APPEAL as that is where your greatest possibilities lie.)

Here are non-“Sin” related filters you can apply to any ad to test for increased response.

Love – which may take the form of:

  • Friendship,
  • Patriotism,
  • Jealousy,
  • Welfare of Family and Friends (community, mankind, etc).
  • Religious Sentiment


  • Acquire Money
  • Save Money
  • Save Time or Labor
  • Increase Opportunities in Life
  • Raise Your Position or Standing in Life
  • Freedom From or Freedom To


  • Loyalty
  • Courtesy
  • Justice
  • Honesty


  • Personal Honor
  • Vanity
  • Appearance
  • Reputation
  • Prestige
  • Self-Respect


  • Gratification of Any Appetite or Desire (positive or negative)


  • Fear
  • Caution
  • Hunger
  • Preparing for Negative Events
  • Protecting Self and Loved Ones
  • Safety/Comfort

Example Time!



















This is a pretty good lead gen ad overall. I happen to know they do a LOT of testing. Even still, I think we could generate some worthy tests by applying the above ad filters. (Of course, if you want some practice use The 7 Deadly Sins Filter on it, too!)

First, let’s determine which (if any) of the above Motivating Filters are in use. “Want to Retire Comfortably?” – that feels like “Self-Preservation: Comfort” to me.

You agree?

The next line is “If you have a $500,000 portfolio” that is just narrowing down the target and it’s a smart move. Next, we have “Forbes columnist” which is authority/credibility indicator – great move.

One more thing I wanted to point out… the pic doesn’t really match the appeal of the advertisement. Being on a motorcycle in a desert isn’t “comfort” to most people. It would probably be more “Gain: Freedom From/Freedom To” than anything else. So, a slight mistake in an otherwise good ad.

Here’s what I might test:

Gain: Freedom From/Freedom To: 

Headline: “Retirement Freedom: Will You Be Clipping Coupons or On The Open Road?” Then, you could use a contrasting picture. One of the guy on his bike and then an “or” with another picture of someone clipping a coupon.

Let’s do Love next, shall we? And, specifically, let’s do Welfare of Family/Friends.

Love: Welfare of Family/Friends

Headline: “Will You Have Enough to Help Your Family?”

Body text: If you have a $500,000 portfolio, you’re in position to not only help yourself but your family, too.”

That could be a real killer. Careful, though… it could also overwhelm as they think about how much it would take.

I’ll do one more and then the ball is in your court.

Self-Preservation: Caution

Headline: “What if Your Retirement Money Disappeared?”

Body text: If you have a $500,000 portfolio, you’d be wise to make sure it is SAFE. We recently discovered a few popular, “safe” investments were really anything but safe and secure.

Got it?

Ok, your turn!

Jason Bedunah

Jason Bedunah

Jason writes direct response copy for some of the best direct response marketers in the world since 2005. He's also spent several years building entire marketing departments for fast growing companies so he has a 360-degree view of what it takes to successfully execute winning campaigns.