Something Useful: The 3 Action Cues Formulas, and How to Use Them

How to Set the Stage So Your Customers Take Action

If you need people to take action, this will help. Of the 9 Buyer Traits, only 3 of them cause action.

They are: Empower Me, Invite Me, and Respect Me.

The other traits are important for making a person feel heard and understood, but they won’t make them take action. Why?

Let’s look at each one:

  • Love Me… translation: “Let’s stop right here. I could use a hug.”
  • Celebrate Me… translation: “How about we throw me a party? We could host it right here.”
  • Support Me… translation: “Are you sure I belong here? Maybe I should hang back.”
  • Teach Me… translation: “Let’s sit down and you can show me the data.”
  • Reassure Me… translation: “I don’t know, that sounds scary. Let’s take a break.”
  • Entertain Me… translation: “Whew, I could sure go for a cat video right about now.”

You can see how none of these thoughts have anything to do with taking action. On the other hand, let’s take a look at the action traits:

  • Empower Me… translation: “Just point me in the right direction, and I’ll go there.”
  • Invite Me… translation: “I’d love to be there, but you gotta invite me.”
  • Respect Me… translation: “I mean, well… if you think what I’m doing is important… then I’d love to do what you recommend.”

Every one of these is an action thought. No hanging out by the pool or waiting for something more interesting to happen. Action. That’s where it’s at.

The 3 Action Cues Formulas

It would be a little weird to turn to another person in real life, and say, “Come on over to my house, I respect you… you drive.” (Even just typing those words feels weird.)

So, what you need is context.

These three formulas will help you get the person to take action, because it sets the stage according to how they think through decisions already.

Formula 1 is: Celebrate + Reassure + Invite = Action

Formula 2 is: Support + Respect + Entertain + Teach = Action

Formula 3 is: Support + Love + Empower + Teach = Action

I bolded each action word, so you can see the piece that drive the action. The other 3 or 4 elements build the context. Cool, right? 

How to Use the Action Cues Formulas

1- One at a time. The best way to use the Action Cues Formulas is to know your audience well enough that you know what formula works for them. Then, it’s a simple matter of writing your copy so that it continually hits those context and action cues.

This works best if you’re: 

  • writing to your internal list and you know the personality of the list
  • writing a Facebook ad

On FB, use one formula at a time. Don’t go crazy.

2- All at the same time. The second best way to use the Action Cues Formulas is to use them all at the same time. Go full out. Use all 3 formulas together.

Important: If you’re going to use this strategy, make sure to keep your context cues bundled closely with your action cues.

You can’t scatter your baking ingredients all over the kitchen and then complain about not getting chocolate chip cookies. It won’t work. Put your dry ingredients in one bowl; and your wet ingredients in another bowl. When the time is right, carefully mix the ingredients together. Then, add the chocolate chips. Cool?

This strategy works best if you’re:

  • writing to cold traffic
  • expanding your audience to an adjacent market, or
  • writing a long form sales letter

There you have it! 3 ways to use the 9 Buyer Traits to drive your online marketing. If you have questions or comments about how to use these formulas in your copy, you can email me at:


© 2013-2015 Melanie Saladino. All rights reserved. WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: “Direct-response copywriter and strategic messaging coach, Melanie Saladino, teaches entrepreneurs how to stand out in a crowded marketplace using the power of your voice. Get your FREE "Well Said!" mini-book… 9 Ways to Find Your Voice, Share Your Message, and Make More Money at