Aim for the Heart Not the Head

Aim for the Heart Not the Head

Have you ever tried to get someone to change their opinion by presenting a rational argument? How did that work out for you? Outside of scientific arenas, I do not think this works very well at all.

Professional marketers and psychologists know people make decisions emotionally and then use reason to rationalize them.

Daniel Goleman, author of “Emotional Intelligence”, puts it this way,

“Our emotional mind will harness the rational mind to its purposes, for our feelings and reactions– rationalizations– justifying them in terms of the present moment, without realizing the influence of our emotional memory.”

As decision makers and consumers we are at a disadvantage, the influence of our emotions, once we’ve come up with our rationalizations, fades from our recollection.

This is why most people when they learn about this phenomenon respond in protest, “That’s not me. I make decisions based on the Facts.” No one does. That’s not how our brain works.

It’s why science has been developed as a discipline.

It’s an external framework that forces humans to arrive at conclusions based on evidence – not something we do naturally.

However as marketers this works to our advantage if we recognize it and use it.

Evoke emotion first, then give reasons to support the feelings.

This isn’t really manipulation – though at first it can sound like it. It is just good communication. It’s communicating in a way that is natural for humans. Feelings matter.

In fact when we are forced to accept a point of view that upsets us, based only on overwhelming reason, we feel resentful.

And in truth, after the age of four or five, our sense of will is so strong we will likely never submit ourselves to accepting any position that is forced upon us by reason alone, especially when it clashes with our sense of the world.

Why Marketers Should Smile at Pain

Why Marketers Should Smile at Pain

You know what you SHOULD be doing.

Better diet, better exercise, more discipline, better organization, take on more responsibility, contribute more to charity, etc.

There are even things not at the forefront of your mind that well meaning friends, family and acquaintances remind you of… Are you drinking too much coffee… diet soda… alcohol?… Are you contributing the maximum to your IRA or 401k?…

There is an endless list of positive things you should be doing.

If you’re lucky you’ve changed some of your behaviors and adopted good, new habits.

But how many good habits lay unused in your big brain?

It’s normal. Everybody has some limit on their capacity to change behavior. The best of us, do our best.

Now, think about how fast you’ve changed when there were bad things heading right for you… or when you had already been hit by them.

I bet you hustled!

You made things happen. You have moved mountains to solve those painful problems. In fact, I bet you were willing to pay cash money to help alleviate some of those problems.

This is why marketers should “Sell Painkillers not Vitamins!”

This saying is very popular in sales and marketing circles, and for good reason.

It’s a fundamental principle of marketing and one of my favorites.

It has nothing to do with pills or products and everything to do with positioning or framing our messages.

It’s far easier to motivate someone to take an action to alleviate their present pain than to prevent a future one.

You have to position your offer as the cure to the prospect’s current pain. The bigger the pain the better.

It doesn’t matter the source of the pain. Physical, psychological and emotional pain are all equally valid.

Even complete luxuries can be positioned as painkillers. They alleviate real psychological pains. It’s the pain in not keeping up with one’s peers or losing social status.

A series of experiments conducted by Eisenberger and Lieberman at UCLA resulted in Social Pain Overlap Theory (or SPOT.)

They showed that losing social connections activates the same parts of the brain as actual physical pain. Hence most folks will do almost anything to prevent it.

Another example of psychological pain is found in people who are collectors. Some people feel discomfort when they have an incomplete collection. They need to complete the collection to alleviate their discomfort… to scratch that itch.

Once you’ve identified the pain your offer cures, you agitate the problem. Maybe they are only mildly aware of their problem.As marketers we’re going describe the problem and it’s consequences with such vivid detail they can’t ignore it.

This video does a great job of describing the pain:

Next you’ll educate the prospect on how they came to have this pain… you’ll describe the mechanism that caused their pain.

Then in the terms of this new mechanism, show them how your offer disrupts or short circuits the mechanism, thereby alleviating the pain.

This video does a great job of describing the mechanism of addiction:

Imagine if you are marketing a recovery center with these types of solutions.

Now describe the promised land… This is what life will be like after the pain has ended. The description of this state should be equally vivid as the description of the pain.

This is a powerful tool that can be used for good or evil, so don’t let me catch any of you twisting your mustache (proverbial or otherwise) at the possibilities.

Did you like this? Did you learn something? If so, please show some love by sharing it on your favorite social media channel… Look down there! There are those conveniently places buttons again. 🙂

4 Copywriting Tips to Improve Your Website’s Marketing Power

4 Copywriting Tips to Improve Your Website’s Marketing Power

Good copywriting is all about using words to sell. That means creating clear, compelling content that captures attention.  It’s the best way to keep visitors interested in your site once they get there.

Writing content that is relevant and engaging is vital to improving conversion rates, and creating solid business relationships.  Well-written copy will improve the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.

Below are a few copywriting tips to help improve your marketing power:

1.   Keep Content Current

If you want to come up with better content, there are tools like Google Alerts that can be a big help.  Google alerts allows you to monitor the web for new, interesting content, as it sends you emails of the latest Google results.  You can create as many alerts as you wish, just make sure that they relate to the topics in your niche market.

This makes writing a lot easier, as Google Alerts ensures that you receive a constant stream of news and information about relevant topics.  Not only does it save you having to spend an enormous amount of time doing research, but it ensures that you never run out of things to write about.

2.   Make Content Easy to Read

Write from the perspective of your reader, chances are when they get to your website they won’t have a lot of time to spare.  As a result, they are going to quickly scan through to find out if there is anything that interests them.

You can make it easy for them to find that out, by having easy to read content.  Remember that short sentences and simple words are easier to read.

3.   Include Sound Bites

These will stay with the user long after they have left your blog or website.  Sound bites should be appealing, simple, and tightly written.  Come up with a one liner that inspires.

Sound bites should consist of only a few words.  The key is to make them memorable, so that users will desire to return to the site for more ‘nuggets of wisdom.’

4.   Write Engaging Content

When content is engaging, you are able to get a reaction out of users, encourage sharing, and get a ‘dialogue’ going.  You can do this by posing questions, offering tips, using words packed with meaning, as well as being specific and including technical details when possible.

You can get motivation from well-known experts in the field, and of course do your own research with the help of tools like Google Alerts.

If you follow these simple tips, then your content will be appealing and engaging.  This will ensure that you have a low ‘bounce rate.’ 

In internet terms, the ‘bounce rate’ represents the number of persons that visit the site and then ‘bounce,’  that is, they leave rather than stay on to view other pages on the site.  If your site or blog has a low bounce rate then that will improve your SEO ranking.