Consider these four stories:
A young woman buys the only pair of boots that will go with the new dress she plans on wearing to the club on Friday night. The boots are two sizes too small and painful to wear. But, damn, they look good.
An angry man sends a letter bomb to the wrong address. When it’s returned to him, he opens it.
In a competitive seller’s market, a married couple, who are expecting a baby, bid on a house over the asking price with no inspection condition.
It’s Thanksgiving and you eat seconds of everything. With extra gravy. And then pie. With extra ice cream. Not because you’re hungry, but to please the host who has cooked you this fine meal.
All true stories—two of the examples may or may not have involved me. And they illustrate how, as humans, we are not rational.
We make weird, painful, and dangerous decisions based on our emotions and vulnerabilities with alarming regularity.
Now, most of the time our daily decisions are not as extreme as the examples above. But we do tend to go with our gut.[clickToTweet tweet=”Why do we try to market & sell our products or services while appealing to the rational mind? ” quote=”Why do we try to market & sell our products or services while appealing to the rational mind? “]
So why do we try to market and sell our products, services, and courses while appealing to the rational mind? And then wonder why the copy we write can’t seem to get through to our audience?
There are more effective ways to reach your audience and get past their barriers. Ways that will have them noticing you and wanting to get to know you better. All while building trust and forming a meaningful relationship.
With a trusting relationship, they’ll give you the chance to solve their pain. And once you do, you’ll have a deluge of people wanting your products and services… making you more money and growing your business in the long run. All this is possible when you connect emotionally with your audience.
You’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.
But how do you do it?
Let me show you how.
First, The Bad News
I want to make something clear. Reaching our audience and forming a relationship with them can be painful for some of us—myself included.
Not everyone is going to like you. Ouch. Told ya it would hurt.
Even though we understand this logically, it still feels uncomfortable. And not just personally. We don’t want our personality or our product to repel potential customers.
But what if I told you that repelling some people is exactly what you should do? That it can actually make stronger connections with the people who do like you? This will help you build your business and make more money.
That’s why connecting emotionally is crucial. It’s just like your friends liking you for the way you are. They don’t want to be friends with everyone. Or just anyone. They want to be friends with someone they can relate to. Someone who’s like them.
Look at how the folks at Airstory connect with their specific audience—not just any old audience—in the copy on their home page.
The headline and sub-headline read:
Write faster. Work better.
Airstory is the time-saving drag-and-drop document for teams and people who spend 2+ hours a day in a doc.
We all want fast and we all want better, and not just for the logical reasons of saving time and producing good work. We want things to be fast because our first impulse is to be lazy (don’t deny it), and of course we want better; nobody wants worse. This headline appeals to our strong human desire to exert less effort for more results.
And it’s immediately clear who this product is for (teams and people who spend more than two hours a day in a document). It’s not for every single person who will at some random point in their life write in a document.
Write to your specific audience, not to everyone. People will respond if you speak to them directly, and they’ll ignore you if they feel like just another face in the crowd.
Appeal to your readers’ emotions. We don’t form a relationship with a person because they look good on paper. We form a relationship because we develop feelings for them.
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It’s High School All Over Again
As in the Airstory example, something else is going on that helps us connect with our audience. And that’s our desire for belonging. We enjoy being a part of a community of like-minded people.
“All the lonely people, where do they all come from? All the lonely people, where do they all belong?” – The Beatles
But it’s not just our fear of loneliness that connects us. We also enjoy the feeling of exclusivity. It makes us feel important and unique.
For example, I’m a swim parent. It’s a grueling job with daily crack-of-dawn practices and weekend-long swim meets. My community is close-knit. That’s what happens when you spend more than 25 hours a week supporting your children with other sleep-deprived, sick-of-washing-towels parents. We feel a strong sense of superiority when we hear of those fakers who gripe about their children’s once-a-week music lessons.
Just do a search in Facebook and see the many, many groups available. There’s something for everyone and every community.
We want to belong to our own special community. Appeal to this emotion, and you’ll get (and keep) attention.[clickToTweet tweet=”We want to belong to a community. Appeal to this emotion, and you’ll get (and keep) attention.” quote=”We want to belong to a community. Appeal to this emotion, and you’ll get (and keep) attention.”]
Attract attention with the promise of belonging to a community of like-minded people. We’re social and we crave connection.
Create exclusivity. We all want to be a part of our own special group that only accepts people like us.
Where Have You Been All My Life?
We all want to be valued and appreciated. It feels awful if we’ve made sacrifices and worked hard for someone and they don’t notice. It even feels bad if we do something simple, such as let a car change lanes in front of us, and then the other driver doesn’t give us so much as a thank-you wave.
“How dare you. You inconsiderate jerk!”
(Or perhaps you use stronger language.)
Either way, when we do get the wave, it changes everything. Our friendly gesture has been acknowledged! We feel good.
Dr. Mark Goulston, psychiatrist and author of Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone, calls this “feeling felt.” He says when you tell or show someone you understand what they’re feeling, they’ll feel grateful for your gesture. Not only that, but they’ll go out of their way to make sure you feel understood too.
“It’s an irresistible biological urge, and one that pulls the person toward you,” Dr. Goulston writes.
Consider the need for validation and understanding when you create your marketing strategy and write your copy.[clickToTweet tweet=”When creating a marketing strategy & writing copy, consider the need for validation & understanding.” quote=”When creating a marketing strategy & writing copy, consider the need for validation & understanding.”]
How do you meet this need?
Start by acknowledging a problem or pain your reader is having to hook your reader. And you do it right away before you even mention your product or service.
When you validate your reader’s feelings right from the start, they feel appreciated, and they’ll give you the chance to present your solution.
Remember: We’re not rational. This is why we need to validate and appreciate our reader’s pain before we get to solving it. If you start with the solution, then you haven’t satisfied that emotional need and your reader will have no reason to stick around and keep reading. Off they go to someone who cares.
Put yourself in your readers’ shoes and show them you understand what they’re going through.
Acknowledge a pain or problem your audience is experiencing before you present your solution. It validates their feelings, and they feel the desire to return the favor.
Relationships with Benefits
Connecting emotionally is an integral first step to building strong and meaningful relationships. But before you can do this with your potential clients and customers, you need to grab their attention. And the best way to grab their attention is acknowledging their feelings, pains, and desires.
You may have a life-changing product, but if you can’t get through to your reader they’ll never get the chance to learn. And you’ll never get the chance to land a new customer.
That changes now.
Now you know some effective ways to get that attention so you can show your reader why they should choose you over the competition.
So appeal to your readers’ emotions. Show you understand them, that you want to relieve their pain and solve their problems.
With a simple change to your marketing and copywriting approach, you’ll have deeper relationships with your customers. They’ll trust you. They’ll see you as the answer they’ve been seeking. And as in all good relationships, you’ll both benefit.
What can you do today to better connect emotionally with your audience?
Discover Your Market's Hopes, Dreams, Fears, and Desires
Uncover your market's emotional hot buttons with these practical market research techniques!