Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes courtesy of Josh Haynam, the co-founder of Interact, a platform for creating lead capture quizzes. He frequently writes about using content effectively and getting the most from it. Follow Josh on Twitter @jhaynam.
What makes you take action? Why do we choose to click on some offers but not others? Welcome to part two of a series about trigger marketing tips for interactions that persuade people to make a move. Read part one here.
Trigger #1: Be a positive voice in a negative world: A young student was struggling in algebra. Report card after report card came back dismal and the outlook was bleak. His classmates, friends, and even teachers were constantly negative, telling him he needed to try this and that to improve – but it didn’t help. Finally, the boys’ father decided to try a different approach. Instead of telling the boy he was in desperate need of help, he offered a way to improve what he already knew. The father put together a list of concepts the boy had mastered and turned them into flashcards. Every night they would go over the concepts the boy was good at and then add a few new ones to the deck. Before long the deck was growing quickly and the algebra grades were climbing steadily. The difference was that the father started with affirmation instead of degradation, and the result was incredible. Think about how many calls to action are like the teacher in this story. “You need this because your company is struggling,” “Buy this because Your Body is Not Perfect.” These are negatives and trigger bad feelings in the customer. Instead, try the approach of the father and start with the good things. “Your company has reached great heights, we can assist you to the next level,” “You’ve done great work to get in shape; here’s a way to do even more.” It’s much more enjoyable to deal with a company that compliments you than one that degrades you.
Trigger #2: Start with “Yes”: A New York banker sits down with a wealthy new prospect with the hopes of getting him set up with a will and disbursement of assets plan. Upon getting to the forms, the wealthy young prospect immediately balked at all the information he would have to give up. He didn’t want to just hand over personal details on the forms. Instead of arguing over the importance of the forms, the banker chose to start with yes. He asked the young man if he had a wife. (Knowing full well he did). The young man said yes. He then asked the young man if he cared for her. The young man said yes again. Then he asked the young man if he wanted to make sure his wife was taken care of if anything were to happen to him. The young man said yes again. The banker then pointed out that the forms were just a necessary step in making sure the young man’s wife was taken care of. The forms were all filled out and the young man went on to become a huge customer for the bank. Think about the easiest way to get a “Yes” from potential customers and you’ve got a great call to action.
Trigger #3: Appeal to the greater good: Cyrus H.K. Curtis founded Ladies Home Journal with a scary-small budget. He needed big names to write for his magazine, but couldn’t afford to pay them industry rates. What he did was brilliant – instead of offering a check directly to the author, he offered a smaller check to the author’s favorite charity in return for writing. Curtis was appealing to the good that lay deep within writers of the time and his success made Ladies Home Journal a household name. Most (all) businesses want to make money, and ads constantly claim to help said companies increase revenue. What if, instead of appealing to the accountant inside of business owners, they appealed to the greater good?
There are things that inspire action and motivate people to take the next step. These are a few of them, and great ways to integrate strong forces into marketing. What other motivation triggers do you use?
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