“When people are in pain you have a tremendous opportunity to serve them, but it’s harder than ever to cut through their distractions.”
~ Debra Hilton
Direct Response Copywriting is About Evoking Emotional Response
In times like these, objective, plain Jane, messages that don’t create any emotional response in your target audience are destined for the rubbish bin because there is to much clutter around.
I was on Zoom with a prospective client a few weeks ago and he said, “Until the end of February my business was doing well, suddenly my lead flow dropped to almost zero. All I’ve done since is close people who were already in the pipeline yet I should be inundated with enquiries.”
Since his company designs and builds virtual learning courses I agreed with him. In fact, when he scheduled the appointment I thought he wanted help automating his pipeline and systems to cope with crushing demand. However, by the time we met I had looked at his website and other collateral and I wasn’t totally surprised to hear him express his problem.
In a pre-Covid-19 crisis world he was doing fine because people had time to research thoroughly and pay attention to details. Post crisis, everyone is a lot crankier and more sceptical.
Why Should I Care? I have bigger worries…
His problem was that his approach was very cerebral. It’s been a long time since ‘features’ were a big draw card. ‘Benefits’ are still widely used to attract prospects, but ‘Vision’ has always had more power and there was no vision or emotion in his message so it wasn’t surprising to me that when he reached out to his database all he heard was ‘crickets’.
If you look back over the most successful marketing campaigns of the past century they all have one thing in common: They evoke VISION and EMOTION and demand a RESPONSE! Prospects often ask “Why do you keep looking at the past? We’re living in a new world;” when I talk about the roots of direct response marketing. That ignores the reality that human nature is unchanging… and even though the media and mechanics of marketing change, the need for an evocative message does not.
At this moment, your prospects are surrounded by a swarm of demands, problems, and challenges. Unless your message can cut through all those distractions and gain their interest and attention you may as well keep quiet.
IF you can cut through the noise, then you will be their LIFELINE and they will hang on your words.
Breaking Through the Barriers of Indifference
There are two primary categories of human emotions: positive and negative. Both of these categories inspire action or reaction. Here are the seven major opposing emotions:
- FEARFUL or FAITHFUL
- JEALOUS or TRUSTING
- HATEFUL or LOVING
- REVENGEFUL or FORGIVING
- GREEDY or GIVING
- SUPERSTITIOUS or OPTIMISTIC
- ANGRY or PATIENT
In your marketing, you can trigger any of these emotions to reach initiate a dialogue with your prospect. If you avoid emotional triggers, the chances you are that you’ll end up conducting a monologue with yourself.
In times like these, you really need to turn up the volume on these emotions to get through, especially if you want to focus on positive emotions. You’ve probably noticed that many businesses are using “giving” as a positive trigger, but even more are using the negative emotions of “fear” and “anger” as triggers. Choose your emotions and appeals carefully and make sure they are congruent with your values because you may have to live with the consequences for some time.
How Much Do You Care?
Both prospective and existing clients would like to know how much you care about them. This is always true, but if people are feeling anxious and waiting for an urgent response you risk alienating them if you don’t acknowledge their existence. At the same time, you need space away from work for the sake of your own well-being and relationships.
This is where two important elements come into your business:
- The more you can automate and run without your intervention, the easier it is too cope with extra demand and urgency;
- When you reach out to people remember that they have bodies, families, and feelings. “How are you doing?” isn’t a bad start to give them an opportunity to get some of their worries off their chest so they have the headspace to hear you.
Dynamic Direct Response Copywriting
My book, Dynamic Direct Response Copywriting provides an insight into how to uncover powerful emotional triggers that your prospects will respond to and to write effective copy that breaks through their preoccupations and pre-disposes them to work with you.
Purchase your copy today at: https://bit.ly/DDRCbook