The use of fear in direct marketing copy when used wisely…

such as in a positive approach to fear, can help your small business gain more customers.

There was a time when the world of advertising cared only about the “features” a product had. The product came in four colors, three sizes, and two shapes. This was really all you needed to say.

Then some high-powered Madison Avenue advertising executive discovered the importance of translating features into “benefits.” Because it came in four colors, you could color-coordinate with everything in your wardrobe. Because it came into three sizes, one would be ideal for every kitchen countertop. Well you get the idea.

Don’t stop now!

ItsAllPriceBut wait there’s more. Next the greatest revelation of all surfaced within the world of direct marketing. The new corollary went like this: You needed more than features and you need more than benefits.

You needed an “offer” -– a compelling “reason” for people to call, to respond, to pick up your phone, to check out your website, to place an order online, to click on a QR code, and so on… and do it now!

And all of these messages were positive, geared to helping you see that you would and could look better, feel better, or feel safer.

Fear is a “distressing emotion.”

Today, when you need to get someone’s attention, you need to instill a generous amount of fear in your message. Fear is a distressing emotion whether the threat is real or assumed. It causes people to think, assume or conjecture. That’s because, in today’s digital world, without the fear there is no basis to change.WishingHoping

So you want to tell customers and prospects how bad things can be if they don’t take action now. For example:

While it is true that people buy a product because they want to look better, more often than not they buy it because they don’t want to look bad.

Similarly, people often buy a product because they want to feel better. But more often than not they buy it because they don’t want to feel bad.

And people often buy a product because they want to feel safe. But more often than not they buy it because they don’t want to be at risk.

While the headline in an advertisement may read “Look slimmer in days,” the results actually do improve when the headline is based on fear, and implies that “If you don’t buy this, you’ll look really bad, you’ll lose all your friends, and no one will like you!”

seepingWebDirect marketer’s menu of emotional appeals.

Direct marketing techniques are very useful to use in present marketing tactics. Ever wonder why someone didn’t make a purchase?

Buying decisions are not made though reasoning and logic, but through the lens of wants, needs, interests, joys, fears, hopes, expectations, and regrets. Beyond the basics of water, food, shelter, clothing, and warmth, virtually everything people buy is based on fulfilling an emotional desire. Once you touch people emotionally, reasoning and logic are used merely to confirm a buying decision.

Check out some of the emotional appeals such as specific wants direct marketers use in their copy.

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© 2016 by the Marketing Communications Group, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or reproduced in any way, including but not limited to digital copying and printing without the prior agreement and written permission of the publisher. Photographs are purchased from such companies as I-Stock, Windows Clip Art, HubSpot, PhotoPin, DepositPhotos, Solid Stock, Unsplash or John Deuerling.

 

It’s All About Copywriting Attracting Customers

About MarketingDoc 398 Articles
30+ years in marketing. 30+ years as a small business owner. Love music, photography, gardening and just about anything outdoors!

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