Desperate marketers resort to cranking up the volume in their advertising.
If they’re not getting the results they want, they shout louder and more often, and in more places.
But, as they eventually discover to their cost, shouting louder doesn’t work.
It’s almost as if they’re saying, “Hey people, it seems you’re not hearing what I’m telling you… so I’m going to have to shout louder!!!”
But the problem isn’t that they aren’t being loud enough. Their problem is that they’re pitching the wrong message.
A message people don’t want to hear.
We’re not Mad Men anymore.
As marketers and copywriters it’s tempting to see ourselves as old-school “persuaders”. We’re clever people who can change consumers’ minds.
Maybe that’s what we used to be, back in the days of traditional broadcast media, like TV and radio.
But the web isn’t a traditional broadcast medium, and we can’t use it as a channel through which to pitch our loud and pushy sales messages.
That just doesn’t work anymore.
Because the web is a shared, social, conversational and multi-way medium.
Enough with the yelling.
It’s time to engage with your audience at a more engaging and emotional level.
Speaking softly at an emotional level is WAY more effective.
In the words of renowned neurologist, Antonio Damasio, a professor at the University of Southern California:
“We are not necessarily thinking machines. We are feeling machines that think.”
You may want to print that, or write it on a sticky note. It’s a powerful insight.
When advertisers crank up the volume, they’re trying to reach us as thinking machines.
That doesn’t work. Because we’re not thinking machines, we’re feeling machines.
And shouting definitely doesn’t appeal to us as feeling machines.
If you whisper to someone that you love her, and she’s not convinced, raising your voice and shouting that you love her definitely isn’t going to help.
Quite the reverse.
When connecting at an emotional level, you want to keep the volume way down.
Go easy on the CAPS, using too much bold text for emphasis, and the whole direct-response-push-harder thing.
“Love me NOW and get a FREE Mercedes convertible! Offer expires at midnight TONIGHT!!!”
Engage with your reader’s feelings, not their minds.
Enough with the old-school pitches.
Listen to your audience. Find out what matters to them.
Connect with them in a way that shows you’re on their side, and that you have a product or service that can help them.
And when you write your sales copy, write it in a way that is non-adversarial. Use a more respectful tone, using everyday language.
Write to them as their friend – as if you were having a conversation together – and share a solution that can really help.
Always remember, there’s only one reason we buy stuff.
We buy stuff to make ourselves feel good.
Doesn’t matter whether it’s a burger, a car, a vacation or a home.
We buy stuff because we want to feel good.
We’re feeling machines.
Our buying behavior is driven by our emotions.
And that’s why you should stop shouting and persuading, and start engaging your audience with a more conversational voice, at an emotional level.
Note: If you’re ready to switch from yelling to engaging, check out my course on Conversational Copywriting.