Three Emotional Triggers to Drive Sales with Words

The reasons we buy things vary greatly from person to person. For one, the need to fix a leaky roof might be the most immediate need in their life.

To another, a new flat screen TV may seem like a necessary update to keep up with all that the entertainment world has to offer. While the motivations behind specific purchases do seem vastly different, many of the most important buying motivators can be boiled down to a few needs and emotions. Today, we’re going to take a look three different universal purchase motivation factors that you can use to enhance any part of your sales funnel. Traditionally, these triggers have resided solidly in the copywriting world, but keeping them in mind when creating all kinds of marketing materials, when designing your sales funnel, and more can be a great way to implement these triggers above and beyond the standard sales letter.

The Need for Shelter & Comfort: There are few things that motivate people more than an uncomfortable or uncertain living situation. A great example of this is the seemingly miracle stories of internet marketers who may have been homeless or couchsurfing when they started out, doing whatever they could on their local library’s internet to make ends meet.

If your product solves a problem within this niche, you’ve already got some of your work done for you, because you’ve essentially got automatic demand. That said, if you can work into your copy and funnel that your product can improve living conditions or comfort, you can tap into this trigger as well from other markets.

The Need For Love and Companionship: Let’s be honest, no one is surprised by this one! With the amount of ‘get your ex back!’ and ‘seduction’ products out there, it’s pretty clear that romantic prowess and success are important to most people.

This issue has only been exacerbated by modern dating apps and sites (Tinder, etc.) which focus almost exclusively on looks and nothing else.

Many people feel slighted, and like they won’t be able to perform well on these platforms, making this trigger even more potent than ever.

Think about how you can suggest that your product, training, course, etc., whatever it is, can help people to increase their romantic value.

Many products that don’t even directly sell dating advice can still have strong tie-ins. For example, products on public speaking can be marketed as products that help boost confidence in most any social situations, not just speeches, which can translate into a more confident dater.

Financial Success: People love to make money. Money makes the world go ’round. Whatever other cliches you want to drop here. Whether they admit it or not, most people have a large monetary motivation, and helping someone get ahead in this way is a major conversionary selling point.

Again, this motivator is not only tied to products geared toward ‘making money’, but it can also be used with educational products that increase earning potential, lifestyle products that increased perceived wealth, and more.

The bottom line: Any time you’re creating communications, you should be putting yourself in your customers’ shoes and hitting them where it, um, ‘motivates’ most.

If you can work these emotional triggers into your product’s hook then you’re in good shape!

Why Surveys Are The Next Big Thing In Business

Admittedly, I know this title might provoke some head scratching at first: “SURVEYS?! How are boring old surveys going to all of a sudden become some major player in business?” And I’m so glad you asked.

Feedback-based marketing is nothing new. Everyone knows, or at least repeats, the mantra that ‘the customer is always right’ and that giving your customers exactly what they want is the key to the success of your business. It was true 50 years ago, and it’s still true today. That said, the growth you’re about to see from survey/feedback based business practices is due to the fact that new technology is vastly changing the ways we can and do interact with customers.

Traditionally, surveys have suffered from one of two shortcomings. The first, was that if you wanted to survey customers on the spot, or right after they had made a purchase in a brick and mortar store, you were likely going to have to use paper surveys. While you were collecting valuable realtime feedback, the tedium and cost of paper survey supplies and data entry was more than a little speedbump in keeping customer feedback a viable adjust-as-you-go business strategy.

More recently, we’ve had programs and websites which allow the creation of online surveys. These surveys can have their data indexed and organized in realtime, saving you hours or work and pay fishing through results. The downside was that there were no easy ways to execute these types of surveys when they were most needed (i.e. at a point of sale). Instead, customers would have to be emailed a link or asked to visit a website hours or even days later. At this point, the quality and accuracy of feedback and recall declines and you won’t get as good of insights as you could have.

Now, however, companies like Responster and Customerville have jumped on the rise of tablets and mobile phones to help bring the best of both worlds together. For your business, that looks like cross-platform surveys that are made to be integrated into touch and run on any device.

Now, a business that invests in setting up a cheap iPad kiosk can all of a sudden be collecting helpful feedback from a large percentage of their customers within the first day.

Over time, it will become more apparent that the businesses who take advantage of platforms that allow them to better interact with and respond to customer feedback will perform better. Whereas the marketplace used to be largely dictated by what businesses told the public they needed in the past, we now exist in a consumer controlled world. The internet was the first wave of customer empowerment, social media overhauled it altogether, ensuring that customer complaints and suggestions could be heard around the world as soon as they were thought of, and now we’ve arrived at the third era. Mark my words, feedback is going to separate businesses more and more in the next few years, because no one is going to turn away from a brand that designs their product and service offerings in direct response to something that customer suggested 3 hours ago.

Growth Hacking Day 2: Leveraging Your Strengths

One of the biggest mistakes one can see marketers making again and again is trying to replicate the success of others. I hear you now, “Wait! You’re saying I don’t want to follow the example of someone who has been wildly successful in growing their business?! You’re crazy!”

But hear me out: While there is of course much to be learned from the triumphs of those before you, the approach I see too often is straight up copy and paste. Ew. It’s both sad and ironic to see, because most of the social and growth hacking thought leaders preach day in and day out that you need to learn how to tailor your communications to your business and audience. Obviously, this means that a golf brand is not likely to find success by following the social media plan of McDonald’s.

Instead, you should be looking at what successful brands are doing, and then thinking about how you might be able to attack the same channels with similar quality content, but not simply copying. Copy = bad. Emulating = good.

So, how do you identify your strengths and put them to work promoting your brand. For most people, identifying some obvious strengths will come the quickest when they look into what exactly it is their business already does. For example, an obvious strength of almost any business is going to be their knowledge of the market within which they operate.

Obviously, if you own a golfing company, you’re going to know a thing or two about the sport of golf.

One great way to leverage your strength for engaging social posts is looking at what insights you have about golf that others haven’t acted on yet. Do your products have a unique selling point that is extremely relevant to golfers? That sounds like a good jumping off point.

Alternatively, you might find that you can use this knowledge to drop yourself into social conversations on twitter, tumblr, and other platforms that are very conversation based. People get hung up on creating their own content on social media, but some platforms are better suited so most of your content is actually repurposed and the result of interactions with others (but that’s topic on its own could take up books on end, and does).

Leveraging your strengths doesn’t just mean working within the niche your business exists in, it also means playing on the actual skills you’re good at. So if you’re a strong writer, content marketing might make sense for you. Alternatively, if you’ve never studied paid marketing and advertising, your best path to growth is probably not through paid social ad campaigns. Of course, you may have other team members involved in your brand that can fill in the gaps that you have in your skillset, leaving you more strengths to play on.

Above all, be consistent with the efforts that represent your strengths.

Often times, you will try 20 things that yield mediocre results before you hit the one approach that starts getting you big amounts of attention, traffic, etc.

Growth Hacking Day 1 – Goal Defining

If you’ve been around in the online marketing world for a while, you probably recognize the phrase ‘growth hacking’, but you might also get the impression that it’s a fairly new player in the online marketing sphere. And you’d be right. Growth hacking is an interesting way of building up a company or brand because it was literally grown out of the necessity to avoid old, more expensive tactics.

The tools and skills to develop apps, found a startup, and take an idea to fruition are more widespread than ever before, meaning that the rate at which new products and services are brought to market is extremely fast.

The founders and marketing teams of these companies are usually small and in their experimental phases. Additionally, they’re usually fairly strapped for cash. This, combined with the fact that paid search advertising is more expensive and competitive than ever before, birthed growth hacking. Literally, growth hacking is the art/science of growing customer base without spending any actual money. Sounds great, right?!

Unfortunately, most people get it wrong. They jump straight to trying to hashtag their way some sort of niche popularity and people see right through it; nobody wants to interact with posts devoid of value. Before ever getting to this phase, however, these companies and individuals should have been defining goals.

That’s right, the first step to proper growth hacking is defining real, actionable goals. They can’t be obscure. They can’t be broad. We’re talking laser focus, and here’s how you find it:

First, let’s take the broad, universal goal of ‘getting more awareness for my brand’. What are some ways you can build awareness that are specific to your business? Let’s say you’ve got a referral plan in place, but people aren’t biting. The people who do become longterm customers, however, so it appears to be an area worth improving.

Perhaps your incentive for referrals currently is access to a library of training materials, and you think that creating more content for your training library which you can then reference in sales copy will be the way to get more people on board.

Let’s say you then define your goal as “add five new lessons to the knowledge library,” and go from there. Is your goal boiled down enough yet? Because you can take clear, definable actions at this point to reach your goal. Once you can see individual steps (write one article per week, create promotional email for each article, etc.), then you’ve got something you can work with.

Of course, an equally important part of the goal framework is the ability to accurately monitor your results. You don’t want to have people hitting your new referral incentives and have no way of telling whether or not they’re engaging more or less than before. If you don’t have proper analytics in place to measure every facet of your business, you’re not ready for growth hacking.

Growth hacking is an agile process that requires adaptability, but more importantly adaptability that is based on sweet, sweet data.

5 Tips for Emails that Get Opened and Convert

Email marketing is a bit of an odd duck: As other marketing channels have seen a distinct rise and fall in the face of social media and new communications technologies, email marketing still remains effective.

In fact, despite all of our new ways to communicate, people still retain the use of their email for daily use. Receiving invoices, communicating with customers, etc.; sure, other platforms have sprung up for these communications, but none are as ubiquitous as email. That said, email marketing has aged, and therefore it has changed. Getting your emails opened, then read, then obeyed, is no easy task. It was hard in the beginning, and it’s super hard now that everyone and their mother is used to receiving promotional emails. Let’s take a look at how your emails can be the exception to the rule in a “no open” world.

Give before you take: Many marketers have gotten a lot smarter about this now, but it wasn’t always the case, and there are still many who fall flat on their face when balancing their value. Think about the reasons you follow the accounts you do on twitter. Think about which emails you open when they slide into your inbox. They’re the ones that are important to you, not the ones that sell and annoy you the most.

Your customers are just like you, so make sure you’re building trust and value through emails that really offer something, before you every ask for any action(s) in return.

Avoid subject line cliches: This is the most controversial piece of advice here. Most people these days are used to the types of subject line formulas that have traditionally performed well, and haven’t realized that their effectiveness is dying down. Consider simply summarizing your subject lines in a way that makes them sound like they’re from a genuine person.

Companies now more than ever perform better when viewed as individuals or collectives of individuals rather than businesses.

Keep it short: How many of you have received emails from some marketer whose email list you opted which are pages long? How many of you read them to the end? How many of you send these types of emails yourself? If you want an email to be a sales letter, keep it short, visual, and enticing, then use a CTA to get people to click out of an email and onto one of your pages where you have more control. People are turned off when they expect a helpful message and are greeted with a 9 paragraph sales letter in email form.

Get feedback: One really can’t stress enough how valuable it is to hear back from your customers directly about how you’re doing and how they interact with your brand or your product. The assumptions you make may not be helping you at all, so it’s important that you reach out and invite feedback; you may just find that a slight tweak to your sales funnel could address something that is currently a huge conversion killer for your customers. This could take the form of either a personal email message or a survey.