Using Pain or Pleasure in Your Marketing

About 3 years ago, I was driving around running errands, and I tuned into a local radio station that was hosting a radio-thon to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. When the DJ said, “Think about what your healthy child is doing right now, playing, having a snack, whatever… and then think of the kids at St. Jude” – well, I couldn’t pull over fast enough to whip out my wallet and cell phone.

Now, like you, I get a lot of solicitations either in the mail or even via email. Most of those get dumped in the trash or deleted. But what was different about this time? I mean, I literally stopped what I was doing (driving!) to pull over, take out my credit card, call the number, and make my contribution.

So, what made me not even hesitate? It was that deep FEELING of empathy for those kids and their parents, as well as an overwhelming FEELING of gratefulness for my own healthy child.

You see, as humans, we tend to seek pleasure and avoid pain. And you may be surprised to learn that we actually will do more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure.

What that DJ said really got to me – it was incredibly painful for me to think of my own little girl ever being that sick. In order to avoid feeling that pain, I became a Partner in Hope and now make monthly and annual contributions to St. Jude’s directly from the proceeds of my business.

The same holds true in your marketing. If you can touch upon your target market’s pain, address what it is that they are most struggling with, and offer the solution to them – well, it’s a winning formula every time.

When you’re writing your sales pages, you want to state what problem your reader is struggling with and how your offering can solve it, right at the beginning.

One effective way of introducing your solution is by asking a question of your reader around what it’s like to struggle with the problem your offering solves. If you can relate to your reader’s frustration, pain, struggle, or challenge, you’ll immediately establish a connection and they will want to know more about how you can solve their issue for them.

Touching on your prospect’s pain and offering them relief by way of your solution is not manipulative. It’s direct, honest and open. Your reader is at your website because they are looking for a solution. If you want to help them, then the only way to do that is to tell them that you understand their pain and that you offer the solution.

So, think about your market. Are they more likely to seek out your services or your products because they want to gain pleasure? Or is it because they want to solve their most pressing problems? Then weave your answer into your marketing messages.

Make a Connection with Your Ezine Readers

Are there ezines that you receive that you just can’t wait to read? I know I have 3 or 4 that I read as soon as they hit my inbox, and others that I print and put in my "reading box" next to my desk.

What do you think makes me want to read those few right away?

It’s the personal connection I feel to the author, even if I don’t know that person (some I’ve met, some I haven’t yet). Besides the valuable content I get each time I read their newsletter, I am most interested in finding out what’s happening with them, personally and professionally.

As they share more about themselves and their lives, I get to know, like and trust them (and their products or services) over time (and you know that people only buy from people they know, like, and trust, right?). And eventually I tend to make the investment in them and their offerings.

For example, I was a subscriber to Chris Barrow’s "More Profit in Less Time" ezine for about a year when I learned through it that he was holding a live event in NYC. I signed up (at $200), attended the event, and left as a client (for $450/month). Do you think I would have invested that kind of money if I hadn’t gotten to know, like, and trust CB and his materials? Of course not.

So, how can you put more of YOU in your ezine to make that connection with your readers? Try some of the following:

1. What’s going on with you?

Can you think of two or three things that are happening in your life right now that you could share with your readers? You only need to get as personal as you feel comfortable with, so don’t feel that you need to share everything, by any means. Just a couple of things that you can share comfortably that your readers might find interesting as well as help them feel more connected to you.

For example, are you going on vacation soon or did you just get back from a trip? This is usually an easy topic to start with, and don’t be surprised if your readers write to you to suggest hotels, tell you their experiences when they visited the same locale, etc.

Or do you have a pet that you can relate stories about? You’ll be amazed at how many of your readers will feel like they really know you if you share your latest "adventures with Rover" stories.

2. Ask for help.

If you are trying to make a decision about something, ask your readers for suggestions and feedback. To continue the vacation example above, say you are considering taking a cruise. Ask your readers for suggestions as to their favorite cruise line, or which ones to avoid. They’ll be happy to help!

3. Add photos.

I try to add a photo every week if I can (it’s not hard when I take a lot of pictures of my kids!). A photo of yourself is also a really good idea. It goes a long way in helping your readers see you as a real person.

Try to incorporate these ideas into one section of your ezine, either at the beginning or the end. You can call it anything you like: A note from you, personal reflections, from the desk of_______, etc. Personally, I like to see it at the beginning since it’s usually the part I read first.

Remember not to take up too much space, though. You still want the majority of your ezine to contain quality content for you reader, since that’s why they signed up in the first place!