At a rest stop nestled within one of the woodsier parts of northeastern Pennsylvania, I saw a man wearing a T-shirt that read “Drinkin’ Beers and Shootin’ Deers.”
I didn’t have the heart to tell him that the plural of “deer” doesn’t require an “s.” (Otherwise, I’d likely be typing this nugget using a wand in my mouth.)
I can’t imagine I would have noticed a shirt that read “I’m into suds and guns.” Even the alliterative “Here for hops and hunting” wouldn’t have lodged itself into my dome.
That’s because rhymes make our brains happy.
It’s why Bowie fans will mumble their way through the words to “Suffragette City” before belting out “Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am!”
It’s why Johnnie Cochran punctuated his O.J. defense with the phrase “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”
It’s why Sam-I-Am was finally able to get those green eggs and ham down his dismissive friend’s neck.
So, if rhymes have the power to make things more memorable, more believable, and more influential in our decision making, then why do so many marketing professionals ignore this proven wisdom …
The more you tell, the more you sell.
Many of you have heard me grouse about this before, but I’m gonna keep on grousin’ until I stop getting requests to “keep it short.”
In nobody’s defense, that direction is often fueled by the limp claim that people have short attention spans.
Numbers down this month? Must be the attention span’s fault.
Here’s the truth …
People are no more distracted today than they were at the dawn of humanity.
So, whether you’re peddling raptor repellent in a cave or hawking the softest joggers EVER on a landing page, your job is to get your reader’s attention and transport them to a better version of themselves.
That takes persuasion. And unless you’re selling chewing gum, you’ll need room to work.
Even when space is limited, that’s never an excuse to cut your pitch short. Use it to compel your audience to visit a page where you can rumble through a complete selling job. This includes …
✔️️ Grabbing attention by appealing to the reader’s self interest
✔️️ Building desire by eliminating pains and emphasizing gains
✔️️ Addressing every possible objection in the reader’s head
✔️️ Establishing credibility through stats, testimonials, and guarantees
✔️️ Removing friction by making it easy to buy
✔️️ Conveying urgency to get your reader to act immediately
I know it’s a lot to remember. But any skilled salesperson will tell you there’s no other way to snag—and keep—a prospect’s attention.
If you still insist on brevity, you can boil it all down to this …
Never let your offer fly until the final reason why.
OK, it may not be a Robert Frost Medal winner, but considering we began our journey at a public toilet, I think we ended in a good place.
See you next time. – Matt
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