Why prospects will beat a tear-stained path to your door

Chief Creative Officer

After punishing Buffalo winters, spending time outside is something we Western New Yorkers celebrate with gusto.

Until I see the first spider. Then, it’s right back in the house for me.

Not deathly afraid of spiders? I think that makes you the crazy one. But I can understand how my brand of neuroses dwarfs the anxieties of your garden-variety arachnophobe.

Here’s proof …

I don’t sit on patio furniture without giving the underside a full inspection for murderous web walkers lying in wait.

When I snag a couple with the handheld vacuum, I immediately seal the opening with a double layer of cling wrap to foil any flights from justice.

And open windows are forbidden unless I’ve sprayed down the screen, sill, and all jambs with a homemade concoction we call “Critter Quitter”—a repellent made from peppermint oil, dish soap, and water.

(Second bottle for the car not pictured.)

I know I should face my fears. But here’s why that’s scientifically impossible …

We’re twice as motivated to run from pain
than to run toward pleasure. 

That’s why positioning your product or service as relief from any pain or loss your prospect is feeling—or could potentially experience—is a surefire way to pull them into your offer.

Wanna put the hurt on someone, Chelsea? Start with these three 👇

Pain of loss

Do you lock your car after getting out of it? That’s the power of loss aversion at work.

People don’t like to lose. That’s why we buy backups of things, or bite on “1 left in stock.”

If you’re using deadlines and expiration dates in your marketing, you’re already leveraging the powerful motivator of loss. Can you go any deeper?

Think about what terrible things your prospects can avoid when they buy from you. Or what terrible things could happen if they don’t.

I know it’s only natural to want to focus on the positive. But if you’re overlooking opportunities to stir up a little anxiety, your pitch won’t be nearly as strong.

Pain of missing out

Right now, there are two massive summer concert tours packing out arenas across North America: Taylor Swift and the Cure. Both acts are igniting FOMO among their fan bases, but for two different reasons.

For Taylor Swift, fans are paying thousands for tickets because she’s a white-hot performer whose peak may still be in front of her. On the flip side, the Cure are on the downward slope of their career after more than 40 years together. And their fans want a chance to see them before they pack it in for good. 

In both cases, the dread of not being there drives the demand. 

The fear of missing out uses social proof to persuade people to get in on a benefit or an experience that others already have. 

You can do this by highlighting your number of customers or subscribers, promoting an event that won’t be repeated or recorded, or offering an exclusive opportunity that isn’t available to the masses.

So, if you want to build a sense of community among your prospects, don’t forget to highlight the consequences of being an outsider if they don’t act.

Pain of the moment

The problem-agitation-solution formula keys in on something unpleasant your prospect is feeling right now. I covered it in Nugget #4, but assuming you didn’t commit it to memory …

💀 Step one: present a problem or pain your audience is currently feeling.

🔪 Step two: twist the knife a bit to dial up the anxiety.

🪂 Step three: position your offering as the solution—an escape from their current situation.

You can focus on a single pain or pile ‘em on until that jumbo elephant is parked squarely on your reader’s sternum. And it’s a little gassy.

Before you think injecting some negativity into your marketing is a bad thing, remember that there’s no urgency to act when everything is fine. 

It’s about empathizing with your prospect’s struggles and showing them a clear path toward a more favorable outcome.

Just don’t prolong the agony for too long. Otherwise, you’re just being mean.

. . .

Enjoying the sunshine? Good for you.

Here’s a song to play you out >>>

See you next time. – Matt

If you want a fresh marketing nugget emailed to you every two weeks, join here.

Sharing this:
Chief Creative Officer
Matt is a professional storyteller. That used to be a thinly veiled way to say you still lived with your parents. But the truth is stories have existed since the dawn of humanity and they still have the power to move people, even if it’s no longer from the path of a charging mammoth. Throughout his career on both the agency and client sides, Matt’s work has been known to compel audiences to indulge in higher thread counts, abandon Lenten sacrifice, or move to the suburbs. He’ll even conjugate a noun if he has to. The bottom line: Matt is our agency twofer. Strategy and Creative. The Big Idea and Stealth Deployment. He’s a single expense yielding a dual return. And who doesn’t love a bargain?

Our Take

Nobody likes to hear people squawk about marketing. So, we wrote it all down for you.

This website stores cookies on your computer.

These cookies are used to collect information about how you interact with our website and allow us to remember you.  We use this information in order to improve and customize your browsing experience and for analytics and metrics about our visitors both on this website and other media.  To find out more about the cookies we use see our privacy policy.