A smart person I trust told me that lists of 5 or 10 points do better in readership than lists of any other number. Strange, I suppose, but I can work with it. So I’ve taken 13 Ways to Instantly Motivate Your Target Market by Alex Mathers of Red Lemon Club, and cut it down to 10.
Truth is, though, 9 3/4 is the real number. Because I like the connection of that number with wizardry (ref. the illustration here) and I’m not sure about one of my 10. I’m not all that pragmatic: Cutting three of them wasn’t hard. I just plain didn’t like these three:
1. Create the impression of scarcity
2. Build a sense of obligation
5. Evoke desired emotions
They remind me of classic old-style advertising, before the world changed. Sell ’em the sizzle and all that. And another reference here to wizardry. Alex explains them well though, so click this link if you’re interested.
And the remaining 10 points are listed here in Alex’s original order.
3. Express yourself
This is the new world of social media in business, which I really like, because it allows us to have relationships with people in companies, rather than just with companies. For example, the way Shashi Bellamkonda (@shashib) presents himself as a person, while still representing Network Solutions, on Twitter. As Angela LoSasso (@AngelaAtHP) does for Hewlett-Packard, or Stephanie Greenwood (@stephgreenkc) does for Sprint. And of course my special favorite, Megan Berry (@MeganBerry) of Mobclix (my daughter).
4. Limit options
I’ve dealt with the problem of too many choices a lot. I agree with Alex on what he says here:
By cutting down on the choices you offer to people, whether this be all the products you want to sell them, or in the various services you might offer, you will reduce the issue of ‘decision paralysis’, which restricts one’s ability to make a decision at all. By minimizing choice, options become clearer and easier.
6. Tell stories
Yes, absolutely. I would have made this number one on my list. Alex says it well, but the best on this is All Marketers Are Liars, the classic book by Seth Godin. And the title, by the way, is ironic: he talks about authentic stories, not lies.
7. Get people to make a small step
Alex talks about the psychology of small commitments:
So, if you provide the ability to leave comments or feedback on your site, for example, this can lead to people taking further action in committing to you if the opportunity is there.
8. Activate the brain’s survival instinct
Honestly I would have left this one out too, for the same reasons I left out 1, 2, and 5, if not for the goal of having a list of 10. It makes me uncomfortable. Try this on:
Three things are linked closely to the this survival trigger: sex, food and danger. Consider incorporating these themes and images relating to them into the headlines you write, your articles, images you include on your blog and in the work you create to grab attention and motivate people to act.
See, for me, I’m not happy with headlines about sex, food, or danger, followed by a marketing message. That’s ugly.
9. Present quick results
Instant Business Plan Pro download, for example, or super fast shipping.
10. List key things first
People like simple lists and step-by-step explanations.
11. Demonstrate ‘Social Validity’
Here he’s talking about reviews, ratings, comments, and testimonials.
12. Use the word ‘you’
Of course. That’s not just marketing, that’s all writing and communications. Job letters. Apologies. Whatever.
13. Be professional
Yes. Honest, good production values, fair, things like that. Tell the truth.