“Independence Day is almost here!”
“Shop for what you like.”
“Our July newsletter”
As I scroll through the list of promotional messages that pop up in my inbox, I often wonder if there is so little action – provoking action. Many mention what is clear (# 1 above), lack of context (# 2 and # 3), or tell me nothing (# 4).
And this is even though customer expectations for targeted messaging are rising.
says McKinsey 71% of consumers expect personalization from the brands and businesses they choose, and three – quarters are frustrated when they do not receive it.
Persado says it has generated over 15 million unique campaign messages over the past decade based on a platform that constantly tests different word combinations to determine which ones work best in a particular context.
The company has identified 15 different language categories that can inspire action.
Achievement – “Congratulations on reaching level 1,000.”
Exclusion – “Sneak peek sale for our best customers only.”
Satisfaction – “Your end of year bonus.”
Safety – “How to get over a bear market.”
Attention – “You need to know this.”
Intimacy – “How are you disrupting the uncertain economy?”
Motivation – “We can’t wait to tell you the news.”
Curiosity – “Big retailers tell you you don’t want to know.”
Thanks – “Because you are one of our best customers.”
Motivation – “You’re almost there!”
Regret – “Do not leave out about this measure.”
Interest – “Take a look behind the scenes.”
Urgency – “Only 24 hours left!”
Good luck – “You hit the jackpot.”
Challenge – “We promise you can’t resist this.”
Getting and retaining customers often requires a combination of motivation that may vary depending on a person’s relationship with your company or their stage in the buying cycle, says Lisa Spira, head of content information at Persado.
“Stimuli do not stay constant,” she says. “If you give someone an Achievement message and continue to send Achievement messages, that personal touch will be lost. You need to keep changing and remember that context matters. ”
A better approach to expectations that responds to an Achievement motivator is to give them Gratitude, after which a message of exclusivity can make them feel special.
Solidarity messages like “Welcome, Anna” on a landing page are extremely effective, Spira said.
External influence is important
The effectiveness of the message is also influenced by social, economic and political factors.
For example, Persado noticed a dramatic shift in stimuli during COVID-related locking in 2020. The alert messages, which were ranked in the top five in 2019, fell to the next on the list, and did not “Luck” measures succeeded in arousing no response at all, perhaps because not many people were feeling lucky at the time.
On the other hand, messages of Gratitude, Solidarity and Satisfaction performed better than usual.
“The high-pitched language did not fit well with the vibrancy of the moment,” says Spira. “Attention came back with a softer touch later in the pandemic – more like a friendly reminder rather than a shout out.”
Seasonal factors are also important.
For example, “Attention” and “Achievement” messages tend to work well during the holidays, while “Challenge” and “Urgency” calls are more effective in late summer when parents are in a hurry to prepare children for school.
Certain motivators tend to work well regardless of the circumstances: Appeals for Achievement, Satisfaction, and Exclusion work in general, the report says. Safety is another multi – year winner, but during COVID, language such as “we have you covered” did better than “protect yourself” when many people felt that safety was out of their control.
Use with caution
Some stimulants are best used with caution.
“Repentance is usually a lower-functioning emotion, but it works well in some contexts such as financial services during the pandemic,” says Spira. “Sadness is characterized by ‘do not do’, a word that generally does not work as well, but can be effective when people need stability.”
This was the case in 2020 when “this clear need produced atypical positive results” for financial institutions, in particular, the report notes.
“Challenge” is generally at the bottom of the efficiency list but may be useful for specific categories of customers, such as athletes and players.
Stimulants can provoke a mixture of strong reactions, such as “thank you” mixed with “exclusive,” as in “Thank you for your support; you are invited to our exclusive pre-sale. ”
And there’s one motivation – anger – that Persado doesn’t often recommend. “There are contexts in which it can work, but it can be confusing that we rarely recommend it,” says Spira.
Of course, that does not stop political candidates from sending angry messages at us. As I said, matters are context.
Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.
Word count: How the language you use fosters emotions in the people you are trying to reach
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