"Independence Day is almost here!"
"Buy what you want."
"Our July Newsletter"
As I scroll through the list of promotional messages that arrive in my inbox, I am often surprised at how few inspire action. Many state the obvious (#1 above), lack context (#2 and #3), or tell me nothing (#4).
And this, even if customer expectations in terms of targeted messages are on the rise.
McKinsey says that 71% of consumers expect personalization from the brands and companies they choose, and three-quarters are frustrated when they don't get it.
Persian Language Optimization Firm's 2022 Customer Motivation Report is worth reading if you want to understand how words affect emotions.
Persado claims to have generated more than 15 million unique campaign messages in the last ten years based on a platform that constantly tests different combinations of words to determine which ones work best in a particular context.
The company has chosen 15 different categories of language that can inspire action.
Achievement: "Congratulations on reaching level 1000."
Exclusivity: “Advance sale only for our best customers”.
Bonus – “Your year-end bonus.”
Security – “How to survive a bear market”.
Warning: "You must know this."
Privacy – “How are you coping with the uncertain economy?”
Emotion – "We can't wait to break the news to you."
Curiosity – "Secrets the big retailers don't want you to know."
Gratitude – “Because you are one of our best customers.”
Encouragement – “You are almost there!” »
Regret: "Don't get kicked out of this deal."
Fascination – "Take a look behind the scenes."
Emergency – “24 hours left!”
Luck: "You just hit the jackpot."
Challenge: "We bet you can't resist this."
Acquiring and retaining customers often requires a mix of motivating factors that can vary depending on a person's relationship with your business or their stage in the buying cycle, says Lisa Spira, director of content intelligence at Persado.
“Motivations don't stay constant,” she says. “If you bring someone in with a success message and you keep sending success messages, that personal touch will be lost. You have to keep changing and remembering that context is important.
A better approach for prospects who find a success motivator is to reward them with Gratitude, after which a unique message can make them feel special.
Intimate messages like "Welcome, Anna" on a home page are particularly effective, Spira said.
Outside influences matter
Social, economic and political factors also influence the effectiveness of messages.
For example, Persado noted a profound shift in motivations during COVID-related lockdowns in 2020. Attention messages, which ranked in the top five in 2019, fell to second-bottom on the list, while "Luck" comments they failed. to provoke some reaction, perhaps because few people felt lucky at the time.
In contrast, messages of gratitude, intimacy, and gratification performed better than usual.
“Strong, flashy language didn't fit well with the mood at the time,” says Spira. "The attention came back with a softer touch later in the pandemic, more like a friendly reminder rather than a greeting."
Seasonal factors also matter.
For example, "Caution" and "Success" messages tend to work well during the holidays, while "Challenge" and "Urgency" calls are more effective in late summer when parents are rushing to get the kids ready. for the school.
Some motivators tend to work well regardless of the circumstances: Calls to achievement, gratification and exclusivity work well across the board, the report says. Security is another perennial winner, but during COVID, language like "we've got you covered" worked better than "protect yourself" when many people felt security was out of their control.
use with caution
Some motivators should be used with caution.
“Regret is often an underperforming emotion, but it works well in certain contexts, like financial services during the pandemic,” says Spira. "Repentance is characterized by 'no,' which is a word that doesn't work very well in general, but can be effective when people want stability."
Such was the case in 2020 when “this clear imperative produced outlier positive outcomes” for financial institutions, in particular, the report notes.
"Challenge" is at the bottom of the efficiency list in general, but can be useful with specific categories of clients, such as athletes and gamers.
The combination of motivators can elicit strong responses, such as “gratitude” mixed with “exclusivity”, as in “Thank you for your support; You are invited to our exclusive presale.
And there's one motivator, anger, that Persado rarely recommends. “There are contexts where it can work, but it can be so off-putting that we rarely recommend it,” says Spira.
Of course, that doesn't stop political candidates from lashing us with messages of outrage. Like I said, context matters.
Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.