Emotional Direct Response Copywriting – Roy Furr
Let me share a story, as told from the perspective of an investment newsletter prospect, Fred…
“I can’t believe how much of a failure I am.
“I mean, I made enough money that we should’ve been able to quit working by now, and Alice and I could be on a Mediterranean cruise, living it up. Or at least be retired, and not have all this financial stress.
“But too many times in life, the way I thought things would go and the way they went just didn’t add up. My career path. My retirement accounts. My financial decisions. They never worked out as well as I hoped they would.
“Even worse, every time I got really excited about the market, and finally started buying, it seemed to be at the top, and I’d lose anything I made, faster than I made it. It’s like Wall Street was watching my account, and when I showed up, they had a secret signal that the party was over.
“I feel like I’m not good enough.
“Like there’s more going on in the markets than I even understand. Like there’s a lot of rich and powerful people involved with the markets whose primary job is to screw little guys like me out of our hard-earned money.
“It’s just not fair. A good person can live a good life and just not get a break. So much for the American Dream.
“I don’t even know if I understand money, or investing, or the markets at this point. I’m starting to feel like an insignificant old nobody who spent his life giving to society, but who is only getting chewed up and spit out in the end, destined to see my lifestyle just get worse and worse until I go to my grave.
“I don’t even need that much. I know many people would consider my life normal, even mundane or boring, but that’s okay by me. It’s not the lifestyle that bugs me that much — even though I’d love a few luxuries — it’s the fact that just to maintain this simple life, we’re still under a load of financial stress. I’m just not confident the ends will always meet. And that scares me.
“I don’t need to eat caviar, I just don’t want to eat cat food!”
If Fred’s story makes you uncomfortable, that’s good…
- I made up Fred’s story. Fred is an imaginary person. But the details and the emotions are all-too-real.
- Fred struggles to admit it — even to himself — but he’s feeling a whole pile of desperate negative emotions right now. Thoreau was right — “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”
- In many cases, as marketers, we’re selling products designed to help with that.
- To make more money. To be healthier. To have better relationships. To get more out of life. To relieve their desperation.
- And it’s important to speak to those positive outcomes, in our marketing.
- But our prospects have been sold a thousand “magic pill” solutions that spoke to those positive outcomes. So simply promising another magic pill and good feelings won’t resonate.
- You have to show them that you UNDERSTAND their struggle.
- You have to have empathy with what they’ve gone through — and how they feel about it.
- And even more importantly, you have to be comfortable speaking to the shame that plagues them, based on where they’re at and the mistakes they know they made that got them here.
- And, you have to do it with compassion and kindness.
To understand and connect with your prospect on an emotional level, you must understand that they hate themselves…
- Okay, so maybe hate is too strong of a word. But then again, maybe not.
- We are our own worst critics. We know all the worst things about ourselves. We know our flaws. Our shortcomings. Our mistakes. Our own worst qualities.
- We know what we did yesterday that we’re embarrassed enough about even as a secret — and we dread the day someone we love or respect would ever find out.
- And it’s only getting worse…
- In the world of social media where so many post carefully curated “images” of themselves, we’re faced with constant proof that everyone else is better than us.
- They have it all together. They’re perfect. But we’re miserable excuses for human beings.
- Pile on the self-loathing.
- Some of us try to fight it by putting on a front. By posting our own heavily-curated “images” on social media. (Or by buying a nicer house, or a better car, or going in debt to be a photo tourist in beautiful places.)
- But this only adds to the shame. The lack of integrity gnaws at us. Deep inside, we feel more lost and empty than ever, even as our outside appearances look wonderful to those around us.
- We desperately long for someone to know the truth, and love us anyway.
“If you forgive me for my dirty secrets, I’ll love you forever…”
- When we’re not numbing the pain or putting lipstick on the pig, this is what we want at the deepest level.
- We want someone who understands this wash of negative emotions that plagues our subconscious in nearly every waking moment.
- But someone who will handle us with kid gloves — care, compassion, kindness, love, and respect. Someone who readily agrees with us when we insist we did the best we could.
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