“You’re not you when you’re hungry.”
This insta-classic slogan from Snickers might very well be one of the biggest understatements of all time.
Because here’s the deal:
Hunger causes people to do crazy things.
And I’m just not talking about shouting at your significant other for refusing to pick a dinner spot, nor am I talking about Gordon Ramsay throwing tantrums and ripping restaurants apart on TV.
Heck, full-blown riots and even wars have broken out due to food shortages.
“Civilization is 24 hours and two meals away from barbarism”
—Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
Hunger represents a necessity. A primal need.
People have to eat, after all.
And as marketers, we thrive by attracting hungry prospects who have their own burning needs and unmet desires.
Maybe they want to leave the nine-to-five grind for good.
Perhaps they’re just trying to get their own business off the ground and have no idea how to proceed.
It’s our responsibility as marketers to feed our prospects the information that helps them satisfy those ever-so-pressing questions that helps them reach their goals.
None of this is possible until you understand how to arouse those desires in the first place, though.
Marketers have to figure out how to present their offer as something irresistible, the sort of fresh-baked loaf you can smell from outside the bakery that draws outsiders in time and time again.
And if you have the right formula to get your prospects eating out of the palm of your hands, attracting attention to your ads, emails, and content is a piece of cake.
The weird link between baking and better prospecting
Speaking of cake, let’s talk about a tasty tidbit of wisdom from the world of old-school advertising.
After World War II, classic companies like Betty Crocker and Pillsbury were making a killing by selling instant, boxed cake mix.
These “just add water” mixes were convenient for hungry families and stupidly simple to make.
No waiting, no messing around with ingredients: just quick and easy cakes.
But there was a problem.
The cakes were considered by housewives of the day to be too easy to bake.
In a weird way, these instant mixes somehow felt like cheating, as there was no challenge involved in the baking process.
Mix and bake. That’s’ it.
Tasty cakes, but homogeneous nonetheless.
That’s right: people were turned off because the baking process was too easy.
After all, a labor of love needs to involve actual labor.
As a result, cake sales slumped in the 1950s and the public cooled on instant cake mixes.
Now, bear in mind that these types of cake mixes are all-the-rage sixty years later.
Heck, over a one hundred million Americans purchased some form of dry Betty Crocker cake mix last year.
So what brought cake mix sales out of the dark ages and catapulted them into staples of modern baking?
Back in the day, cakes were traditionally only iced on the top, but that quickly changed as marketers saw an opportunity to sweeten the appeal of instant cake mix.
Cake brands began driving home the idea of intricate icing patterns and flavors throughout their advertising campaigns.
Whether it was on the mix boxes or within magazine ads, the introduction of icing served as a sort of challenge to bakers.
- How ridiculous can you make your cakes?
- Can you craft a creation that looked just as good as something from the magazine?
- Do you dare spread the icing not only on the sides, but between the layers as well?
The explosion of icing was a win-win for marketers and consumers alike.
Bakers had a newfound opportunity to show off their creativity, meanwhile the mix companies managed to add a layer of involvement in their so-called “too easy” product.
Okay, so now that you’re starving and wondering what the heck any of this has to do with attracting prospects, let’s cut to the chase.
The recipe for arousing your prospect’s desires
When dealing with prospects and customers, it’s crucial to find a balance between offering people convenience, while also empowering them to take action.
Think about the roller-coaster of cake mix sales.
Housewives were initially turned off by instant mixes because they didn’t allow for any personal investment in the baking process.
While you want to make life as easy as possible for your prospects, you don’t want to make things too easy.
Your customers might need a bit of hand-holding here and there, but not at the risk of you coming off as condescending.
Marketers should serve as guides and helping hands, not babysitters.
And on a related note…
People are generally wary of anything that might seem too good to be true
If you a promise a turn-key solution for transforming someone’s life overnight, you can’t be too surprised by their skepticism.
The flip side is also true, though.
If you frame your opportunity as having a high barrier to entry, requiring tons of blood, sweat, and tears, your prospects will likewise look elsewhere in pursuit of financial freedom.
So where do you find that balance to reel people in?
How do you tap into the wants, needs and desires of your prospects without totally turning them off?
Thankfully, we have a recipe for doing just that.
You can’t appeal to your prospects’ needs or desires until you present them with some sort of problem.
And there’s no better way to drive people to take action than by taking them to a NEGATIVE place.
Sounds dark, doesn’t it?
Yet consider how just about any action we take is out of the necessity of solving or avoiding a problem.
- We hit up the drive-thru because we were so hungry that we couldn’t concentrate.
- We take our cars to get their oil changed just so they don’t break down on the highway.
- We hire an accountant during tax season so the IRS doesn’t come busting down our doors.
Problems, both big and small, are catalysts for action.
This rings especially true for marketers throughout their ads and copy.
Highlighting the pains, fears, problems, and frustrations of your prospects is key to tapping into their desires.
Your options are seemingly endless, too.
- Bring up the deep-seated dread of having to pound an alarm clock, sit through a tortuous commute, and go through the motions at a daily grind that they can’t stand.
- Remind them of the time and energy they’ve wasting searching for an answer or solution to their woes when you’re standing right in front of them.
And remember: you’re only starting people off in a negative place.
Your prospects aren’t going to stay there forever.
In fact, you’re going to be the savior that empowers them to get out.
The purpose of presenting a problem is to hook your prospects and, in turn, psychologically set them up to be empowered.
Essentially, you’re taking them out of the dark and into the light.
Empowering messages outperform those that emphasize fear, doubt, or guilt.
Actually, a recent marketing study out of University College London, regarding ads for charities, drives this point home even further.
People are much more likely to donate to charities helping children impoverished or disaster-struck children when the ads have a positive, hopeful tone.
Whereas, “Hey, donate or someone might die,” is the go-to assumption for such ads, these types of marketing messages don’t always stick.
On the flip side, a message focused around rescuing the would-be doctors and teachers of these impoverished countries performs much better and keep audiences in a more positive and active frame of mind.
It’s all about putting an empowering spin on whatever you’re trying to sell
That’s exactly what we do when we frame our own products here at Elite Marketing Pro.
Let’s use our Ultimate List Building System 2.0 product, as an example.
The problem? List-building is perceived as time-consuming and super challenging for a newbie.
The solution? We offer a proven list-building system that’s fair game for anyone looking to grow their audience ASAP.
Oh, and it also includes a series of step-by-step videos that help show you exactly what to do.
No headaches. No hassle.
Sure, there’s some legwork involved, but with our help, it’s going to be so much easier.
Again, there’s that delicate balance between convenience and empowerment in action.
There’s a natural progression between starting in a negative place and ending in a positive one.
That said, so many marketers screw up this step by regressing back to negative languaging after empowering their prospects.
I can’t stress this enough:
Do not go backward!
Don’t harp on your prospect’s fears and pains, disempower them, or force them to second-guess their ability to move forward.
Keep the positive momentum snowballing rather than remind people of how helpless or powerless they might sometimes feel.
It’s crucial they adopt the attitude, “Yes, I can do this!”
Once you’ve put your prospects in the right frame of mind, they’re finally poised to take action.
The last step of the recipe is to drive home the fact that taking action is indeed easy.
End on a high note.
At this point, you need to be a sort of cheerleader for your prospects.
Remind them that they are more than capable of doing what they need to do solve whatever nagging problem you brought up in the beginning of your ad or copy.
Emphasizing urgency is the best way to make action happen.
Want to know the two sweetest words for any offer out there?
“Fast” and “easy.”
Your prospects don’t have time for anything with a steep learning curve or a million moving pieces that they have to put together.
They want something quick, something now.
When people are led to believe that they can do something sooner rather than later, they’re exponentially more likely to take action.
Not a chore, not an uphill battle, but a quick solution that’s totally within their grasp.
And that, my friends, is how you craft offers and copy that arouse your prospects’ desires.
How many hungry prospects do you have lined up?
Here’s the score:
Whether they’re letting you know it or not, your prospects are hungry to have their problems solved.
It’s your responsibility to serve up quick solutions, while also reminding your prospects that what they want is within their grasp.
Much like instant cake mix, this three-step recipe might seem simple on the surface, but it works every single time.
- Highlight a problem to tap into their desires
- Offer a solution
- Sweeten the deal with urgency
Almost sounds too easy, right?
Well, sometimes the most effective marketing strategies are stripped-down and simple.
The same rules apply to marketers looking to get more eyes on their offers, too.
Despite popular belief, uncovering new opportunities to drive traffic doesn’t have to be a massive time-sink or financial burden.
Hungry prospects are out there!
If you know where you look, that is.
And if you’re still trying to figure out where your prospects are hiding, we have just the formula for you.