Connect with us


7 Neuro Writing Tactics to Get Inside the Minds of Your Audience



7 Neuro Writing Tactics to Get Inside the Minds of Your Audience

Joe Sugarman nails the essence of the written word’s power in marketing: “A mental process … for the purpose of selling.”

I’ll shorten it: “mental … selling” – getting inside users’ heads to turn them into leads and motivate them to take an action.

As content marketers, your tool to accomplish that is engaging and persuasive language. Using words, you use your art to influence your audience’s minds and help you get results.

What is neuro copywriting?

Neuro copywriting is the process of crafting a marketing text to appeal to human psychology, thus influencing engagement and motivation to learn more and purchase.

Create content that appeals to human psychology and better motivates your audience, says @WritingBreeze via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

It refers to mental hacks included in your content to compel the audience to act. The addition of tiny elements – odd numbers, particular words, formatting tricks – hook users and make them stay with you.

Neuro copywriting has nothing to do with manipulation. While it can relate to natural-language processing communication techniques like anchoring and mirroring, it’s more about the application of concrete, actionable writing techniques. Let’s look at seven ways to do this.

1. Use 2 numbers in headings

The brain is wired for numbers, which explains why people love listicles so much. Numbers can make the content easier to digest, tricking the brain into assuming it’s more efficient to consume. Your audience’s brains see listicles as cheat sheets to scan and get the info they need.

Numbers also provide order to chaos. They help content consumers see and reach the end goal and be rewarded by a dopamine release.

Using numbers in headlines provides order to chaos, says @WritingBreeze via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

To double the effect, use two numbers in a headline. The first number invites audiences to read, while the second answers the what’s-in-it-for-me question. This example from HubSpot – 11 Conversion Copywriting Tips That Grew Our Revenue by 240%, According to Lately’s CEO – uses two numbers.

The first number – 11 – sparks interest from the audience who wants to learn those tips. The second number – 240% – tells the audience what those tips have helped the company Lately gain.

1662474891 4 7 Neuro Writing Tactics to Get Inside the Minds of
TIP: Understand the psychology behind odd and even numbers. Even-numbered lists look friendlier and imply something didn’t get mentioned, encouraging the brain to find out that “something.” Odd numbers are more thought-provoking: “11 tips? Why did they choose such an odd number? That 11th tip must be interesting.”

2. Add beneficial adjectives

Beneficial adjectives in headings and subheads explain why your content is worth their attention.

Writers use many beneficial adjectives – new, free, unique, quick, exclusive, cost-effective, etc. But here’s the kicker: Readers see those words so many times in the content, that they think, “Yeah, of course. Everyone says it.”

So, here’s a neuro copywriting tactic to replace this ubiquity objection: Combine two rarely matched beneficial adjectives in headings.

Combine two rarely matched beneficial adjectives in headings, says @WritingBreeze via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Ensure both adjectives relate to a noun and appeal to the reader’s emotions, such as:

  • A Practical, No-Nonsense Guide To Earning Passive Income Online
  • The Best Free Business Plan Template For Individual Sales Reps
  • 35 Cheap and Ingenious Ways to Have the Best Classroom Ever

3. Ask questions

Given people usually scan content online to ascertain if it’s worth their time, pay precise attention to your subheads. Use them to ask a question.

I do this on my services page – Need a Writer for Your Blog or Marketing Content? The next subheading gives the answer – How I Can Help You.

1662474891 63 7 Neuro Writing Tactics to Get Inside the Minds of

Questions use the social instinct – the brain’s built-in mechanism to assume what others know, want, and feel:

Questions clarify what the audience will learn when reading. They can spark curiosity in the audience who wants to see if the answer is something they don’t know. It can appeal to a kind of fear of missing out (FOMO). They continue reading to ensure they haven’t missed anything.

TIP: Don’t limit questions to headlines. Add relevant questions in proper places throughout your content to grab a reader’s attention and interest.

4. Format headlines as quotes

The second neuro copywriting tip for headlines and subheads is to make them a quote. Take a sentence from your text and format it as a quote, or take quotes from industry experts if they fit the context.

Why does this trick work? Quotation marks signal expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (EAT) – attributes that both audiences and Google appreciate.

This neuro writing tactic works with headings in case studies, press releases, and blog articles:

  • ‘I Tried These Top 10 Proposal Software, So You Didn’t Have To’
  • ‘Trust yourself and take your time’ – Maria Meireles
  • ‘The One-Page Document We Use to Plan Our Blog Posts’ [PODCAST]

Note: AP Style uses single quotes in headlines.

5. Use the Socratic method

The Socratic method is an argumentative dialogue between individuals asking questions to stimulate critical thinking.

As you can guess from the name, this conversational technique belongs to the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates. He used it to engage students in communication. In content writing, you can use this method in your introductions to hook readers, as Barbara Sturm did in this Smart Blogger article: “Wondering how to become an editor? Need guidance on mapping out your new career path?”

1662474891 996 7 Neuro Writing Tactics to Get Inside the Minds of

Ideally, you should ask three questions because the brain grasps three the best – numbers, colors, fonts, statements, etc. It becomes more challenging to focus and remember beyond the three.

Use the Socratic method in your intros: Ask three questions, says @WritingBreeze via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

I bet you heard about the Rule of Three in writing. As Brian Clark explains: “If you want something stuck in someone’s head, put it in a sequence of three.”

Besides posing three questions, try a modern version of the Socratic method: Give readers three statements they will agree with. Nodding at your words gives them subconscious proof you understand their problem and can provide a solution.

Brian Dean uses the statement technique in this intro: “So, if you’re looking for: More traffic. More leads. More Sales. Then you’ll love the actionable techniques in this guide.”

1662474891 705 7 Neuro Writing Tactics to Get Inside the Minds of

6. Write with power and sensory words

As Smart Blogger shares, “Power words are persuasive, descriptive words that trigger a positive or negative emotional response. They can make us feel scared, encouraged, aroused, angry, greedy, safe, or curious.”

Power words push your audience in the direction you want them to follow. The active verbs and descriptive adjectives indicate, explain, and add action to your content.

This example from the Content Marketing Institute’s consulting services page uses many powerful phrases – let’s set up, figure out, and put together. It also starts each bullet with active verbs – educate, consult, assist, audit, provide, and conduct.

1662474891 326 7 Neuro Writing Tactics to Get Inside the Minds of

Sensory details in your content also matter. Sensory language appeals to five physical senses – helping readers see, hear, smell, taste, or touch your message. Use them throughout your content. Here are some ways to incorporate sensory details into headlines:

  • 5 Tips for Turning Drab Information Into a Tantalizing Tutorial
  • How To Avoid Using Cringeworthy Stock Photos in Your Content
  • 12 Expert-Vetted Sample Business Plans to Help You Write Your Own

On HubSpot’s marketing services page, they scatter sensory-type words throughout – tough, juggling, stuck, scattered, lackluster, and fussing.

1662474891 315 7 Neuro Writing Tactics to Get Inside the Minds of

Why are sensory words so effective? Why do they captivate customers so much?

The human brain processes sensory words differently than ordinary ones. They activate the somatosensory cortex, which recognizes those words more quickly. In plain English, the brain processes non-sensory words as text. With sensory language, it processes scenes.

When painting scenes in a reader’s imagination, they experience your words as if they are in your story. Such content is your surefire way to stand out in the sea of grey, same-sound voices and influence the desire to take an action.


7. Consider negative language

Aside from the FOMO seemingly mentioned in every second guide, fear of failure, loss, looking stupid, etc., often come into play in your audience’s minds. Fear is a primal human motivator. It triggers your audience to act. That’s why it can be your ally in persuasive content.

Use negative language in the content’s headings and intros. In this CMI article, the phrases “ban” and “right now” in the headline – Ban These Words and Phrases From Your Communications Right Now (an A-to-Y Guide) – could instill fear in the reader.

1662474891 279 7 Neuro Writing Tactics to Get Inside the Minds of

When people read negative words, such as damaging, idiot, crash, stuck, devious, fail, miss, ban, and never, they get confused, feel uncomfortable, and begin to worry, even if subconsciously. Here are three negative headlines based on three types of fear, as noted in the parentheses:

  • That’s Why Your Blog Will Never Succeed (fear of failure)
  • How to Network at Conferences If You’re Not an Extravert (fear of rejection)
  • Are You Damaging Your Content With These 11 Mistakes? (fear of inadequacy)

Use your brain to get to theirs

Neuro writing applies language patterns to create persuasive, brain-friendly content. Write with human psychology in mind – and you’ll engage audiences, win their trust, and motivate them to choose your content and your brand.

It’s time to take these seven tricks to jump inside your audience’s heads and take your content marketing to the next level.


Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address


Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists



Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.


Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots



A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)



Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.



To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

1716755163 123 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 123 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To
  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

1716755164 910 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755164 910 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

1716755164 348 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755164 348 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.

Disruptive Design Raising the Bar of Content Marketing with Graphic

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading