Your headlines are the first part of your marketing that your customers will read so they need to make them want to read on. How? By waking up their chimp and prompting them to take action.
But what do I mean by ‘waking up their chimp’?
In The Chimp Paradox, Professor Steve Peters talks about what he calls the ‘chimp brain’. This is the primitive part of the brain which is solely geared towards keeping us alive. It’s constantly on the lookout for danger, and, as soon as it wakes up and realises that there's danger present, it takes action to protect us.
What does our chimp brain do?
Back when we lived in caves, this response was our lifeline because we were looking out for hungry sabretooth tigers and the like, lurking in the bushes trying to eat us. But in modern life, this response can be a little bit unhelpful as it can wake up and start panicking when there isn't actually any real danger.
So what does this actually have to do with your marketing headlines?
The thing is, if you want someone to take action, you need to wake this chimp part of their brain. The ‘chimp brain’ is what controls our fight, flight or freeze reaction so if you want someone to take action, you need to wake the chimp. And the best way to do this is through emotion.
Your headlines are the first part of your content that your customers will read so they need to create an emotional response in the reader's brain to make them want to read on. You need to show them that you ‘get it’ by using your headlines to demonstrate your understanding of their pain, problem or trigger.
“That’ll never happen to me”
Now, I’m not saying that you need to start releasing sensational ‘end of the world’ style headlines in your marketing! These will just cause the logical part of our brains to kick in and make us switch off from the headline completely.
Instead, you need your headlines to wake the chimp by asking them ‘do you have this problem?’ as you want their response to be ‘yes I do!’ or ‘I don’t know, do I have this problem?’ or so that they read your article, click your sales page or whatever your next step is.
The copy underneath your headline then needs to show them the light at the end of the tunnel to calm the chimp down so that your customer can make a rational and logical decision to buy from you.
How to get started
Do your headlines currently show your customers that you understand their pain, problem or trigger?
If not, it might be time to review your customer avatar to see whether anything has changed over the last few months so that you can make sure your headlines resonate with the people you want to be working with…
Would you like me to lead you step by step through this process? Check out my Kickstart Your Marketing workshop today.
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