We Want Your Opinion! – Benefits of Marketing Audits, part 2


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We want your opinion!

This email subject line that was recently sent to me from a pet food company.

At first, I thought the company wanted me to complete a survey, but they were actually requesting that I write a product review for any one of their products. In exchange, I would be entered into a sweepstakes. Seems reasonable enough, doesn’t it? So why am I highlighting “We want your opinion!” as a weak subject line?

It doesn’t hit the old brain in a powerful way.

The old brain makes very quick judgments. That’s why it’s so important that the opening line, or first few sentences of any communications be engaging and about the reader. The old brain is also very self-centered. Applying a few simple neuro-marketing principles, this headline could have been written in a way that more dramatically grabbed readers’ attention and motivated customers to write love letters about the brand’s products. After all, plenty of people are extremely emotional about their pets.

But as written, “We want your opinion!” is flat, self-centered, lazy copy writing. And I suspect, only generated a small percentage of the people who were exposed to the message to take action.

Let’s break it down…

“We” – immediately I know this email isn’t really about me. The old brain is too selfish to start a grabber with “we”. The word “you” is much more powerful.
“We want” – Clearly states the company wants something from me. But the self-centered old brain only cares about one thing … What’s in it for me?
“We want your opinion!” is over used. It is so common that we assume it means, “Will you take a survey?” Not quite right in this situation.
“!” – Highlighting the statement with an exclamation point adds a finger wagging tone, which is more off-putting than engaging. Mentally it turns a request into an order. Asking a question could have been much more powerful.

So what could they have written instead?

The possibilities are endless. Since you’ve just read this, ask yourself how you’d power it up. I’d love to hear what you come up with. Add your suggestions in the comments area and I’ll share the alternatives I came up with. Together, we’ll experience the power of a quick, independent marketing communications audit.

This is part 2 of a series of articles on the power of using marketing audits to reveal hidden insights. Part 1, can be viewed here http://www.customerthink.com/blog/need_your_marketing_to_work_harder.

Both parts are reprinted with permission from www.brandingbricks.com

Deb Rapacz
Deb Rapacz helps brands and non profit organizations build a solid core of highly-committed buyers or donors. She is a highly-rated marketing instructor at St. Xavier University and conducts research on the psychology of brand commitment and consumer engagement.


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