Using Pain or Pleasure in Your Marketing

by Alicia M Forest

About 3 years ago, I was driving around running errands, and I tuned into a local radio station that was hosting a radio-thon to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. When the DJ said, “Think about what your healthy child is doing right now, playing, having a snack, whatever… and then think of the kids at St. Jude” – well, I couldn’t pull over fast enough to whip out my wallet and cell phone.

Now, like you, I get a lot of solicitations either in the mail or even via email. Most of those get dumped in the trash or deleted. But what was different about this time? I mean, I literally stopped what I was doing (driving!) to pull over, take out my credit card, call the number, and make my contribution.

So, what made me not even hesitate? It was that deep FEELING of empathy for those kids and their parents, as well as an overwhelming FEELING of gratefulness for my own healthy child.

You see, as humans, we tend to seek pleasure and avoid pain. And you may be surprised to learn that we actually will do more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure.

What that DJ said really got to me – it was incredibly painful for me to think of my own little girl ever being that sick. In order to avoid feeling that pain, I became a Partner in Hope and now make monthly and annual contributions to St. Jude’s directly from the proceeds of my business.

The same holds true in your marketing. If you can touch upon your target market’s pain, address what it is that they are most struggling with, and offer the solution to them – well, it’s a winning formula every time.

When you’re writing your sales pages, you want to state what problem your reader is struggling with and how your offering can solve it, right at the beginning.

One effective way of introducing your solution is by asking a question of your reader around what it’s like to struggle with the problem your offering solves. If you can relate to your reader’s frustration, pain, struggle, or challenge, you’ll immediately establish a connection and they will want to know more about how you can solve their issue for them.

Touching on your prospect’s pain and offering them relief by way of your solution is not manipulative. It’s direct, honest and open. Your reader is at your website because they are looking for a solution. If you want to help them, then the only way to do that is to tell them that you understand their pain and that you offer the solution.

So, think about your market. Are they more likely to seek out your services or your products because they want to gain pleasure? Or is it because they want to solve their most pressing problems? Then weave your answer into your marketing messages.


Alicia M Forest, MBA, 6-Figure Business Breakthrough Mentor, teaches entrepreneurs how to attract more clients, create profit-making products and services, make more sales, and ultimately live the life they desire and deserve. For FREE tips on how to breakthrough to 6 figures and beyond so you can live the life you ache for, visit http://aliciaforest.com

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