How many times have you read an article saying something like… “X reasons why you have to stop doing that!” ? Thousand times? Well, Psychologists experts say that this article won´t ever stop working.
Persuasion Psychology is able to explain this phenomena, these type of articles have some things in common with the most persuasive messages. The Persuasion experts, James B. Stiff & Richard E. Petty discuss two types of messages: emotional and rational.
These type of messages are designed to hit directly reader´s sentiment, creating automatic responses against the content of the message.
One of the most important type of emotive messages, is the one which content is appealing to your fear. Therefore, these fear messages are focused on wake up your fear and give you some steps to beat it.
For example, you can create fear using terms like cancer, diabetes or dead, when you are talking about reasons to stop eating beef.
The effectiveness of these emotional messages depends on 3 combinations:
- The higher self-esteem of your reader, the better persuasion effect you will reach with an intensive fear message.
- For your low self-esteem readers, I advise you to don´t use intense fear messages because it doesn´t work with them. Only a small amount of fear in your message will have some effect on these type of person.
- The most effective messages are meant to give you clear instructions to beat up the fear which the article is talking about, giving the reader the chance to avoid the consequences he is fearing.
- Check out the part II of this post to know more about rational messages and how to use them.