Communication is the glue that holds your marketing together.
Think about it…your product/service might be of great value, but all that value will be rendered useless if you’re unable to clearly communicate it to your customers.
And when it comes to communicating your value, there’s one thing that every single marketer on the planet must rely on…
This is where neurolinguistic science comes in. Neurolinguistics studies the representation of language in the brain. And it shares roots with psycho and cognitive linguistics. It digs into how the brain processes language and knowledge and what happens to the brain as we understand, read, and write.
And according to neurolinguistic consultant, Robert B. Dilts:
It “describes the fundamental dynamics between mind (neuro) and language (linguistic) and how their interplay affects our body and behavior (programming).”
Which means if you can understand and apply neurolinguistic principles…you can amplify the value you communicate to your customers; and as result, solidify your marketing and ramp up conversions.
Today’s post will walk you through 4 powerful neurolinguistic principles that will boost your perceived value, strengthen your sales message, and soar the appeal of your offers.
1. Create A Hard Hitting Message With The Right Frame
In neurolinguistics, framing theory states that how information is presented influences the choices people make.
In one framing study, participants chose from two treatments for 600 (hypothetical) disease stricken people.
When information was presented in a positive frame (save 200 lives), 72% of people chose treatment A. However, when the same treatment was negatively framed (400 people will die), that number plummeted to 22%.
And in another study, it was revealed that “93% of PhD students registered early when a penalty fee for late registration was emphasized, with only 67% doing so when this was presented as a discount for earlier registration.”
Research from Outbrain has also showed that negatively framed headlines have a 63% higher click-through rate than their positive counterparts.
The case studies above highlight the power that framing can have on your headlines, calls to actions, and sales messages.
But what frame gets the best results?
Asking the question above is like asking “What CTA button color converts the best?” There is no cut and paste answer. Your optimal frame depends on your market, their needs, and your product/service. Which means you should test different frames to see which gives you a greater return.
2. Keep Your Prospects Moving With Delayed Transitions
“Transitions are your readers’ linguistic lifelines that link sentences and ideas smoothly together, making your reading easy to understand and recall.” Yellowlees Douglas, communication professor at the University of Florida.
In linguistics, the term cohesion describes the meaning and flow in a piece of text.
The two main types of cohesion are:
- Grammatical cohesion. Which refers to the structure and flow of a text
- Lexical Cohesion. Which looks at adding meaning and clarity with background knowledge and lexical content.
We’re going to be looking at grammatical cohesion; with an emphasis on how your copy can become more cohesive and captivating with delayed transitions.
But before we dive deeper into delayed transitions, let’s take a step back and focus just on transitions.
Transitions can be viewed as literary tubes, they help fuse ideas and sentences together. For example, the sentence below uses “so” as a transition:
“You want to get fit and healthy without spending all your free time in the gym, so you decide to buy a home gym.”
A delayed transition is different to a normal transition. Because it places the connecting word or phrase at the beginning of the next sentence or paragraph.
In the example below, the delayed transitions “but” and “so” are used to swing you from one sentence to another:
“You know that creating a killer marketing campaign is important. But you know that getting the right help isn’t easy. So you’ve come to Growth Geeks to get expert help.”
Apple makes good use of delayed transitions in the example below:
(see how delayed transitions are used at the beginning of each sentence to flow right into the next?)
Are you expressing one thought per sentence, and one main point per paragraph?
If not, use delayed transitions to whip your sentences into shape and make your copy more digestible.
3. Inject Power Into Your Copy With Loaded Words
A study by Elizabeth Loftus tested the impact that loaded words and questions have on eyewitness testimonies. In the study, subjects were shown a video that presented multiple car accidents.
After watching the film, researches asked “About how fast were the cars going when they smashed into each other?” Different subjects were then asked the same question, but with one small change, the word smashed was switched with:
The more “loaded” the word used, the higher the estimated speed. But that’s not all, subjects were even more likely to state that there was broken glass at the crash site…even though there was no glass present.
The lesson here: Depending on the impact you want to create, pick your words wisely. They carry more weight than you might think.
4. Shoot Up Your Value With Disruptive Reframing
In neurolinguistics, disruptive reframing describes the act of shifting the focus of your reader/listener to control how information is received.
When psychologists David and Knowles tested the power of disruptive reframing, they made some interesting discoveries. In one study, they went door-to-door selling cards for charity.
- Their first pitch said that it was $3 for 8 cards. This resulted in sales from 40% of households.
- The second pitch on the other hand, was rigged with a disruptive reframe. It stated that it was 300 pennies for 8 cards, and followed up with “which is a bargain”. This simple tweak doubled conversions. Resulting in 80% of households making a purchase.
So what makes the disruptive reframe so effective?
Well, in the example above, the routine thought process is disrupted when people hear “300 pennies” instead of “3 dollars”. And while their brain is distracted with the odd sounding “300” pennies”…they’re told that it’s “a bargain”. This momentarily lowers resistance and increases the chance of people accepting that they’re actually getting a good deal.
So how can disruptive reframing be used to add more fuel to your marketing fire?
By elevating the perceived value of your packages and offers.
Just like this Copyhour landing page example below:
The disruptive reframe is used when they compare the total price of the course to how much it costs per day; this cushions the blow of the price in the prospect’s mind. And if you look at the “Master” and “Journeyman” package, you’ll see that the Journeyman is just a disruptive decoy.
Because it costs more than the Master package and has less value. This weakens the appeal of the Journeyman and makes the Master package more attractive.
Regardless of the medium, all marketers must use language to communicate their message. And now that you understand the neurolinguistic principles above, you can harness the power of language to enhance your communication and inject more power into your marketing.
What neurolinguistic principle above did you find the most useful?