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Bypass your Readers’ Spam Filter : Trance Breaking 101

By: Seth Czerepak

Date Added : September 28, 2011 Views : 485
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We come across hundreds of advertisements each day. Whether on the internet, the television, in a magazine, or on the road, we are constantly being sold to.

Think about how many advertisements you view each day. Now, think about how many products you buy because of those advertisements.

If you’re anything like me, most advertisements make no impression on you – whatsoever..

Now this could be because we’re not the target market for the ad being shown. Much more likely, though, is that we’ve simply learned to IGNORE the vast majority of all advertisements shown to us. We’re exposed to so many advertisements each day, that we’ve created defense mechanisms for dealing with them.

When a flash ad pops up on the screen, or a commercial is played on TV, we literally “zone out,” and focus on something else. This is a great mechanism for our personal sanity, but it’s terrible for advertisers and copywriters. While everyone else is happy to live their lives without giving ads a second glance, our livelihoods depend on people seeing them and taking action!

So how can we reach new customers and retain existing ones through our marketing efforts? Simple, really. Break the trance!

The Reticular Activation System (RAS): Your Worst Enemy, or Best Friend?

Each and every day, our minds are exposed to massive amounts of information. I’m not just talking about advertisements, but all kinds of information coming at us from all directions. If we were to actually absorb and comprehend every piece of incoming information, our brains would be overloaded with stimuli and literally cease to function.

Luckily our brains come with a built in “spam filter”, if you will. The scientific term for it is the Reticular Activation System, or RAS. The RAS sorts through the information we receive, only paying attention to that which is relevant in our lives,..

To get a grasp of the RAS in action, think of a time when you learned a new word. You may have never heard this word used in a conversation before, but once you learned it and understood it, you began to notice every time it was spoken and every time you saw it in writing.

Is this magic? Nope! By learning that word, you told your RAS that the word was relevant to you, and as such, the word now gets through your “spam filter”.

Let’s take this example which applies specifically to advertising and copywriting…

When you see an advertisement, your RAS will act as a spam filter, blocking out the ad. However, there are some ads that your RAS simply can’t block out. Think about an ad for a product you’d never use in a million years that just stuck in your head. A jingle you’d find yourself singing unconsciously.

Maybe it was one of those Super Bowl commercials. The commercials have become almost as important as the game itself these days. There’s just as much water cooler talk about the Budweiser ads as there is about who won or lost the game.

The point I’m trying to make is that your RAS can’t block out certain stimuli because they’re so powerful or significant. And that’s exactly what advertisers count on…

RAS Bypassing Emotions

Like the Super Bowl example explains, there are certain emotions that are so powerful, they pass right through the grasp of the RAS. Humor is one of those emotions. There are also five other emotions the RAS has a hard time with.






These are all emotions that are very relevant to your life, as you only feel them when something happens that you cannot ignore. If these emotions are triggered via advertisement, then your RAS will automatically let the information come through..

This is how you break the trance and write effective copy that sells. This is how you create a successful ad campaign for any kind of product or service. Appeal to the emotions listed above and you’ll shove the RAS aside, allowing your message to reach your prospects.

Not all emotions are created equal and choosing which ones to appeal to depends largely on what you’re trying to sell.

For example, the emotions of Fear, Anger, and Pain are usually best left alone. This is because if you come from the wrong angle, activating these emotions can lead to more problems than they solve– especially for us copywriters.

However, in the right circumstances, these emotions can be POWERFUL. For example, you commonly see this tactic used by law offices. They’ll talk about a medication that was used in the past, and how it is now linked to diseases. If you have this disease, you are supposed to get angry.

Here’s the important part, though. You’re not getting angry at the law office. You’re getting angry at whoever sold you the medication, and now you want to get back at them. How can you do that? Well, try the law offices!

Humor, Surprise, and Pleasure focus more on the “positive” side of emotions. Successful copy that uses these emotions generally focuses on making the reader feel good. Make your readers happy with feel-good content in order to bypass the RAS and get directly to their minds..

Wrapping It Up

Although it’s true we ignore almost all advertisements, the ones we don’t (actually can’t) ignore prove to be extremely effective. Now that you know how to break the readers’ trance, you can plant your message in their minds, which is one of the most powerful selling methods ever.

Seth Czerepak is a Small Business Coach and the owner of the professional Copywriting Services company "Cashflow Copywriter."

Article Source: Bypass your Readers’ Spam Filter : Trance Breaking 101

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