Recently, I finally got around to reading M. Scott Peck’s classic The Road Less Traveled. Both Peck and The Road became a sensation when the book was published almost 40 years ago. It remained on the New York Times bestseller list for more than a decade, and created a burgeoning category of self-help literature.
According to psychiatrist Peck, we humans have a knack for avoiding or resisting difficulty. These are the roads most frequently traveled. As an alternative, Peck suggests that taking responsibility and action is actually the easier path.
In our work for clients we go to great lengths to test messages, subject lines, images, and calls-to-action to see what will stimulate our audience to act. I’m sure you are doing the same for your brand or business.
Presumably, you believe that you offer a product or service that is good for people and better than the alternatives. So, how do you get your audience to start adopting? Here are three general principles that we have found helpful in our communications work for clients:
- Connect with your consumer’s natural desire to change and take action. Appeal to their hoped-for self.
- Remove any barriers to taking action. Cue and activate simple, achievable steps toward the desired behavior.
- Provide frequent positive reinforcement throughout your lead nurturing effort, and after. We are reward-seeking beings.
By fueling your audience’s aspirations and making it easy for them to take action, you can put more customers on the road to your door.
Jim Pontarelli is RDW’s President and lead researcher and planner. Over the years, he’s worked on numerous Fortune 100 brands. Endlessly curious about how people think and behave, he recently became a licensed clinical social worker and trained group therapist.