How to Use Emotion in Healthcare Direct Mail Marketing
As anyone who has ever cried at a movie or raged at a football game will tell you, emotions are a powerful force. As a healthcare marketer, you can use emotions in your direct mail marketing to increase the effectiveness of your message.
You can appeal to emotions by appealing to the psychological hidden addictions every person craves.
People Need to Feel Needed
Our self-worth increases when we feel useful. Being needed makes people feel good. If you can improve a person’s self-esteem you will gain trust and acceptance. Explain what is at stake and how the prospect can play an important role. Acknowledge you are asking them to make a sacrifice. Let the prospect know they are being counted on to help and that their help is absolutely crucial.
Healthcare marketers can use this powerful means of persuasion for donation solicitations.
People Need to Feel a Sense of Power
When people feel powerless the result is despair, apathy, disinterest, and detachment. What often makes us feel powerless are the situations, circumstances, and events beyond our control. We need to be able to choose for ourselves. We need to feel our choices are impactful and that we control our own destiny. One small but effective means of enabling prospects to feel a sense of power is to offer a real choice. Point out the alternatives. Gear your message to make it obvious which is the right choice, but allow that choice to be made.
Healthcare marketers can use this emotion to empower patients to take control of their own health. Give them options for services that allow them to customize their own healthcare needs.
People Need to Feel Noticed
Everybody wants to feel like they matter to others, to feel noticed and understood. In your marketing you can facilitate people feeling special and wanted by offering praise. Numerous studies have shown positive praise is more effective than negative consequences in regards to shaping behavior. One of the best forms of praise is a simple thank you. Single out a segment of your target audience for special treatment, or acknowledgment of their efforts.
Be sure to sincerely thank patients for choosing your services and donors for their contributions.
People Need to Know Things Others Don't Know
We all like knowing what other people don’t know and what we shouldn’t know. Having secret knowledge gives us a sense of power and of control. When we are trusted with a secret we feel special and that we matter. It can create a bond in a relationship, make us feel worthy, add excitement to our daily lives, and influence how we treat people and respond to situations. Appeal to our need to know what others don’t by offering to reveal a secret only to those who respond.
For healthcare marketers, try debuting new services to a select group of patients or offer coupons for additional services such as physical therapy or dental check-ups. Show appreciation to your current patients by offering them these special offers.
Crafting a marketing message that appeals to emotion is a powerful way to persuade the recipient into a response. Test it out on your own and see what a difference it makes in your healthcare marketing.
Note: This blog was originally published 10/2016, updated 04/2018.
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