Yesterday Sonja and I got the same email from a Linkedin group at the same time sitting side by side in the same office. She loved it, I hated it.
The email started:
We feel your pain.
I stopped reading at that point and felt a bit cross. A lot cross, actually, for a moment. The word ‘pain’ hit a nerve with me. There’s some difficult life stuff happening around me right now, and my immediate thought on reading that line was ‘No you don’t ’ and then ‘And don’t pretend you do just to sell me something.’
Had I continued to read, like Sonja, I’d have learnt about something that would help me prove my marketing’s ROI. It was a well-written email on a subject that’s interesting to both us, but I just didn’t get that far. They lost me at ‘I feel your pain.’
So what’s a marketer to do? We’re constantly told that we need to use emotion to help get the message across, and to show we understand the difficulties our clients face. That’s the advice I give, and as a general rule I think it’s right. But sometimes it backfires. Does that matter?
I don’t have an answer, but I’d love to know what you think. I do know that words have immense power to move us, and we need to choose them carefully.
Should we marketers be more sensitive about going for the jugular? Does upsetting a few people matter if your message really hits home with the majority?
What’s your view?