• October 25, 2021
 Victor Urbina’s Minding Your Business: Don’t Sell On Logic, Sell On Emotion

Victor Urbina’s Minding Your Business: Don’t Sell On Logic, Sell On Emotion

Good advertising examples are hard to find. Most of the time advertisers focus on the features of their product or service.

They are completely oblivious to their benefits. As if the world needed another “6-speed transmission”, more “made from scratch” guacamole or knowing customer satisfaction is your “number one priority.”

What advertisers don’t understand is that while these features are important, it’s not what makes us buy.

We’re self-centered animals, the only thing we care about is ourselves. Even when we do things for others. The reason why we do anything is because it makes US feel good or we EXPECT some sort of benefit.

That’s why appeals to logic with amazing features don’t work very well. Let me explain.

All consumers make buying decisions based on emotion. Don’t believe me? Read the book “Buyology” by Martin Lindstrom.

Research shows that when we buy anything pleasure centers in our brain light up like a Christmas tree. It’s very like the “high” addicts get when they take a hit.

It’s only later that we use logic to justify the purchases we made based on emotions. Don’t believe me?

Why do you think people buy luxury cars? To satisfy an emotional need. The need to be admired and respected by their peers to be exact. Because a car is a car. It getting you from point A to point B should suffice, shouldn’t it?

But it doesn’t. That’s why safety records, fuel efficiency, and keyless entry exists. All logical arguments to justify an emotional decision.

So why do advertisers keep appealing to logic? It’s because they’re not very smart. They don’t understand that all we’re interested in is WIIFM. What’s in it for me.

But then someone catches lightning in a bottle. By accident or after years of trial and error.

They come up with an ad that in not focused on their product or service. Instead, it’s focused on the benefits of their product or service. Some even take it one step further. They focus on the TRANSFORMATION their product or service will deliver.

Because no one buys a drill because they want the drill. People buy a drill because they want the holes.

They want the TRANSFORMATION. If you understand how your business does this for people and you use it in your marketing you’ll be unstoppable. Like this example below.


This is a billboard for a local gym. When I first saw, it I made my wife circle back around to look at it again because it was so brilliant.

But let me break down the brilliance for you.

First, their headline is easy to understand and it’s benefit rich. Everyone understand what “Lose 20 lbs in 6 weeks… FREE!” means. There’s no ambiguity.raw2

Second, the headline is made even stronger because it uses exact figures. Not sure what I mean? Try this on for size, which is stronger? “Lose 20 lbs in 6 weeks… FREE!” or “Lose weight in weeks… FREE!”?

raw3We both agree it’s the first one.

Third, they use a before and after photo. In weight loss, this is standard practice, but still you find gyms that don’t do this. Why they don’t is lost on me.

But the picture used in this billboard looks authentic, like it’s a real person from here in town.

Local advertisers shoot themselves in the foot by using photos of people who don’t look “local.” This is a big deal.

If you’re marketing to a specific demographic use images of people who look like them. Like they would live in the area.

Fourth, and this is a biggie, there’s an implied guarantee in the headline. “Lose 20 lbs in 6 weeks…FREE!” Because the headline is so strong it makes me believe that I’ll lose 20 lbs in 6 weeks for free. It makes me think, “I’ll try it, what do I have to lose?”raw2

Now I’m going to share with you a little trick my mentor taught me. If you’re not sure your headline is strong enough to make people stop and notice do this. Isolate your headline and write the words “for more information call…” immediately after it. Not sure what I mean?

Like this, “Lose 20 lbs in 6 weeks… FREE! FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL…” If you’re trying to lose weight doesn’t that headline make you wanna pick up the phone and call?

raw4One opportunity to make the ad better. I would test replacing the website with a phone number. I would add the line “Free recorded message tells you how, 915-123- 4567, call now!”

I know you might think this is “old fashioned” and “everyone” goes online, but listen to me for a minute.

This is a billboard. Billboards are seen by people who are driving. Typically, people drive with both hands and keep their eyes on the road. This makes it hard for them to pick up their phones and go to your website.

Furthermore, people have bad memories. By the time they get home they might’ve forgotten all about your billboard. Or if they do remember, they’ll forget the website and how to spell it.

In a worst-case scenario, they will have talked themselves out of looking up your business. They think that they won’t have time to go to the gym. Or that they’ve tried gyms before and they’ve never lost weight. Or a million other reasons why your gym WON’T work for THEM.

But, everyone drives around with a cell phone in their car. Most cars today have some sort of hands-free Bluetooth feature. All phones have a loud speaker. Why not drive them to a phone where they can learn more while they drive. Before logic takes over and beats down the emotional decision you want them to make!

I’m not in any way associated with this gym just to be clear. I would however, love to hear from them to find out how their billboard campaign went. I’m sure they did VERY well.

When advertising don’t appeal to logic. Appeal to a customer’s self-interest. Focus on the transformation not the features or even the benefits. Do this and you’ll be light years ahead of your competitors.

Remember, “Life is a series of missed opportunities, so go for yours.”™

victorurbinaimagerightleanAuthor: Victor Urbina

To read Victor’s previous columns, click HERE.


Victor Urbina is an author and entrepreneur who helps businesses generate more new customers and make more sales.

Grab a free copy of his newest book “How To GET MORE New Customers, Clients And Patients With Direct Mail”  Leave your name and email address to get a free “readers only” competitive market analysis (a $300 value) of your business.

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