Avoiding Exaggeration and Superlatives
|Less Effective||More Effective|
|You can trust us at Better Horizons to make your financial dreams come true.||As a nonprofit, member-controlled financial institution, Better Horizons can provide you with higher rates on savings accounts, better terms on loans, and lower fees.|
|This statement uses phrases that seem unbelievable (you can trust us) and exaggerated (make your financial dreams come true). It is positive but not plausible.||This statement focuses on specific benefits and uses words that nearly all people view positively (nonprofit, member-controlled, savings, better, lower fees). It is both positive and plausible.|
|Pay attention to these facts or risk losing money to banks.||Consider some of the following reasons to join Better Horizons and start saving today.|
|This statement focuses on fear and applies pressure. Most customers would consider the writer not credible.||This statement is inviting and nonthreatening. It uses pressure-free(consider) and positive (join, start saving)words.|
LO9.4. Create compelling internal persuasive messages.
Internal and external persuasive messages contain many common elements: they gain attention, raise a need, deliver a solution,provide a rationale, show appreciation for differences of opinion, give counterpoints, and call readers to action. Nevertheless, internal and external persuasive messages differ in some ways (see Table 9.9). Internal messages more often focus on promoting ideas, whereas external messages more often focus on promoting products and services. Also, internal persuasive messages tend to be slightly more direct and explicit, and they tend to be based on logical appeals. In contrast, external persuasive messages tend to be slightly more indirect and implicit, and they tend to be based on emotional appeals.
|Internal Messages (Typically for Ideas)||External Messages (Typically for Products and Services)|
|Attention||Overview of a business problem||Catchy statement|
|Need||Description of a business problem||Description of unmet needs orwants of your customers|
|Solution||Description of how your idea or policy addresses the business problem||Description of how your product or service benefits customers|
|Rationale||Elaboration about why your idea or policy is the best option||Elaboration about why your product or service will benefit the customer|
|Appreciation||Appreciation for decision makers’ perspectives and resistance to your ideas||Recognition of customers’ resistance to your product or service|
|Counterpoints||Explanation of why your ideas are better than competing ideas (typically those of decision makers who comprise your target audience)||Explanation of why your product/service is better than competing products/services (typically those favored by the target audience)|
|Action||Recommendations for a course of action or further discussion about an idea or policy||Description of a specific step for the customer to take toward purchase of a product or service|
Christine, with the help of Haniz, constructed a letter to warm board members to the idea of adding new financial products and using more online and social networking tools to better reach younger members. Most board members are resistant to this message because they fear depersonalizing Better Horizons, which is known for its warm, community-oriented business model. In the less-effective message (see Figure 9.2), Christine is generally positive. However, she shows little confidence in the new ideas. The message generally contains short, dull, and nontangible comments.