Be Negative, Use Negative Language!


This is kinda crazy, but for some reason, we humans prefer negative news.

It’s not that we “prefer” bad news, it’s just that we react more passionately and with more urgency when we see negative or “sad” or “alarming” messages.

Why is this? Well, it seems that nastiness makes a bigger impact on our brains.

This, apparently, from my research, is due to the brain’s “negativity bias”: your brain is simply built with greater sensitivity to unpleasant news.

The bias is so automatic that it can be detected at the earliest stage of the brain’s information processing. And – those last three words “brain’s information processing” are what growth hackers thrive-off.

We need our audience to react. That is really our number one goal. Once we get them to react we can start the pitch, but the starting point of the chemical reaction is the “reaction” – and, interestingly, it seems that negative copywriting has a positive effect on our lead generation activities.

Need examples? Sure. Imagine the following (and highly successful) Ad Copy.

“Dentists Hate Me, Here’s Why”.

The reader is now alarmed. Why would a dentist hate you? What have you done? Wow, is it serious?

“Steal Your Competitors SEO Secrets”.

Again, this Ad Copy has a negative spin of something which suddenly looks interesting. Sure! I’d be curious. Tell me more!

“My Boss Is Jealous Because I Have This Skill”.

Woah! What did you do to make your boss (i.e. authority figure) so jealous, and gosh, this tool that you have must be pretty awesome; what is it? I’m interested!

To summarize, this growth hack is to implant creativity into your ad creation and copywriting.

Try to lean towards certain key human drivers such as greed and fear; this hack emphasizes the “fear” element of these twin emotions.

Henry "HMFIC"

I'm Henry, the guy behind this site. I've been Growth Hacking since 2002, yep, that long...

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