How marketers can leverage the negative bias and be good at it !! 

06

December, 2016

Marketing
Startups
Negative bias

While I was in college me and my friends used to eat at the same restaurant every morning. Shocking, but one day we had a weird experience with the restaurant. You know what, we never went back there. Till then, we would always eat at that restaurant. Imagine if you had the same experience? Would you ever go back to the same restaurant? I would never.

Have you ever heard of negativity bias or the negativity effect? It refers to the notion that even when of equal intensity, things of more negative nature have a greater effect. Daniel Kahneman who’s a cognitive psychology expert has the best explanation for this. The brains of humans and other animals contain a mechanism that is designed to give priority to bad news. Maybe, during human evolution, our ancestors had to take negative stuff more important. Though, we’re sure there’s some kind of bias towards negativity in humans.

Now the question is, how can marketers leverage this to their benefit?

Take a look at the two subject lines of the same email.

  • Marketers, step out of these most common mistakes.
  • Do better with your marketing, adopt these strategies.

Which one do you think had the most open rate? Of course the first one, with some negativity hidden inside.The first one has a negative element stating, there are some mistakes with marketers. This is the trigger point of your lead. That’s because of the human negative bias.

This is some proof that marketing with negativity is possible. What do you think most of the media does these days? Projecting all the negative news and giving hype to them. Just because we’re eager to know negative stuff first doesn’t mean we want it. We’re just biased to it, and it’s part of the evolution.

Here’s the key, negative stuff sells faster. But that sales won’t last unless you take care of the customers. Don’t feed them with negativity all the time. This doesn’t mean that all negative stuff get’s clicked. But since the first look makes some negative impression, makes it more actionable. Does it mean you should write negative all the time? No !!

Don’t overuse it, that’ll affect your credibility. Even loose your readers. Make sure you have that right balance, what nature prefers you to be. Negative bias huh!!

Has anything to add to this story? Leave it in comments.

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