Ethically Use the “F-Word” to Boost Your Response!

using fear to boost response

using fear to boost response

This post is going to be somewhat controversial.

But…it will make you more money.

And don’t worry, I’m going to keep it real clean here…in spite of using the four letter “F word,” which I guarantee will help you increase your response and boost your sales and income.


But first, let’s talk about the real issue with marketing and advertising…

And I’ll show you how using the “F word” can help you solve one of the biggest challenges every single marketer and advertiser faces:

How to get your prospects to actually read or see your messages.

How to grab their attention and pull them into your sales copy. Whatever it is – blog post, email, video, sales page… it doesn’t matter.

Because unless you can grab someone’s attention (and keep it), you don’t stand a chance of ever making a sale.

In other words, you need to SELL your prospect on reading your sales message.

Make sense?

Cool. So let’s start by first realizing that your prospect (and I’m talking about every single one of us), does NOT want to read or watch or listen to a sales messages. ANY sales message.

We’re trained from a very early age to dismiss all sales attempts.

When a commercial comes on TV, what do we do? Change the channel, right? Of course nowadays there are DVRs. So we just fast forward.

And if you think about it, we kinda have to in order to survive and get through our day, or we’ll never get anything done.

Because studies show that today…

We get exposed to over 3,000 commercial messages in a single day.

Not sure if it’s the exact figure, but it’s A LOT.

Anything from TV, radio, billboards, signs on cars, mail, email, banners, and even an occasional knock on a door from someone prospecting in your neighborhood. I get that a lot in the spring and summer.

So we learn how to tune out and get rid of these distractions. Most of these messages fly totally under our radar, and we don’t even acknowledge them.

Which means all these millions of dollars spent on advertising…carefully crafting the message…all of it goes to waste. Well, most of it, anyway.

So now imagine, all this is going on in your prospect’s environment, and you send an email or create a Facebook ad, is it any wonder it gets lost in the crowd?

This is why most marketing attempts fail.

Unless, that is, you know…

How to capture someone’s attention

fear to boost response 2And that’s exactly what we’re going to discuss today.

I like to ask myself this question:

What can I say that will stop my prospects dead in their tracks and make them want to read (or watch) what I got?

If you can do that one thing right there, you will instantly stand apart from almost all of your competition.

Because most marketers and advertisers, focus on their product, instead of focusing on their prospects.

These last couple of sentences are worth reading a few times. Because, the only thing your prospect cares about is – “What’s In It for Me“– period. Nothing else matters.

They don’t care about your product, your service or your business opportunity. But they do care about their situation and how your product can help them solve their problems.

But I’m jumping ahead of myself.

Because before you can present your solution, you need to first get them to WANT to listen to you.


What’s the best way to do it?

With the “F word” of course! 😉

Hang tight, I will explain in a moment.

Even though there’s no one way to do anything, here’s a little “psychology 101.”

People are more motivated for pain than by pleasure. Mostly.

I know, I know, no one likes “doom and gloom” and you’re supposed to focus on the positive and all that.

But the reality is people usually don’t take action unless there’s some kind of fear.

Fear of loss.

Fear of missing out.

Fear of some threat.

You with me?

FEAR is the four-letter “F word”

…that instantly grabs someone’s attention.

comfortWait, were you thinking about the other “F word?” 

Well, sorry to disappoint you…it’s FEAR.

And there are many psychological reasons why this is so.

But I’ll give you the short version.

Fear causes stress. And when you have stress, your subconscious kicks in to remove or reduce the stress.

It’s called “Cognitive Dissonance.” Mental stress that causes discomfort.

And we are all driven to be comfortable.

So when you spot something that is “fear-inducing,” or the perception that it creates some kind of fear or threat, you can’t help but pay attention to it.

This is why WARNING signs are so effective on sales pages. Unless of course they are overused, as is anything. (Keep that in mind.)

Think about the color Red. Stop signs, traffic lights, police cars – red lights.

We’re trained to respond in a certain way to the color red. Red means STOP.

Is it any wonder most of the headlines on sales pages are in Red or some variation of it? It forces your prospect to stop.

But color aside, think about what else you can do.

I know, how about the words you use…

Ever watch anything really interesting on TV, and all of a sudden a little siren comes on with a WARNING flashing on the screen, letting you know there’s a severe thunderstorm coming?

It instantly breaks your mental state and puts you into a heightened state of awareness. Fear. Threat. Your survival mechanism (your subconscious) kicks in, and for a brief moment you completely forget about whatever you were watching or doing and focus 100% on the message.

That is exactly what you want to do to your prospects.

And it’s also why the news is mostly negative. As the saying goes – “If It Bleeds, It Leads.”

There’s a good reason for that.

Now of course we’re not trying to create new fears here at all. What we want to do is tap into their existing ones. And then provide the solution (your product) to avoiding the threat.

Knowing and understanding your market is critical. And one of the questions you need to answer is:

What are their biggest problems?

….pains, frustrations, fears, or disappointments?

mostlyWhen you know what those are you can tap into them and get people to instantly perk up their ears and pay attention.

Would you like an example?

Let’s say we’re talking to a marketer. What is one of their fears, pains, or frustrations?

How about plummeting email open rates?

For network marketers – people saying NO to their opportunity.

For the weight loss market – not fitting into their clothes, embarrassed to go the beach.

For investors – a stock market crash, a change in interest rates, inflation.

These are just a couple of examples. Every one of these markets (and every single market) has dozens of fears, frustrations, pains and disappointments you can easily tap into.

You do it with colors, images, and words.

So we know the color red does this.

How about certain images? Like a warning sign, a siren, a police officer.

Here are just a few of the examples that came to mind, but the more you understand your market, the more you can come up with.

Use specific words

notFor instance…

  • Warning
  • Death
  • Attack
  • Crush
  • Cripple
  • Devastate
  • Kill
  • Drown
  • Smack
  • Scary
  • Sink
  • Strangle
  • Vanish
  • Alert
  • Endanger
  • Horrific
  • Nightmare
  • Painful
  • Crisis

And so on…

Here’s a little million dollar “inside” secret. I keep a long list of words and phrases handy, so when I create a message, if I want to tap into an existing fear, I just go through some of them and see how I can address it.

I’ll just give you a quick example for the stock market because I see this (or some variation of it) used all the time. And it just plain works.

The Looming Stock Market Crash…

Now think about it… if you had any money in the stock market, wouldn’t that instantlygrab your attention?

Of course it would. It is fear-driven.

It creates stress and tension and you can’t help but look at it.

You can use it in emails, on sales pages, videos, etc… and if you want to boost your conversions, you absolutely should.

So as we wrap up, I want to encourage you to really study your market.

Understand what motivates your ideal customers, and at the same time their fears, pains, and frustrations.

Then ethically use that understanding to grab their attention, and show them how to alleviate those fears, get rid of their frustrations, and avoid their pains with the ultimate solution — your product or service.

And if you’d like to discover 5 more proven triggers that instantly grab your prospect’s attention and pull them into reading your sales letter or watching your video, check out this free special report on writing killer headlines now!



(I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post by guest blogger Vitaly Grinblat)