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Who Shot J.R. and Email Marketing, How to Profit Using The Secrets of TV Drama

Aug 17, 2007
During the first half of 1980, the question on the mind of nearly every TV watcher in the world was "Who Shot JR?" The answer, as it turned out, was not revealed until the fourth episode of the next season.

When the ending of one episode leaves unanswered questions in the mind of viewers, it creates a kind of mental tension. It seems to be a quirk of human nature to be tormented by a lack of complete information. The entertainment industry uses this to great effect as a plot device

This ingenious plot device (the cliffhanger) takes advantage of a phenomenon first documented by Russian psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik. She first discovered the effect in 1927, after noticing that waiters seemed to remember orders only as long as the order was in the process of being served and delivered. We now call it the Zeigarnik effect.

What does this mean to you, the Internet Marketer?

Most people have hundreds of emails, and hundreds of millions of websites competing for attention every single day. There is simply too much information out there. Your job is to cut through the clutter and get YOUR message through. The Zeigarnik effect is one of the best methods of getting a prospect to pay attention to your message.

You've probably seen the Zeigarnik effect for yourself in some of the emails that you receive. The following email, or some variation of it, should look familiar to you:

"How making small changes to my website can brought in an extra $14,237 in just three days.

Anyone can do this and earn a predictable six-figure income in a matter of months.

Hint: it's not what you think! Click here to learn the answer."

There are just a few things to keep in mind when using the Zeigarnik effect in your marketing message:

Make sure that you are speaking directly to your target market. It seems like common sense when you see it written here in black and white, but how many times have you noticed that the content you clicked through to see had nothing to do with the teaser that compelled you to click?

Next, make sure that you make specific claims using specific numbers. In the example above, I used the number $14,237. It has been established through years of testing that claims using specific quantities has a significantly higher response rate than mere superlatives, or even round figures. Don't use "The best" or "over 50%;" instead, use 52.7% or whatever specific term is appropriate in your case.

Next, crank up the curiosity factor as much as possible by using teaser lead-ins that forces your prospects mind to ask a question.

And finally, test, test and test some more. But when you test, only make one change at a time in order to accurately establish the individual elements which have the greatest effect.

The Zeigarnik effect is a simple, highly effective device that can exponentially increase your email click-through rate IF you use it correctly.

Oh, and who shot J.R.? It was Kristin.
About the Author
Learn the secrets behind the net's most succesful email campaigns
Ron Jones is the owner of www.internetprofit101.com
Learn the Fundamentals of Internet Marketing and Build a Sustainable, Income Producing,
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