“The two enemies of human happiness are pain and boredom.” – Arthur Schopenhauer, Born Feb. 22, 1788.
It may seem like a shitty thing, to sit around plotting ways to make people unhappy with their current existence.
But that is what we do for a living. We don't describe products and services. That's ditch work.
We remind people of their pain. We point out all the times and places they hurt. Every day and every night, they encounter and experience some unpleasantness, or distress, or even outright agony.
We make them feel bored. We point out that they have settled. We point out how all the things they think they like are trite and lame and shallow imitations. We point out the drudgery and repetition.
Why? Because UNHAPPY PEOPLE WILL MOVE. If someone is comfortable and complacent, your copy won't persuade them to do shit – because they aren't reading it. They aren't looking for anything, so they might not even be reading your messages in the first place.
So we endeavor to make people unhappy, and then promise them that a purchase (or other action/acquisition) will restore the comfort and security and happiness you've stolen from them.
Well, they may not look at it like you stole it. They just feel you've helped them see the TRUTH of their pain they've suppressed. You've planted the seed of boredom that grows into discontent.
And just when they feel they've had enough and want to make a change…
That's when you show them your offer.
Right? You know it. We are architects of human misery. Fortunately, we can make amends by delivering good products. But those customers won't know they are any good until you tweak their pain and PUSH them into trying it.
So go ahead. Get your twin goons of Pain and Boredom and go shake some people down.
<!—- lagniappe Here are some general guidelines on deciding when to use pain and boredom. First, we can’t *create* pain that doesn’t exist. We can only remind people of it, and guide their attention and memory to focus on pain that actually exists in their lives. Is this bad? Not if the pain is real, and our goal is in getting them to move toward a solution that will relieve it. When the problem we are selling a solution for is not about relieving actual pain, we focus instead on the negative emotions associated with the problem they have. Anger, resentment, guilt, frustration, desperation, etc. Unlike with pain, we can *create* the sensation of negative emotions through sympathetic response. If we can show that WE are angry, and give the reasons why, it’s possible to get a sympathetic anger response from anyone you tell that story to. Finally, even though it’s technically a “negative emotion” of a kind, I want to talk about boredom separately, because I think of it as the last-ditch effort to get someone to engage the message you’ve put in front of them. People are perpetually bored, and if you remind them that they’ve seen and heard it all EXCEPT this new thing you have to tell them - they’re likely to believe you. For most people, for most of the time they are awake, they are obligated or required to be doing something they’d rather not. So give them something else to do instead, even for a little while. Combine these three aspects in your message: reminding of pain, agitation of negative reactions, and rejection of boredom. That’s likely to be the most compelling thing your audience will encounter all day - because it will stir in them a desire to take action. —->