Neuromarketing and the rule of three
Guess what…that day is damn near here. Enter neuromarketing – a combination of brain science and good, old-fashioned marketing. Neuromarketing goes beyond whether people prefer Coke versus Pepsi, or whether sex sells. It delves into what sections of the brain light up like Christmas trees when we’re exposed to a brand, message or concept.
Scary, yes. But like many other things that walk that scary line…it’s kind of, well, sexy too. Suddenly, we can go beyond saying “this just works, and I can test it” and say, “this works, and here’s the science behind it.”
Case in point: The rule of three. I’ve gone on stage for over 10 years talking about how people retain things when they read or hear them in “threes.” Think of the “Conjunction Junction” song from Schoolhouse Rock “Thinking about words and phrases and clauses.” Or the special summons in the movie “Beetlejuice” (Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!.) Or how many informercials repeat the same benefits at the beginning of a segment, in the middle, and at the end.
When I was in University, my professor told me how to write a scientific journal article: Tell them what you’re going to discuss, discuss it, and summarize the discussion. I’ve obviously never forgotten the advice.
Another study from the University of Minnesota found that “decision making is simplified when a consumer considers a third, less attractive option” (they call it decoy marketing.)
The rule of three is one of those things that are so ingrained in how we, as individuals, think that we don’t even notice the repetition. But it does help drive those benefit statements deep inside our brains.
Consider this in terms of your SEO copywriting and online content creation. How can you use the rule of three to your advantage?
- Create a catchy three-part tagline (“Free shipping. Awesome service. Just for you.”)
- Separate your copy into three paragraphs
- Provide three product or service choices (think of the decoy method.)
- Use “threes” within your copy ” to show action and excitement (“ready, steady, GO!”)
- Limit your bullet points to just three (oops…but I think you get the idea!)
Check out the article in Neuromarketing...and learn more about the buy buttons in your brain.