No surprise that I’m a rather big fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. And my fandom leads me to consume content and podcasts that forever prevent me from being labeled as a “guru” for the rest of my days.
Fair trade, if’n you ask me.
One such Steelers podcast I listen to (which I’ll keep nameless to protect the guilty) is from an NFL scout who dives deep into the analytics about Pittsburgh’s upcoming game.
The stats this man finds and uses are nothing short of brilliant. I haven’t even heard of most of these stats because they’re considered “advanced analytics” which have just only recently been introduced.
But there’s a problem with his podcast…
It’s boring and dry as hell sometimes.
This NFL scout records 10-15 minute daily podcasts where he’s essentially just reading off a variety of stats.
And you know what?
The brain just glosses over these numbers.
He’ll say something like the Steelers EPA is 4.2, while they’re opponent’s is 5.4.
And despite how much I want to focus on these numbers, it’s impossible.
Well, here’s where the copywriting tie in comes in:
The brain is built to compare, not count.
Using too many numbers—whether you’re a financial advisor trying to turn a prospect into a client, an NFL scout catching fans up to speed before a game, or a copywriter trying to be persuasive—backfires.
Your brain ain’t particularly good at comprehending numbers
And it’s especially bad when said numbers are steamrolled to you one after another.
When I listen to this podcast, I frequently find myself rewinding it to make sure I have extreme focus when he’s saying his numbers. Otherwise, my brain tunes it out and starts to daydream.
Now, I’m not saying you should never use numbers.
But beware of using too many numbers in your copy:
While it might be good for proof, it’s terrible for entertainment.
Think about it:
When was the last time an accountant persuaded you to do anything other than tax advice?
I rest my case.
Moral of the story?
If you want to make your numbers actually have an impact in someone’s brain, you must create—and tell—a story around the numbers to make them hit home.
And to put the nail in the coffin for good:
Numbers are naturally logical.
Problem is, nobody makes a logical buying decision. Every buying decision is an emotional decision that we later justify with logic. Since we don’t make logical buying decisions, spitballing number after number to show how good you are at what you do is the antithesis to persuasion.
But if you need help being more persuasive (especially in your emails), then, well, you came to the right place:
Hit reply, and we’ll set up a quick call to see if’n we’re a good fit.
P.S. With Christmas a few days away, this is the last email you’ll see from me for a few days.