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Simply put, a hot button is something that makes your customer boil. If you’ve ever told a story to someone about something that happened to you and got the response “Ya, I hate when that happens!” you’ve just spewed a hot button.
When you are writing an ad, you have to include a hot button if you are to capture the attention of the people you are targeting. Let’s look at an example.
We just bought a new vehicle, and we are happy with it and the service we initially received. But after the sale, all we got from the company we bought from was a plain thank you card with a stamped signature on it from a guy that we had never met. Granted this is more than 95% of businesses do for their customers, but this creates a hot button for me the next time we go to purchase a vehicle. And if it sets one off for me, chances are a whole bunch of other people has that same thing ticking them off.
So you’ve probably seen the stock ad for a car dealership. Low Prices! Huge Sale! Free hot dogs and pop for everyone! Ok, with that ad you’ve managed to attract every cheapskate in town looking for a bargain and a free meal.
Now if you we’re looking to attract a more qualified buyer that is looking for more than just a good deal, you might write an ad like this:
Are you fed up with being forgotten about after you buy a vehicle?
At (insert dealer name here), you aren’t just another sale we’ll forget about at the end of the day. Every new vehicle purchase comes with free oil changes for a year, a $50 gas card, and a free annual 60 point vehicle check for as long as you own the vehicle.
I came up with that ad on the fly and it might need a little tweaking, but you get the idea. People aren’t always worried about price, it’s up to you to differentiate your business by providing solutions to other problems that people have. But it isn’t just about writing an ad, you actually have to follow through on the promises you make.
When you hit on your target audience’s hot buttons, you will get a response from people. You will probably also get a negative response from your competition. If I haven’t explained myself clearly enough, here is an example of some hot buttons to use as headlines for various businesses:
Hate not knowing what’s in the food you’re eating?
At (restaurant name) we include a list of ingredients and nutritional value for every dish on our menu!
Are you sick of shopping the banks for the best mortgage rates?
Our Mortgage Brokers get you the lowest rate available anywhere.
Worried about movers breaking your stuff and not paying for it?
ABC Moving will cover the full replacement cost if we break anything! The other guys might give you 30 cents on the dollar.
These headlines won’t attract everyone. They aren’t designed to. They are designed to get the attention of people that have had a problem that you offer a solution to. People hate running into the same problems over and over again. Give them solutions and they will buy.
Hot buttons aren’t the only part of a good ad. There’s more to come on how to write a good ad.
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