Wait, we’re confused. Is our headline today baking advice? Dating advice? Actually, it’s a foundational principle of good marketing.

Ever heard of a lizard brain? Well, you have one. It’s a section of your brain called the amygdala, also known as the “primitive brain,” that’s known for its quick, knee-jerk reactions and fight-or-flight responses. This is where gut-reactions come from.

These gut reactions happen a lot faster than we realize – usually in under three seconds. This makes them tens of thousands of times faster than your normal thinking mind.

It’s basically the result of spending tens of thousands of years as a species trying to quickly identify danger – if a bush rustles, we jump. If we see certain colors, we love or feel anxious.

Because of this, your lizard brain is the first line of defense against all incoming messages, aka any kind of marketing.

If you’re going to be successful at bringing in new customers, you’re going to have to put on your neuroscience cap and learn to speak to it!

Here’s some advice for speaking to the gut and not the brain:

1. Use powerful images

Your brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. That’s right, you came up with a reaction to the picture of this article that much faster than you registered the title.

The same research also shows that while we process text much slower, using both pictures and text is the ultimate winning combination to drive home your message and make it stick. You hit the reader with imagery and then provide intellectual rationale.

The lesson for your marketing should be crystal clear: Choose better images and combine them with text! Those images should be arresting, that is to say, they should have high contrast, intense colors, and stand out from their environment (the rest of their mail).

2. Use emotion

Right next to the part of the brain that processes images is the area that processes emotions. It’s a quick leap from sight to feeling, and those emotions are processed 5x faster than the conscious thoughts that follow.

Thus when it comes to making a good first marketing impression, 62-90% of our feeling about a brand can come simply from the emotion that the color used evokes.

Which one do you associate with in your marketing?

color_wheelyRed – sense of urgency, encourages appetite

Blue – reliability

Yellow – dependability (but sometimes anxiety)

Orange – optimism and expression

Green – tranquility, nature

Purple – wisdom and respect

Black – authority

Gray – practicality

(You can log into the web-to-print platform and choose a stock image to create a color-powered postcard now)

3. Use smiling people

Another powerful universal feature of our brains is their ability to recognize human faces. This only makes sense, as recognizing other people and building relationships has been key to our evolutionary survival. Babies are born with this ability and the emotional center of our brain lights up in a unique way when we see them.

It’s thus that using happy, smiling people in your postcard marketing is not too unlike greeting them happily in person. Here are great examples:


Address your next mailing to “the lizard brain”

Next time you’re marketing, who are you trying to appeal to? The lizard brain! It processes everything faster and it prefers communication via images, color, emotions, and faces. If you can combine all of these elements into an advertising or print campaign, you’re going to be off to the races on ROI.

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If you’ve got marketing that needs doing, why not let us lend a hand? Call Opportunity Knocks at 1 (866) 319-7109 and well get you set up with a psychologically-powered campaign series today!


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