Swan Sandwiches and Regulatory Focus

using regulatory focus

While Her Majesty the Queen of England sits in her royal palace and eats swan and cucumber sandwiches from a silver platter balanced on the back of a prostrate commoner, the rest of us are left to slug it out in the game of life. We juggle with the increasingly complicated logistics of work, home, kids, bills, that runny-walky-bendy-lifty fitness thing, and trying not to end up flatlining because of stress, diet, traffic, maniacs or over exposure to Simon Cowell.

But in the game of life, the dice are loaded, the cards marked. People are predictable and predictability is the friend of evil marketers. We humans have what is known as a ‘Regulatory Focus’. There are those who would scramble over the top of women and babies for a chance for win big, and then there are those for who winning is not a concern, we just don’t want to lose! From a psychological perspective we approach pleasure (‘promotion’) and try to avoid pain (‘prevention’). We are naturally regulated to resonate more with either promotion or prevention.

When a person has a promotion bias they tend to look for the pleasure of wins – so to push the right button you should phrase your marketing messages and calls to action in terms of the win they will achieve. For example “Get ahead of the competition”, “Make 6-figures or more with this amazing doohickey”, “Look good and get the guy/girl”

Conversely, people with a prevention bias are all about avoiding pain, so to engage use messages such as “Prevent hair loss with this all-purpose medicinal compound”, “Safeguard your future with this small investment”.


Unless your target market is specifically gamblers or hypochondriacs, and therefore you pretty much know their bias, try to hit both biases in your marketing messaging and calls to action. Use copy that will resonate with both.

Anyway, it’s time for me to get back on the floor, Her Majesty wants her sandwich.

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Andy Wood

Andy Wood

My mission is to guide and empower you with the tools, resources, strategies, and tactics to help you succeed in your online business, and (of course) EXPLODE your income so you can live life on your own terms.

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