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  • 🧑‍🔬 How Calm Solves A Problem You Didn’t Know You Had

🧑‍🔬 How Calm Solves A Problem You Didn’t Know You Had

Using this one psychology strategy...

Calm app has acquired over 100 million users in a few short years.

Their ads are a masterclass in manipulating our emotions.

They do it with The Barnum Effect.

Here’s what I mean:

🧪 The Barnum Effect

The Barnum Effect is a phenomenon that occurs when individuals believe that personality descriptions apply specifically to them but they, in fact, describe something that applies to everyone.

🤳 How Calm Uses The Barnum Effect

Calm’s ads make us fear that we may have certain emotions, habits, or conscious ways of living that we previously didn’t think we had.

For example, check the below out:

As you go through the ad, you may find yourself nodding along and think to yourself “oh, I guess fear is controlling me” or “wow, I never knew I was stressrelaxing this whole time.”

Yet, their explanations for why we may have these feelings are very vague.

That’s the key with the Barnum Effect.

🧠 How You Can Use The Barnum Effect

The key to the Barnum Effect is using open-ended questions or statements that feel personal yet can be applied to almost anyone (horoscope’s are a great example of the Barnum Effect in action).

For example:

  • Target a specific emotion (e.g., fear) with your generalizations

  • Ask open-ended questions to hook the prospect

  • Get the prospect to think “yes, that’s so me”

  • Use words like “at times” in your phrasing

So, my challenge to you this week is to think about how you can hook your prospects with open-ended questions or statements that feel personal yet are fairly universal.

How can you use the Barnum Effect in your ads?

Let me know how it goes!

Until next time,


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