Design of Seduction

tool theme for publishingpioneer

Communication begins with the speaker making a request: ‘listen to me; I want something.’ The words must attract and must motivate.

From the subject line of an email all the way to full publications, we speak when we need. But readers read what they need.

Visual and verbal communications mesh to achieve the same ends. The principles and preparation of seduction apply to publications. Use these concepts to increase response:

tools of the trade by Liane SebastianMystery and suspense. Curiosity must be peaked. An email subject line has to plant a question in the reader’s mind. It must inspire them to open the message which is not easy to do. Most everyone is haunted by too many emails. To get through all that noise is a major challenge. If they do not know the sender, it is often not even opened.

tools of the trade by Liane SebastianUnique and noticeable. The concept can’t have been heard or seen often. Originality counts. The email must offer an unusual approach to keep the reader’s attention. It usually must offer them something they need or can use. Doing homework to know that that is can be essential.

tools of the trade by Liane SebastianEmotion and excitement. Either positively (charming) or negatively (obnoxious), an attractiveness (or repulsiveness) inspires response. An article must grab the reader to proceed reading—grabbing an emotional thread. It gets more essential to do this visually because images speak faster and can grab more attention usually than just words.

tools of the trade by Liane SebastianPositioning and focus. Placement and frequency can penetrate reader consciousness through repetition. If proximity keeps the newsletter constantly in front of the market, they are more likely to check it out. The more exposure to the topic, the higher the response.

tools of the trade by Liane SebastianTiming and visibility. Every business has seasonal variation. Every news story has a shelf life. Being too early or too late won’t attract attention. The invitation mailed at the wrong time will affect attendance. Worthy news messages will reach a target fast.

tools of the trade by Liane SebastianCreate symbol or poeticize. Attach a visual or audio theme to create associative imagery. The logo with a recognizable reference is easier to remember than abstract forms.

tools of the trade by Liane SebastianBoldness or grabbiness. To seduce is not timid. The message may be subtle, elegant, or comical—it is always gutsy and perhaps theatrical. The brochure needs to make a concrete and definite statement of intention.

tools of the trade by Liane SebastianAppeal to vulnerability. No one will respond unless there is a need or become convinced of a need. As people are self-serving, the more a communication stirs perceived advantage, the stronger the reaction. An appeal for donations won’t work unless the design conveys a story.

tools of the trade by Liane SebastianSolution and remedy. The strongest communication solves a problem, rights a wrong, or eases a suffering. The ultimate purpose is to benefit the recipient while producing income or advantage. Blogs that offer practical advice and useful information will be read the most, sell the most products, and will build interest.

tools of the trade by Liane SebastianTempt and tease. Offer the reader something unexpected, free, or exclusive that provides a value. Put a time limit on its availability. A free e-book or report that hits a hot button will be snapped up

tools of the trade by Liane SebastianEntertain and educate. Communication design, when using humor, narrative situation, artistic expression, or theater can achieve a deep market penetration. Usually tricky and generally expensive, design rarely treads down this path but through YouTube, has become more required.

tools of the trade by Liane SebastianRelevance and relatability. Readers want to see themselves, to relate and compare. Speak the language of the audience. A home page that only presents a business will have less influence than one that identifies and speaks to the individual reader. It the recipient feels a part of something greater through participation, the message will inspire action.

If the ultimate goal of communication is to motivate, seduction is necessary. The more readers are bombarded and overwhelmed, the more they search for what relates to themselves. The more of these seduction techniques that you use, the more your message will reach the desired results and have the greatest impact.

Liane Sebastian, illustrator, designer, writer, and publishing pioneer


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