Go on, admit it! The moment you see a tweet or search results come up saying “10 Secrets of ………” or “5 Secret foods that will …….”, we cant help but click away. We want to know these secrets. We don’t want to be the one who misses out. If there are secrets going around then I damn well want to be in on them.
All to often we click on the mysterious link and when we read what the fantastic secrets are, we are left with the thought that it was not such a great secret after all. We can’t help feeling that we have been manipulated into reading these articles. Even if we have had this experience ten times though, we still can’t resist. Just incase there are some real secrets we can’t risk not finding out, and we click away, wasting hours of our time.
The reason why people use these tactics to get you to read their articles , buy their products or go to their website to learn their secrets, are far more basic than we ever imagined. It’s not because we really believe that there is some amazing piece of information available. It’s not because we think that the answer to all our problems lie in the secret information you are about to receive. Nope, the reason is far more basic than any of those, and it stems from our childhood.
Do you remember the first time someone told you something and asked you to keep it a secret. As a child it burned inside you. You felt you had to let it out and tell someone. It was also a terrible punishment if you knew that anyone of your friends had a secret and would not tell you. It’s our first experience of being excluded in society.
Often, the more the information is withheld the greater the value we place on the information. A great example of this is the book going by that awesome title “The Secret”. The Secret holds information from over 100 years of thought leadership. Hundreds of thousands of people have purchased this book just so they will not be the ones not knowing this vital information. Yes, unfortunately there is no real mystery or magic, secrets sell.
So, you might be asking, how does this little sales secret work? My theory is that it works by tapping into two basic human insecurities. The first being, not knowing something that everyone else does, or to put it simply being left out. A fear taught to us at a very young age in primary or even nursery school. And the second insecurity, a desire to have power, or to have information that no one else does. This plays on the issue of self worth. The next time you feel compelled to click on that “secret” link, pause and think about how you are feeling at that time. What emotional triggers are being pressed and can you avoid the manipulation.
Being aware of how and why we fall for this “secret” sales ploy can now assist us in not clicking on that link. I recommend asking yourself the questions, “If this was such a secret, would it be on Twitter?” and “If there was really 10 steps to untold riches, would it only sell for $19.95?” Yes a bit of common sense can save you lots of time.
Remember, if it sounds to good to be true it probably is. Lastly, if you are looking for the best secrets online, check out………shhhhh.