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Pattern interrupts in marketing


People raise their defenses when they detect familiar patterns that they're not fans of. And most people have had some sort of negative experience with marketing.

That's why pattern interrupts can be so useful!

A pattern interrupt is all about changing the momentum and direction of an interaction. Sometimes they happen at the beginning of an interaction and sometimes they happen somewhere in the middle.

A pattern interrupt is all about defying expectations so people will actually engage with your marketing material! You want them to give you a fair chance before they decide whether or not to follow your call to action.

Here are some examples of words and phrases you can use on your business card, fliers, brochures, or even your website:

  • Here are some reasons we may not be a good fit for you.
  • Looking for the cheapest? Keep looking.
  • Warning: We don't have an hourly rate.
  • This service isn't for everyone.
  • Top ten things our clients say when they leave us.

Of course, you can go overboard. You may or may not have heard of clickbait. Clickbait is a form of false advertising that uses provocative text in a link to encourage people to follow the link, then they're disappointed by the actual content.

Your pattern interrupt should not be false advertising! It's okay to explain why you said it, but only say it if you really mean it.

And remember, if you use it all the time then it's no longer a pattern interrupt, it's the new pattern. Use them sparingly so they remain effective.

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Mike Crandall​​

Mike Crandall

Sandler Custom Growth Solutions

Mike Crandall is a Speaker, Consultant, Coach and Trainer focused on Sales, Management, and Leadership Development.

He's also the owner of Sandler Custom Growth Solutions, a world leader in innovative sales, management, and leadership training. They offer consulting, coaching, and training for individuals and organizations serious about professional development and growth.

Mike is the author of "Motivational Management The Sandler Way" and has written a sales column for several years.

Tim Priebe​​

Tim Priebe

T&S Online Marketing

Tim Priebe is a public speaker, author, columnist, and the owner of T&S Online Marketing. He helps businesses that are worried they don’t have the expertise or time required to invest in doing their own digital marketing. He helps them plan where and how much to invest and often helps execute the plan.

Tim’s company helps with websites, social media, blogging, email newsletters, Google rankings, and online video. Tim is the author of several online marketing books, including "102 Tweets," "Blog a Week," and "Online Marketing Mindshift."