Did you know that less is often perceived as being more, and more is often perceived as being less? Thus, it’s possible to offer less, charge more while also increasing your sales.
Let’s look at an example: You have a great $200 course with incredible reviews that delivers on a very big promise. You also offer a bonus $17 ebook along with the course to boost sales. Ironically, that $17 bonus could actually be costing you sales.
The reason is because of “Presenter’s Paradox,” and it goes something like this: Perceivers’ judgments show a weighted averaging pattern, which results in less favorable evaluations when mildly favorable information is added to highly favorable information. In other words, including mildly favorable information in your presentations actually LOWERS judgments from the evaluators’ perspective.
3 professors conducted several studies to test this theory. In the first test, they either bundled an iPod Touch MP3 player with 8 MB of memory and a cover, or the same iPod Touch MP3 player with 8 MB of memory, a cover, and 1 free music download. Participants in the study were then shown one of these packages and asked, “Please estimate how much you would be willing to pay for this.”
Result? The participants were willing to pay more for the smaller package that contained only the iPod (m=$242.19) than for the larger and economically more valuable package that contained the iPod plus the free music download (m=$176.71).
In the next test, subjects were asked how much they would pay to stay at a hotel with a 5-star pool, versus a hotel with a 5-star pool and a 3-star restaurant. Result? Participants seeing the ad featuring both the 5-star pool and the 3-star restaurant were willing to pay significantly less per night (m=$92.45) than those seeing the ad featuring only the 5-star pool (m=$108.80).
In another test, a $750 fine for littering was seen as being more severe than a $750 fine plus two hours of community service.
And in yet another study, a scholarship for $1,750 was seen as being more valuable and making the winner more happy than a scholarship for $1,750 plus $15 for textbooks.
To be clear, in each study participants saw only one option and were asked to rate that option and say how much they would pay for it. They were not given a choice between the 2 different options.
So why exactly did the test subjects assign a higher value to the packages that contained less? The researchers believe that people subconsciously “average” the items in a package. Thus adding something small to something big results in a lower average and a lower perceived value.
So what does this mean in your marketing?
First, present only the truly great things about your product. For example, if you’ve got a piece of software that does 1 mind-blowing thing and 5 ordinary things, only talk about the 1 mind-blowing benefit.
Second, consider not bundling lesser items in with your larger item. If you do, present them as entirely separate bonuses that do not reflect the value of your main offer. And test your offer with and without the bonuses.
Third, if you are giving a presentation, reduce your points to just the exceptional ones and leave out the more mundane information. The audience will remember what you say as being more important and persuasive than if you try to cover every point.
We know it improves strength, but new research shows creatine boosts brain power in older adults and may even extend life span
by Jeff S. Volek, Ph.D., R.D.
Creatine is no stranger in athletic circles, but the well-established performance enhancer may do more than originally thought. Emerging research has revealed some new and exciting outcomes linked to creatine supplementation.
Creatine helps turn back the clock
Muscle mass and strength peak between the ages of 20 and 35 years and steadily decline thereafter until the sixth decade of life where a sharp decline occurs. This loss in muscle mass and function adversely affects normal activities of daily living, like getting up from a chair, for many older people. Can you offset these effects of aging or are they inevitable? Recent studies provide a strong case for creatine supplementation in promoting healthy aging.
Boosts strength in adults aged 58-71
After just 7 days of creatine supplementation (20g per day divided in 3 equal doses) or placebo, women between the ages of 58 and 71 years showed a remarkable improvement in several measures of muscular performance.1 Creatine supplementation led to significant increases of 3-4% in maximal bench press and leg press strength, upper and lower body power, and two functional performance tasks encountered during everyday life – a sit and stand test and a tandem gait test. These improvements in functional performance occurred despite no physical training during the 7-day period and no side effects were reported, highlighting the simple yet effective use of creatine to enhance physical performance in older individuals.
Increases lean muscle, age 65+
The ability of creatine supplementation to promote healthy aging is even more dramatic when combined with resistance training. Canadian researchers had older men and women over the age of 65 perform a supervised resistance training program (2 days/week) for 6 months while supplementing with either placebo or creatine (5g/day) plus conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) (6g/day).2 The reason for including CLA was to promote improvements in body composition since creatine increases muscle mass and CLA targets fat loss. After 6 months, the creatine+CLA group had a two-fold greater increase in lean muscle mass (4.6 pounds) compared to placebo (2 pounds). Lean muscle mass was also increased more in the creatine plus CLA group (4.2 pounds) compared to placebo (-0.9 pounds). The greater muscle gains translated into improved functional performance in the creatine plus CLA group.
Healthy life span increases 9%
Using an animal model of aging, it was shown that creatine supplementation extended maximum life span by 3.5%.3 Even more impressive was the effect of creatine supplementation on “healthy” life span (defined as the age before animals were classified as suffering from disease) which significantly increased by 9%.
Creatine boosts long-term memory
Creatine is an important source of energy for cells in the brain that have high metabolic needs required for processes like working and long-term memory. Prior work using sophisticated analytical equipment like magnetic resonance spectroscopy has shown that creatine supplementation results in significant increases in creatine levels in the human brain.4 Following up on this work, British researchers supplemented older adults (average age 76 years) with placebo or creatine (20g/day) for one week.5 Subjects completed a battery of cognitive tests that assessed verbal and spatial short- and long-term memory. Creatine supplementation enhanced several of the tests including forward number recall, forward and backward spatial recall, and long-term memory. These findings add to other research indicating that creatine supplementation improves cognitive functioning.
Creatine & Parkinson’s Disease
Creatine shows promise for Parkinson’s Disease (PD), a neurodegenerative disease that is characterized by progressive loss of muscle mass and muscle strength as well as increasing muscle and joint pain. Several investigators have hypothesized that creatine supplementation would improve loss of muscle function and slow progression of the disease.
Two recent pilot studies showed promise for creatine supplementation (5g/day for the first week followed by 2-5g thereafter) in people with PD.6,7 The extensive prior work with creatine and exciting preliminary findings showing benefits of creatine supplementation in people with neurodegenerative disorders has convinced the government to invest in funding large scale clinical trials on creatine supplementation.
In what is estimated to cost about $60 million, the National Institutes of Health will test the effects of dietary supplements on PD.8 The top supplement so far is creatine, and the NIH is gearing up to enroll 1,720 participants to receive either creatine or placebo. It is not quite clear how creatine might improve PD, but the disease is associated with mitochondrial dysfunction and creatine is known to have benefit on energetics in muscle that might help relieve symptoms and slow progression of PD.
Which form to buy & how to take it
The majority of research has studied creatine supplementation using the creatine monohydrate form. Although not as well studied, some of the other forms of creatine (phosphate, citrate, magnesium chelate, ethyl ester, etc.) will probably deliver adequate amounts of creatine to muscles, but it is unlikely they are superior to creatine monohydrate.
The most effective dose of creatine appears to be 15-20 grams per day separated into equal 5-gram servings over a 5 day period for a loading phase to maximize muscle creatine uptake. Thereafter, a single dose of 5 grams is adequate to maintain elevated muscle creatine levels.
Creatine builds muscle and brain power
Overwhelming evidence suggests creatine supplementation helps build bigger muscles in athletes and younger men and women. Recent work has extended these benefits to older men and women. Creatine supplementation not only enhances muscle mass and strength, but may improve activities of daily living, mental functioning, and neurodegenerative diseases like PD.
2. Tarnopolsky M, Zimmer A, Paikin J, Safdar A, Aboud A, Pearce E, Roy B, Doherty T. Creatine monohydrate and conjugated linoleic Acid improve strength and body composition following resistance exercise in older adults. PLoS ONE 2007, 2(10):e991.
3. Bender A, Beckers J, Schneider I, Holter SM, Haack T, Ruthsatz T, Vogt-Weisenhorn DM, Becker L, Genius J, Rujescu D et al. Creatine improves health and survival of mice. Neurobiol Aging 2007.
4. Lyoo IK, Kong SW, Sung SM, Hirashima F, Parow A, Hennen J, Cohen BM, Renshaw PF. Multinuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy of high-energy phosphate metabolites in human brain following oral supplementation of creatine-monohydrate. Psychiatry Res 2003, 123(2):87-100.
5. McMorris T, Mielcarz G, Harris RC, Swain JP, Howard A. Creatine supplementation and cognitive performance in elderly individuals. Neuropsychol Dev Cogn B Aging Neuropsychol Cogn 2007, 14(5):517-528.
6. Hass CJ, Collins MA, Juncos JL. Resistance training with creatine monohydrate improves upper-body strength in patients with Parkinson disease: a randomized trial. Neurorehabil Neural Repair 2007, 21(2):107-115.
7. Bender A, Koch W, Elstner M, Schombacher Y, Bender J, Moeschl M, Gekeler F, Muller-Myhsok B, Gasser T, Tatsch K et al. Creatine supplementation in Parkinson disease: a placebo-controlled randomized pilot trial. Neurology 2006, 67(7):1262-1264.
8. Couzin J. Clinical research. Testing a novel strategy against Parkinson’s disease. Science 2007, 315(5820):1778.
HubSpot has compiled the 10 most remarkable marketing campaigns EVER. And while the article is sure to entertain, it’s also an excellent resource to get ideas for your own marketing campaigns.
For example, Burger King’s Whopper Sacrifice asked Facebook users to unfriend 10 people to get a free Whopper. It only lasted 10 days before Facebook shut them down, but in those 10 days, Burger King gave away 20,000 Whoppers, stood social media on its head and received a ton of free publicity and word of mouth advertising. The take-away? Use a really, really simple call to action, and don’t be afraid to push the envelope.
Also, be sure to read how one company received 7 million website hits by placing ads in the help wanted classifieds.
You’ve probably heard someone say, “Eat your carrots, they’re good for your eyes.” You may have also seen advertisements for nutritional supplements for eye health. Can vitamins and minerals benefit your eye health and vision? Keep reading to learn more about supplements and eye health.
What science has to say
Plenty of claims are made about the positive effects of supplements on vision and eye health, but very few research studies support these claims. One exception is the Age-Related Eye Disease Studies (AREDS and AREDS2). These are large studies conducted by the National Eye Institute. Results from AREDS 2 took what was learned from AREDS and improved the supplement recommendations.
The studies focused on two conditions that affect millions of Americans, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in the United States. It affects more than 10 million people. It’s mainly associated with aging, but some forms of macular degeneration affect younger people as well.
AMD occurs when there’s deterioration of light-sensitive cells in the macula area of the retina. This is the part of the eye responsible for:
recording what we see and sending the information to our brains
seeing fine detail
A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye. It may impair your ability to see well enough to perform daily tasks and can become worse over time.
Cataracts are extremely common, particularly among older adults. In 2010, 24.4 million Americans were diagnosed with cataracts.
AREDS and AREDS2 looked at the effects of high doses of several antioxidants taken together for several years. The final recommendations from AREDS2 were:
2 mg (taken to prevent copper deficiency caused by zinc)
This supplement formulation is available in capsule form and is usually taken twice daily.
Participants in the AREDS2 study took one of four supplement formulations that had been identified as potentially beneficial in the AREDS study. Each participant took the supplement daily for five years.
In study participants, the risk of AMD and serious vision loss was reduced by 25 percent over six years. In people with AMD, the condition was slowed only in people with moderate AMD. Supplements were not effective for people with mild or very advanced stages.
Additionally, supplements used in the study did not prevent AMD or restore vision loss.
Lutein and zeaxanthin supplements taken as part of the AREDS2 formulation were seen to reduce the need for cataract surgery by 32 percent in people who initially had low dietary levels of these carotenoids. The studies were promising and found that there are some benefits to certain supplements, but they won’t have beneficial effects on everyone. More research is needed to better understand the connection between supplements and eye health.
What supplements may help my eye health?
The following supplements, including the antioxidants found in AREDS2 capsules, have been shown to be beneficial for some people.
1. Lutein and zeaxanthin
Lutein and Zeaxanthin are carotenoids. Carotenoids are pigments found in plants and in your retina. Supplementing these pigments helps increase their density in your retina. They also absorb high-energy blue and ultraviolet light that can damage your eyes.
Also found naturally in your eyes, zinc is a powerful antioxidant that protects against cell damage. Zinc is the primary mineral in the AREDS2 formulation. When taking zinc, copper absorption is lessened. It’s recommended that zinc be combined with copper supplements.
3. Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
Vitamin B1 is essential for the health of your eyes. There’s evidence that vitamin B1, taken with other vitamins, may reduce your risk of getting cataracts, but more research is needed.
Known as one of the “anti-stress” B vitamins, vitamin B1 reduces inflammation.
Initial researchTrusted Source also indicates that it may be an effective for treating uveitis, an inflammatory eye condition that can lead to blindness.
4. Omega-3 fatty acids
The diet of most Americans doesn’t contain enough omega-3 fatty acids, the main source of which is fish. Photoreceptors cells in your retina contain a large quantity of omega-3 fatty acid. It’s believed that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid, helps in the development of retinal cells. It’s also thought to have a role in reducing inflammation and helping cells of the retina and the cornea heal and regenerate after damage due to light exposure and aging.
A number of studies Trusted Source indicate that people who consume more of two omega-3 fatty acids, DHA, and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), were less likely to have AMD. Low levels of omega-3 fatty acids are associated with dry eye syndrome and retinopathy, a disease that causes progressive damage to the retina. ResearchTrusted Source has also shown that infants whose formula contains DHA develop better vision than infants not given DHA.
5. Vitamin C
Several large studies show that vitamin C reduces the risk of getting some types of cataracts. Two of these studies also found that a combination of vitamins C and E supplements reduced the risk for cataracts and slowed the progression of cataracts.
Do you need supplements?
Diet should always be your primary source of vitamins and minerals. However, the National Eye Institute advises that the high doses found in AREDS2 can’t be obtained from diet alone.
In addition to diet and supplements, there are some other things you can do at home to promote eye health:
Use a humidifier in your home if your house is dry. You may only need to use it seasonally, or you may need to use it year-round, depending on the climate where you live.
Drink plenty of water. Although recommendations vary by weight, adults should drink, roughly, between 1.5 liters (6 ¼ cups) and 2 liters (8 1/3 cups) of fluid daily.
Keep your eyes moist with artificial tears.
Change your furnace or air conditioner filters regularly.
Avoid environments with dusty or dirty air.
Use cold compresses, cucumbers, or dampened and cooled green or black tea bags on your eyes. Some people prefer calendula tea.
When should you see your doctor?
Consult your ophthalmologist before taking AREDS2. An ophthalmologist is a doctor who specializes in eye health. Your doctor will be able to determine if the supplements will be effective, given the status of your eye health.
Because the high dosages in AREDS2 can interact with other medications and shouldn’t be taken by people with certain health conditions, it’s important to talk with your primary care doctor, too.
Can I use supplements to improve my eye health?
Your eyes and vision are affected by many factors, including genetics and age. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and eating a balanced diet that contains antioxidant-rich foods can contribute significantly to the health of your eyes.
Tips for eye health
There are many things you can do to benefit your eye health.
Don’t smoke. Smoking damages blood vessels in the eyes and can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration, and other sight problems.
Protect your eyes from ultraviolet light. Wear sunglasses when you’re outdoors and avoid staring directly into bright lights.
Maintain a healthy weight and an active lifestyle.
After age 60, get a dilated eye exam each year.
Make sure your diet contains plenty of green leafy vegetables, spinach, corn, oranges, eggs, yellow carrots. These foods contain high levels of nutrients, including those found in the AREDS2 formulation.
When you get an interview, don’t ask the reporter to print your website address in their article – you’ll just annoy them. They’re already giving you free publicity, and if you start pushing then they will do what comes naturally and push back.
Instead, give them a good reason to include your website URL in their story. Here are 5 different ways…
1. Identify your company by your URL. Instead of saying your company is My Really Cool Company, call it MyReallyCoolCompany.com.
2. Offer free information at your website. For example, if you’re a plumber then it could be a free report on “How Not to Get Ripped Off When You Hire a Plumber.” If you’re teaching people to make money from home, it could be “10 Businesses You Can Start For Under $100 and Run From Home.”
3. Offer a free service at your website.
4. Offer free software, free cheat sheets, a free quiz to determine if they have “x” problem, etc.
5. Hook them in the interview, reel them in on the website. Give the reporter several tips on how to solve a problem, and then tell him that his audience can find 17 more tips at your website.
Your goal is to make the reporter WANT to share your URL, rather than begging them to share it. This can make a difference in whether or not your website address makes it into the article as well as the effort the reporter makes in sending readers there. And when you provide the right incentive you’ll also find that far more of the audience members find their way to your website.
How do you get the media to come to you? How do you get them to recognize you as a news source – someone they can call when they need your expertise on their story?
You want to appear as the authority in your field and a good source of continuing news content for them. For example, if you’re teaching fitness online and there’s a new study that says doing naked jumping jacks burn twice as many calories as doing them with your clothes on, you want the media to contact you for a quote or to answer a few questions.
And wouldn’t it be nice if each time you launch a new fitness course, you could get interviews in newspapers, in magazines, on the radio and even on television? Like a snowball rolling downhill – gathering speed and quickly growing in size – once you do get interviews, you can leverage those into more credibility with your current and future customers. As you become recognized as an authority, members of the media will become more willing to run your press releases and do your stories.
Make no mistake, print media is still very influential. These days we tend to talk about social media, social influence and so forth online. But we sometimes lose sight of the fact that there is a real-world out there with print media – newspapers and magazines, as well as radio and television. And appearing in any of these media gives you instant credibility you simply cannot get through social media.
One thing that’s especially important to understand is why being in the news is vastly superior to advertising. When you purchase ads, it’s assumed you can say pretty much what you like as long as you don’t violate any laws. Is it any wonder people are immediately skeptical of advertising claims?
But when you’re in the news it’s an entirely different matter. Journalism is for the most part fact-based – or at the very least, people believe it’s fact-based. Viewers and readers assume what they hear in the story is true, that it’s been verified, and that there is no ulterior motive for the story (such as parting them from their money.)
In a nutshell, advertising raises defenses and news lowers defenses. As an aside, next time you write an ad, whether it’s a sales page, an email, etc., try framing it in the style of news and see if your conversion rate doesn’t increase. Fortunes have been made with just this tip. Think about it.
In the 1950s the Federal Communications Commission in the U.S. created new regulations to limit and govern the commercial content of television. The worry was that the lines between paid advertising and news were becoming blurred and consumers were being fooled. But then in 1984, the American President Reagan eliminated those regulations. Result? The infomercial. Now you had extra long commercials that were staged like talk shows, news shows, etc. with the sole purpose of selling products. And it worked better than anyone even dared hope.
What’s my point? Get you, your products and your website into the media spotlight. Or at the very least, make your advertising look and feel more like news than just another sales pitch.
There are two basic methods for getting into the news. The first is to be the subject of a news story. Examples might be that you’ve got an especially provocative, titillating or controversial product worthy of being news, or your business is holding an event to raise money for a worthy cause. This gets you into the media eye for short bursts of time, but each time you want to get back into the media, you need to come up with another brilliant, newsworthy idea.
The second method is to become an authority in your field – someone the media turns to for quotes, to answer questions, to explain information to their audience and so forth. This gets you into the news on a more frequent basis, although with less splash.
Both methods are good, and together they can create more free advertising than you could hope to buy in a lifetime.
If you’re thinking that you or your business could never be featured in news stories, you’re probably right. The very first thing you’ve got to do is get your head around the fact that you or your business can indeed be newsworthy. If Wayne Gretsky missed 100% of the shots he didn’t take, then you’re going to miss 100% of the media opportunities you allow to slip by because you’re not confident you have what it takes to be news.
There isn’t time or space here to give you the full rundown on getting into the media – entire books are written on this topic alone. For example, Free Publicity: A TV Reporter Shares the Secrets for Getting Covered on the News by Jeff Crilley is, in my opinion, an especially good one.
What I can tell you is this: KNOW for a fact that you can get into the news, because you can.
Be ever vigilant for news opportunities, and when you see one, don’t hesitate to jump on it immediately.
Submit stories to your local newspapers, television shows, local websites, etc. This is well within almost anyone’s comfort range and it’s a great place to start.
Work towards becoming a featured columnist or editorialist in your local publications. Getting your smiling face and great advice in front of local readers on a weekly basis will get you business. Start by writing letters to the editor that do not sound like commercials. In our fitness expert example, you might note that you’re seeing more overweight children in the neighborhood, and offer 3 tips their parents can use to motivate their children into activity.
If you can retain ownership of your columns, do so, even if it means allowing the paper or magazine to run them for free. This way you can send those columns to other publications as well.
Let your local reporters know that you are an authority in your subject they can call on when they need help with a story. When they call, drop everything and be as helpful as possible. Do not appear self-serving – put their need to get the story accurate and finished ahead of your desire for publicity. 9 times out of 10 they will cite you as a source. “According to local expert John Smith, …”
More Tips For Getting Into The News:
– When pitching your own stories, keep in mind the question every reporter and news editor is silently asking: “Will my audience care about this story? If so, why?” Get familiar with the kinds of stories your target news outlets publish and tailor your own press releases accordingly.
– Anticipate trends in your field of expertise and the larger implications of those trends. In other words, be at the forefront of news whenever possible instead of chasing it. Show how this new trend will affect the readers of the publication.
– Be the odd man out. If a story breaks and everyone in the media is in lockstep on what this story means, take the opposite view. If a reporter is looking for something different or even just to balance out their own story, they will be anxious to talk to you. Note: Be sure you can back up your point of view with facts or examples.
– Know what a reporter has written before approaching them. Tell them you enjoyed their article on propagating ferns when you pitch them an idea to write about the exotic plants you’re selling by mail. A little honest flattery and attention goes a long way to getting your own free publicity.
– Forget small talk. Are you calling a reporter to pitch your story? Or is she calling you to get your perspective? Get to the point. The reporter will appreciate that you respect they’re under a deadline.
– Do the reporter’s work for them. When you send out a press release, make it read like a story in the newspaper. You’ll be surprised how many times they will print it just as you wrote it.
– Relax. Sometimes your stories will be picked up, other times they won’t. It may take time to get recognized as an expert reporter can call on – simply continue to get your name out there.
Have fun with this. You may find it slow going at first, but persistence pays off. And the more publicity you get, the more you will get because publicity begets publicity. Something you do today such as sending out a press release or making contact with a reporter may not pay off for days, weeks or even months. But as long as you are offering newsworthy stories and/or expert help in your niche, continuous effort nearly always gets rewarded.
Senior mice treated with THC improved on learning and memory tests
By Stephani Sutherland
Picture the stereotypical pot smoker: young, dazed and confused. Marijuana has long been known for its psychoactive effects, which can include cognitive impairment. But new research published in June in Nature Medicine suggests the drug might affect older users very differently than young ones—at least in mice. Instead of impairing learning and memory, as it does in young people, the drug appears to reverse age-related declines in the cognitive performance of elderly mice.
Researchers led by Andreas Zimmer of the University of Bonn in Germany gave low doses of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, marijuana’s main active ingredient, to young, mature and aged mice. As expected, young mice treated with THC performed slightly worse on behavioral tests of memory and learning. For example, after receiving THC, young mice took longer to learn where a safe platform was hidden in a water maze, and they had a harder time recognizing another mouse to which they had previously been exposed. Without the drug, mature and aged mice performed worse on the tests than young ones did. But after the elderly animals were given THC, their performances improved to the point that they resembled those of young, untreated mice. “The effects were very robust, very profound,” Zimmer says.
Other experts praised the study but cautioned against extrapolating the findings to humans. “This well-designed set of experiments shows that chronic THC pretreatment appears to restore a significant level of diminished cognitive performance in older mice, while corroborating the opposite effect among young mice,” wrote Susan Weiss, director of the Division of Extramural Research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, who was not involved in the study, in an e-mail. Nevertheless, she added, “while it would be tempting to presume the relevance of these findings [extends] to aging humans … further research will be critically needed.”
When the researchers examined the brains of the treated elderly mice for an explanation, they noticed that neurons in the hippocampus—a brain area critical for learning and memory—had sprouted more synaptic spines, the points of contact for communication between neurons. Even more striking, the gene-expression pattern in the hippocampi of THC-treated aged mice was radically different from that of untreated elderly mice. “That is something we absolutely did not expect: the old animals [that received] THC looked most similar to the young untreated control mice,” Zimmer says.
The findings raise the intriguing possibility that THC and other “cannabinoids” might act as antiaging molecules in the brain. Cannabinoids include dozens of biologically active compounds found in the Cannabis sativa plant. THC, the most highly studied type, is largely responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive effects. The plant compounds mimic our brain’s own marijuanalike molecules, called endogenous cannabinoids, which activate specific receptors in the brain capable of modulating neural activity. “We know the endogenous cannabinoid system is very dynamic; it goes through changes over the life span,” says Ryan McLaughlin, a researcher who studies cannabis and stress at Washington State University and was not involved in the current work. Research has shown that the cannabinoid system develops gradually during childhood, “and then it blows up in adolescence—you see increased activity of its enzymes and receptors,” McLaughlin says. “Then as we age, it’s on a steady decline.”
That decline in the endogenous cannabinoid system with age fits with previous work by Zimmer and others showing that cannabinoid-associated molecules become more scant in the brains of aged animals. “The idea is that as animals grow old, similar to in humans, the activity of the endogenous cannabinoid system goes down—and that coincides with signs of aging in the brain,” Zimmer says. “So we thought, ‘What if we stimulate the system by supplying [externally produced] cannabinoids?’ ”
That idea does not seem so outlandish, considering the role of cannabinoids in maintaining the body’s natural balance, says Mark Ware, a clinical researcher at McGill University, who was not part of the study. “To anyone who studies the endocannabinoid system, the findings are not necessarily surprising, because the system has homeostatic properties everywhere we look,” meaning its effects may vary depending on the situation. For example, a little marijuana may alleviate anxiety, but too much can bring on paranoid delusions. Likewise, cannabis can spark an appetite in cancer patients but in other people may produce nausea. Thus, the detrimental effects seen in young brains, in which cannabinoids are already plentiful, may turn out to be beneficial in older brains that have a dearth of them.
These chemicals also work to maintain order at the cellular level, McLaughlin says. “We know the endogenous cannabinoid system’s primary function is to try to preserve homeostasis within a given brain circuit. It works like an internal regulator; when there’s too much [neuronal] activity, cannabinoids suppress activity to prevent neurotoxicity.” Restoring that protection might help safeguard the brain against cellular stress that contributes to aging. “A critical takeaway of this study is that they used low doses,” Ware says, considering that different doses could have entirely different effects. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to translate the dose they used in mice to a human equivalent, “but it’s clear we’re not talking about vast amounts. We don’t know what would happen with higher doses.”
Scientists do not know exactly how marijuana affects older adults, in part because they have been focused squarely on younger people, who are thought to be at greatest risk. “Because of the public health concern, research has had a very strong focus on marijuana’s effects in adolescence,” Ware says. But although young people make up the largest group of cannabis users, their rate of use has remained relatively stable over the past decade even as the drug has become increasingly available. Meanwhile use among seniors has skyrocketed as the drug’s stigma has faded. A March study showed that in people aged 50 to 64, marijuana use increased by nearly 60 percent between 2006 and 2013. And among adults older than 65, the drug’s use jumped by 250 percent.
The researchers do not suggest seniors should rush out and start using marijuana. “I don’t want to encourage anyone to use cannabis in any form based on this study,” Zimmer says.
Older adults looking to medical cannabis to relieve chronic pain and other ailments are concerned about its side effects, Ware says: “They want to know, Does this cause damage to my brain? Will it impair my memory? If these data hold up in humans, it may suggest that [THC] isn’t likely to have a negative impact if you’re using the right dose. Now the challenge is thrown down to clinical researchers to study that in people.”
Zimmer and his colleagues plan to do just that. They have secured funding from the German government, and after clearing regulatory hurdles, they will begin testing the effects of THC in elderly adults with mild cognitive impairments.
The P.S. in marketing originally came from direct mail promotions. Prospects would often go straight to the bottom of the sales copy to find the price before reading the letter. By inserting a powerful P.S., the marketers were often able to pull people back into the copy and read the entire message.
Today we use P.S.’s in online sales letters and emails, but the purpose has changed slightly. After all, we usually don’t put a price in an email, and the price in an online sales letter is often hidden in the copy. If your sales letter does prominently display the price at the end of the letter just prior to the P.S., then I highly encourage you to use what we call the Recap P.S., where you recap the greatest benefits to your offer. Again, this should draw them back into reading your sales message.
When the price does not appear at the end of your sales message, such as in an email, you have much more flexibility in what you place inside your P.S. Make no mistake – the P.S. is still very powerful and people will sometimes scroll straight to the end of the letter and thus read the P.S. first. But now you can use it to different purposes besides recapping the greatest benefits. Here then are 10 different P.S.’s to consider using. And no matter which kind you choose, always follow it with the link you’re promoting.
1. Use a testimonial. A testimonial is a great way to overcome your readers’ doubts and get them to click the link. And it can also be a sneaky way to restate a benefit at the same time.
For example: “P.S. Since using the ABC product my life has changed dramatically. I now have total confidence that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. In the last month, I’ve received a promotion and a big fat raise, and I negotiated a very favorable deal on a brand new house that saved me $80,000 off the market value.”
2. “Oops I forgot.” This can be almost anything you want, so long as it’s important.
Examples: “P.S. Oops, I forgot to tell you, this is a dime sale and the price is rising rapidly.”
“P.S. Oh, forget to tell you that everyone who orders by midnight gets to have lunch with The Guru.”
“P.S. Hey, I forgot to mention that this is the exact same information I used to get the phone numbers of 17 beautiful women in one evening.”
3. The extra discount. You’ve given them the benefits in the email, now get them to take action with a discount offer.
“P.S. The next 5 people get a 25% discount just for opening this email. How cool is that?”
“P.S. When you order by midnight tonight and you use discount code BBB, you get $20 off the sale price. But you must order by midnight and you must use the discount code, no exceptions.”
4. The treasure hunt. Tell them exactly where to find a golden nugget of information or the biggest benefit of all.
“P.S. As soon as you’re on the page, read the headline and then scroll to the big yellow box with the cherries. Third cherry down – that’s the exact method I used last week to earn $4,390 in 22 minutes.”
5. Give them a visual to look for. If you have something really enticing on the page, tell them to go find it – in a round about way. Yeah, I know this one is hokey – but it flat out works.
“P.S. Did you see the treasure chest above on this page? Well, that was just to alert you about the 10 money saving tips you’d be crazy not to review right now and make sure you’re taking advantage of.”
6. Bait the hook. Use your P.S. as bait, emphasizing the greatest benefit or main selling point from a different angle. Let’s say your product teaches people how to make money online.
“P.S. While this product will make you an absolute money magnet on the Internet, it will also instill a new confidence in you that carries over into every facet of your life, making you more successful in everything you do.”
7. Urgency. We touched on this in earlier examples. If the price is increasing or the product is about to be pulled, you’ve got a reason for them to hurry over to the url or order page.
“P.S. The price is rising with every sale.”
“P.S. Only 99 of these will be made available, and 82 of those have already sold.”
“P.S. Donate by midnight tonight and every dollar you send will receive a matching donation, doubling your contribution and enabling us to help twice as many kittens.”
8. Don’t Decide Guarantee. The most difficult part of making a sale can be getting them to DECIDE to buy, right? So remove that step altogether with your guarantee and emphasize it in the P.S. Your goal is to remove all risk from their decision making so that it appears they really aren’t deciding anything today. Highly effective.
“P.S. Remember, there is no need to decide today. Try our miracle wax product free for 30 days and if you’re not thrilled with your car’s shine, you’ll pay nothing.”
9. The Bonus. Use your email to cover the product, and then in the P.S., you introduce the bonus you’re offering when they purchase from you.
“P.S. Take action today and I’ll personally send you The Giant Offline Marketing Course for free. This is the exact same course I sell for $197 (show proof of where you sell it) and I will not be offering it for free ever again.”
10. More Proof. Are you making a claim that’s difficult to believe? Offer some kind of evidence or proof.
“P.S. Don’t take my word for it – Harvard’s 5-year excitability study shows abc product outperforms its closest competitor by 71%.”
“P.S. Millie Walker of Hope Springs Eternal, N.J., tried ABC product and her sunflowers were 3 times the size they were the previous year.”
The P.S. is one place you can get creative, have fun, and even be silly. Some marketers tell a quick joke in the P.S. Some use more than one P.S., using a P.P.S and even a P.P.P.S.
The one thing to keep in mind: The P.S. is valuable real estate – use it wisely.
If you write a quality email newsletter then you know that it takes a lot of works to produce. So isn’t it extremely frustrating when you look at your stats and see that only a small percentage of your subscribers even cared to open your newsletter and read it?
Here are 3 reasons why newsletters don’t get read, and the corresponding tips for making your email newsletter eye candy that your readers can’t wait to devour…
1. Too many product pitches. If your newsletter only pitches products, your readers will get tired of always being promoted to. Instead, give them some great content that is helpful; information that they can USE and benefit from without having to purchase anything.
This way they’ll become accustomed to opening your newsletters for the great content, and when you do pitch a product, they are more likely to read it and respond.
2. Your content is boring. Whoa, that one hurt, didn’t it? No one likes to think they’re boring – yet we might be and not even realize it.
The solution? Tell stories. Nothing captures attention as stories do. I once had a teacher in school who tried for weeks to pound dates and names into our heads. It was his first year teaching, and he just couldn’t figure out why we were doing so poorly on the tests. Finally, he started telling history in story form, many of the student’s grades shot up overnight.
See what I mean?
3. Your newsletter is hit and miss. This week you send it out on Monday and next week you send it on Wednesday. Then you miss two weeks, and finally, you send it out on Friday.
Let’s face it – people get used to routines. Their favorite show is on Thursday night at 8:00 pm and they know it. Their newspaper arrives every morning at 6:00 am and that’s when they expect it. Their paycheck arrives every other Friday at 3:00 pm, and that’s when they look for it. And your newsletter should be no different. Pick a schedule and then stick to it, no matter what.
As an online marketer, there are 3 kinds of speed you need to focus on to be successful.
The speed of your customer service. If a customer emails you today, you need to answer today. If you can’t, hire a virtual assistant. If you can’t do that, then at least set up a help desk that lets customers know what hours you work, so they know when you will be getting back to them.
Your website speed. How long does it take for your website to load? For every second added to a website’s load time, the conversions decrease by a shocking 2% to 7%, and page views are reduced by 1% to 2%. That’s per SECOND. In addition, Google factors in loading speed when determining the ranking it’s going to give your website. I’m not going into a technical tutorial here, so I suggest you Google how to make your site load faster and take it from there – or suffer the consequences.
That sounded dire. Sorry. I’m eager to get to my third point, and that is:
Your own speed. When you have a great new idea, how long does it take you to act upon it? When your customer gives you a brilliant new product request, do you begin today? Tomorrow? Or do you put it off until never? When you’re in the shower and you have a brilliant thought on how to increase subscribers, do you put it into action now? Or will you “get around to it?”
I’ve found that if I don’t act within 24 hours on a new idea, I will almost certainly never act on it. In addition, if I do act but I wait until I get it perfect before rolling it out – it gathers dust and becomes a total waste of my time and resources, along with an almost imperceptible blow to my confidence and self-esteem.
I have a theory, and it’s this: Each time you have a brilliant idea but don’t act upon it, you’re one step closer to dying the death of a thousand cuts. Sure, one or two is no big deal, but they add up. Pretty soon you’ve got a long list of brilliant ideas that never saw the light of day, and your business is stalling.
Speed to paramount to success. You almost can’t have one without the other. I encourage you; take something you’ve learned or thought of today, and begin work on it RIGHT NOW. Outline what you need to do to get this idea off the ground, and then do the first thing on the list. When that’s done, cross it off and do the second. Have it done by tomorrow? Yes, tomorrow.
I guarantee; you’ll become addicted to speed and your business, your confidence, and your income will thank you.