All You Need To Know About Triggers Part 2 [Copywriting Guides]

In part 1 of this series on triggers, I talked about focus, and why it should be on the whole system and not just ourselves (eg. “if I set this trigger to engage a prospect, how much money will I make?”).

If I create a click baity headline (eg. “See what happened next as tiny man falls out of plane”) I can expect a certain number of people to click. Who doesn’t want to see what happens next?

But what really happens? The prospect clicks the ad and is either amazed or bored, but either way, it’s the end of the ad’s journey. The person has been brought there under false pretences (and probably knows it) so unless the ad is selling parachutes it’s a waste of time (but see the PS).

This type of trigger is the most common in use today in online display ad platforms like Taboola. It’s the “intrigue” or “mystery” trigger.

The next most common is the “how to” trigger. It’s been used for books and content pieces ever since wanting to know how something works or is done became a thing. But it can be (and is) used just as effectively for ads as part of a funnel that uses information as its lede [sic].

In part 3 we’ll dig into trigger psychology – or “why do some triggers work and others fail?” Stay tuned or subscribe to the Science of Copywriting Weekly Newsletter so you get all my posts wrapped up in a neat little parcel delivered direct to your inbox every Sunday (

PS. Many click bait ads lead to pages that keep visitors engaged through the use of linked pages. That is, they may, for example, contain 1 image and a short paragraph, followed by a NEXT button to keep the visitor clicking to find out more. Every page is covered with ads in the hope that the visitor will eventually click on them and money will be made. Does it work? Yes. Is it good for long term business, no (all business models based on duping people end in failure).



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