The Power of Attention – How to write copy that clicks – Part 4

What’s the next natural progression from controversy, anger, and love when it comes to grabbing attention? Curiosity perhaps?

Here’s an example headline:

“Want to see how I attracted and converted 5 great paying clients in 5 days starting with nothing other than a PC?”

The above is an example of a curiosity led headline. It’s rather spammy, but nevertheless will click with anyone whose front of mind problem is getting clients – and that is what getting attention is all about… or is it?

The problem with headlines like this is how common they are. Move in certain circles (such as the internet marketing industry) and you see them everywhere.

But it’s not a problem for that particular audience. In fact, it’s an expectation. Certain responses that result in a sharp increase in adrenaline and dopamine are part of the education marketing process that produces that audience.

And once an audience has been educated this way, it makes the life of any internet marketing copywriter so much easier.

They know WHO they’re talking to. They know what the audience WANTS. And they know they’ll get A NICE PAYCHECK at the end of it.

But not all audiences are like this, so how can we tone it down without losing impact?

To answer that, we need to figure out why something feels spammy. It’s not just using familiar angles as in our example headline. It’s also about believability.

Our example is first person (it uses ‘I’ and ‘my’). To an uneducated market (and I mean a market that has yet to be educated to think this way), it shouts ‘bragging’.

It also uses ‘specifics’. Something we’re told over and over again we MUST use if we want to be taken seriously (a ‘specific’ means use of a number or other concrete ‘evidence’).

Let’s try it in second person:

“Want to see how you can attract and convert 5 great paying clients in 5 days starting with nothing other than a PC?”

It’s nearly as spammy, but may convert better since we’ve now put our audience front and centre. Certainly worth testing.

Now let’s try third person:

“Want to see how [insert celebrity] attracted and converted 5 great paying clients in 5 days starting with nothing other than a PC?”

The stronger the celebrity, the greater the chance of this beating the previous two versions. That’s because we’ve added an extra piece of evidence – the celebrity.

It’s also not quite so spammy because we’re using someone else’s reputation to make it more believable.

So maybe we can tweak it down a little more without losing impact. We’ll use the late great David Ogilvy as our celebrity:

“How David Ogilvy attracted great paying clients without a budget”

We’ve removed the specifics, and reworked the angle slightly. We could also up the curiosity a little by adding “…and how you can too!”

Note the use of an exclamation mark. This is because the audience is NOT David Ogilvy, so they still need convincing they can do it. The exclamation mark acknowledges that (it says to the reader – “hey, we know that sounds crazy, but just maybe it can work for you… – read on”.

Try it without an exclamation mark. It makes it even stronger:

“How David Ogilvy attracted great paying clients without a budget, and how you can too.”

As beginner copywriters, isn’t this what we really want? Proof that we can be as big as the giants in our industry.

Watch out for more in part 5.


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