3 Sticky Ways to Hold Reader Attention

Sticky Attention

Your copy might focus on benefits instead of features, have the right balance of emotion to logic, and maybe you’ve even snagged the reader’s attention with an arresting headline. But after your reader clicks through, does your copy hold her interest?

If you can’t keep the reader’s attention, nothing else matters. And the online world demands your best techniques to hold reader interest, because tempting distractions are always just a click away. All writers and marketers have their favorite tricks to glue reader attention to their content, so here are three of mine.

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Are Sales Slipping Through Your Fingers? Close the Deal with Logical Benefits

Logical

In earlier posts, I talked about how to use emotional benefits to drive reader interest, and gave you some sample headlines you could use as a jumping-off point.

Emotional benefits trigger the “me-want” response. They create desire for our offer. But creating desire isn’t usually enough. Unless you’re selling a purely emotional product like fashion or music, you also have to give your reader enough logical ammunition to justify the purchase to himself.

This is where logical benefits come in. These are all the rational, intelligent reasons we have for buying the stuff we want. You hook prospects with the heart, but you close the deal with the head.

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13 Emotion-Based Headlines That Work

13

Last week’s post talked about why emotional benefits are critical to persuasive copy. But it’s one thing to talk about general concepts like “connection” or “fear,” and another to actually get these ideas into your writing.

In honor of Friday the 13th, I thought I’d give you 13 actual examples of emotional benefits you can use to persuade your readers. These emotional triggers have been used effectively in countless promotions, because they speak to underlying desires and fears that nearly all of us have.

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Why Emotional Benefits Are the Key to Reader Response

Emotions

We humans like to think of ourselves as rational creatures. Intellectual curiosity took us to the moon and back, beat smallpox and polio, and invented the Internet.

But when you come down to it, emotion always wins. The most powerful man in the world can be humbled by a buxom girl in a blue dress. We use our brains, yes, but we’re driven to act by our hearts (and other body parts).

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Unleash Your Inner Dork to Become a Better Copywriter

Dork

An advertisement that has been pounded out in the white heat of enthusiasm can be tamed and made effective. But it is impossible to put life into dead copy. ~John Caples

Whether you’re promoting a product, a program or just an idea, exuberance sells. One of the reason blogs can be so effective is that their writers tend to show more enthusiasm than polish. And that’s not a bad thing—if you have to pick one over the other, enthusiasm wins.

Here are a few tips on how to get infectious enthusiasm into your writing. When you write with passion, you’ll grab your reader’s attention and persuade her that you’ve got something worth getting excited about.

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How to Lose 30 Pounds of Word Flab Overnight

I don’t necessarily recommend short copy. The best copywriters know that long copy sells. You need to give yourself enough room to actually make a convincing argument — the elevator pitch is all good and well, but the only thing it can ever do is to spark enough curiosity to continue the conversation.

But I always recommend lean copy. And it’s twice as important online. Whipping copy into shape is an important skill for any writer, because all of us start with flabby first drafts. Fortunately, toning up your writing is a lot easier than curls, crunches and hover squats.

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