What gets people’s interest? Have you ever read Sally Hogshead’s book “Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation”? It is very enlightening. Sally was a former copywriting expert for years so she understands what it takes to communicate through written words.
While Sally includes 7 forms of communication in her book that intrigue individuals for one reason or another, what it all boils down to is that fascination gets (and keeps) people’s attention.
Why? Because fascination is interesting. It’s clever. It’s completely out of the ordinary. Think about it for a minute.
Let’s talk chocolate! Way back when Milton Hershey created his famous milk chocolate bar, the country went crazy! The United States had never experienced milk chocolate before, so this flat, thin chocolate bar was a true wonder.
Over time, while it still sold, others decided they needed to add a bit of fascination to the mix and developed the Milky Way (which was significantly thicker than the Hershey bar) and other confections that included caramel and nuts.
With each innovation, these founders of the chocolate industry would send shockwaves through the population as they scrambled to discover for themselves what the new bar was all about.
That same type of curiosity can be generated with words.
The Mystique of Fascination Copywriting
One of the 7 forms of fascination is mystique. According to Sally, mystique is formed when something is withheld. It’s the anticipation, the wonder or curiosity that drives humans positively nuts and gives them tunnel vision when it comes to finding the missing piece of the puzzle. Let me give you some examples from Sally’s book.
Colonial Sanders had his 11 herbs and spices that it took him years to perfect. After several business failures, Harland Sanders set out to devise a way of cooking fried chicken that took only a few minutes instead of a half an hour. While he licensed the use of his oil pressure cookers, his secret recipe is still mixed in 2 separate facilities to protect it.
Cola’s secret ingredient, affectionately called “Merchandise 7X,” has been under lock and key since 1886; the entire formula since 1925. Secrets build mystique.
What does any of this have to do with copywriting for websites, articles, blog posts or social posts?
Limited Information in Copywriting Heightens Curiosity
For example, you can use 3 tiny words to create mystique in your copywriting. How? Try this little trick.
Take the subjects out of your article or blog post titles and headlines and replace them with the word “this,” “it” or “here” and see what happens.
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See the difference? One gives the reason right up front. The other withholds the information.
What’s the reason for failure? Not telling your reader will create mystique and a need for them to know what “this” is. Here’s another copywriting example:
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And the word “it?” That works just as well.
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“I don’t want my expensive granite countertops harmed! I paid too much for them. What is this ‘it’ that can save my investment from damage?” is what your readers will be thinking. They’ll be compelled to click to find out more.
Lastly, the word “here” has the ability to sprinkle a bit of pixie dust, too.
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You see how leaving your reader hanging can entice them to click or read on to get the missing secret? This technique isn’t just for headlines. You can apply this same idea to the body or your articles, blog posts or copy, too.
As you write, continue to refer to the subject of the article/copy as “it,” “this” or “here.” The longer you do, the more your reader will feel compelled to follow along. They’ll consume much more of your copy than they might have done otherwise simply because they want to know what “this” is.
Run some tests. See what happens in your own writing endeavors. If you like the results, you’ll probably want to get this which will divulge 6 other ways to intrigue your readers.
Have questions about copywriting? Talk to me below!
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Fascinate by Sally Hogshead
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