How To Get Your Readers To Read


If there was a magic formula to guarantee that everyone who came into contact with your copy would read it, I’d be out of a job.

Luckily for me there isn’t one.

There is one aspect of the human race that makes the life of a copywriter rather difficult – we are all different.

What makes one person jump for joy will have another heading for the hills. So when you’re faced with writing some web copy, email content or sales letter, how on earth do you get everyone to read it?

Don’t write for the masses

When writing some sales material you have to bear in mind that not everyone is going to want to read it. So if you try and pitch your writing for everyone you’re going to shoot yourself in the foot.

If you are writing about fishing rods the likelihood is that only a certain percentage of male readers will be interested in it. If you are writing about the latest make-up product, only a certain percentage of women are going to want to read about it.

Therefore it is vital that you write for your ideal reader – the person who is likely to be interested in your product.

This is where the cat comes in

Your headline is the crux of your writing – it is what will either hook your reader or send them running.

There are a number of ways you can write strong headlines but for the purpose of this post I want to look at just one – curiosity.

Most people don’t read adverts. It’s like a newspaper – how many of you actually sit down and read every word printed? You are more likely to skim the headlines and hone in on the ones that look interesting or, more likely, pique your curiosity.

For example if I were to tell you that I knew how to write sales letters that convert at 15% and sales letters were a big part of your business, you’d want to know more – right?

How to introduce curiosity

The best way to get curiosity into your copy is by hinting at a secret – human nature will make us want to know more:

  • What everyone one should know about the stock market
  • The top ten reasons why you won’t get that job
  • How I went from broke to earning 8 figures a year in 6 months

But it’s not just about sales or secrets.

freelance copywriter Take George here. He’s running an exhibition and wants to promote it to boost his visitors. One of his exhibits is a painting. It’s nothing particularly famous or anything but the owner paid a small fortune for it – which heading would have the biggest draw?:

  • Exhibiting the “Cat and goldfish” by P Brush


  • Exhibiting the “Cat and goldfish” by P Brush which was recently sold for £850,000

It would be the second one. Because by mentioning the price it immediately makes us curious. We want to see this amazing picture that someone paid a small fortune for.

Curiosity is an itch

It is the itch that you have to scratch.

If you don’t discover the secret you’re going to miss out on something. Everyone else will know something you don’t.

Using curiosity in your headline you’ll make people want to learn more. They’ll be drawn to your copy like a magnet. So next time you are writing a piece of sales copy try it out.

Sally Ormond – freelance copywriter

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1 comment so far ↓

#1 Richard Moldovanyi on 03.10.10 at 4:06 am

Curiousity is definitely a strong motivator. Who hasn’t clicked on a link that promised to reveal “How I made $10,000 while sitting on my couch”?

As long as you can actually provide the answer that satisfies the curiousity, you’re golden.

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