So let's say you went to see your next James Bond or Harry Potter or Jack Reacher movie, and right at the beginning, you had this kindly but clueless commentator giving you a thorough and unambiguous description of how the movie would end. Every detail, bar none. How much would you be on the edge of your seat during that movie? Not much, huh? Yeah, I guess going on at length about the ending of a suspenseful story before it even starts is one of the stupidest ideas you've ever heard of. Certainly one of the dumbest I've ever come up with. But a lot of people make the same mistake with their ad copy. See, intrigue also... ... works in ads, but in a different way. Since instead of telling an entertaining story, you're telling a motivating story???where your purpose is to motivate a prospect or customer to take a specific action. Let me give you an example close to home. Besides being a copywriter, I used to publish an email newsletter. Suppose I were writing an ad about a new issue, and my purpose was to get readers of the ad to view the issue and sign up for the newsletter. Here would have been the wrong way to write a headline for that ad: After You Read This Newsletter, You Get To Take A Free Email Course About Using Google Adwords! What's wrong with the headline? Sure, it's intriguing, in a sense. But it's a little too much like a two-by-four over the top of your head. By comparison, a better headline: How A Few Clever People Are Turning Nickels Into Dimes, Quarters, Even Dollars... with Google AdWords! Can you see how the second headline leaves out enough information to make you want to fill in the gap... so you have to take action? Now, a caveat: Don't be too coy or cutesie when you put mystery in your headlines and ad copy. Tell people about the results (that they already want) that your business can provide them. Don't make obscure references or clever plays on words. Advertisers (and their agencies) do that all the time. And yes, they get knowing nods from the people who get the intricate puns and subtle innuendos. But sales results? Usually??_ not so much. Why? Well.. how many sprinters have you ever seen zig-zagging all over the track in order to win the race? Onwards, David http://bit.ly/1OxvXME
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