Writing copy to grab your reader’s attention is hard.
You might spend weeks testing different ideas for nothing.
Even if the product or service you’re selling is great, it doesn’t necessarily make writing captivating copy any easier.
But there is an exercise you can do to write copy with a much greater chance of success.
And strangely, it involves spending time in your reader’s bed.
Between the sheets
Of course, I don’t literally mean you should get in bed with the person you’re selling to.
Instead, you should spend more time considering what your reader is thinking about when they’re in bed.
The key thing to consider is:
What keeps your reader up at night?
You see, that’s how you really captivate someone:
You speak directly to the worries they carry with them – we all carry many worries – and you provide possible solutions.
Now, because it’s the product or service you’re selling that must ultimately provide the solution, the worry you’re looking to tap into should be related in some way.
For example, if you’re selling a trading strategy, rather than tapping into a concern your reader has about their health, you need to confront their fears about not having enough money.
It’s possible to direct your copy towards a less associated fear, as you’ll see in a moment…
But first you should start this exercise thinking about the most direct concern.
So, say you’re selling a book on back pain.
The most direct concern – and the thing that most keeps a person up at night – is the thought the pain will never relent.
Having established this, you can now aim your copy to address this concern in some way.
Don’t be too obvious, though.
You might think solution-based copy is the natural choice here e.g. How to put a permanent stop to your pain.
But a statement e.g. Back pain doesn’t need to be forever or a question e.g. Did you think that back pain had to last forever too? could potentially work just as well.
In each case, the key is that your copy directly targets the concern keeping your reader up at night – and therefore gives you the best chance of capturing his or her attention.
This is the most direct route, but as I say, it is possible to try something a little more indirect…
In our example, you might decide rather than targeting the reader’s concern of ongoing pain, you could target a worry they have about being able to work and get by financially e.g. Overcome the secret financial fear you’re keeping from your family.
This is obviously more abstract.
It also relies on the reader associating their immediate problem with this potentially ‘deeper’ problem.
To help them make such a connection, it’s worth following the headline in your copy with a subhead that makes the connection for them i.e. that the back pain is the cause of the financial worry.
Ultimately, though, what’s important here is that your copy in some way addresses what’s keeping your reader up at night.
If you can immediately speak to one of those concerns, you’ve got a much better chance of grabbing the reader’s attention and engaging them to read the rest of your copy.
P.S. To discover even more ways to get your reader’s attention, pick up a copy of my book – The Art of the Click – on Amazon here.