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June 5, 2015

Three Tiny Words That Add Mystique to Your Social Posts, Headlines and More

Photo Credit: Adikos via flickr (CC BY 2.0)

What gets people’s interest?  I’ve been reading Sally Hogshead’s book “Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation” and it has been very enlightening.  What gets (and keeps) people’s attention is fascination.

Sally walks through seven forms of fascination that intrigue individuals for one reason or another. One of the seven is mystique.  Typically, 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.

Colonel Sanders had his “11 herbs and spices” that were (and still are) mixed in two separate facilities.  Coca-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 writing articles, blog posts or copy?

Limited information heightens curiosity.

Take the subjects out of your headlines or blog post titles and social posts and replace them with the word “this,” “it” or “here” and see what happens.

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See the difference?  What’s the reason?  Not telling your reader will create mystique and a need for them to know what “this” is. Here’s another one:

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And “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/content than they might have done otherwise simply because they want to know what “this” is.

That’s not the only way to drive people to your site or deeper into your site, however. Using shot blurbs of copy (like the examples above) is a sure way to drive more targeted traffic to your site. When people read your captivating social media posts, article titles, email subjects, AdWords ads or any other tiny snippet of text, they have to click to find out more. There simply isn’t enough room to tell the whole story in 10-15 words.


Karon Thackston is president of Marketing Words Copywriting Agency helping Amazon sellers, eCommerce site owners and content marketers rank higher, convert better and make more sales.