Here's how to get all your posts read - Hint: it's NOT what you think...

by Ron Douglas 40 replies
Please tell us why you opened this thread.

Let's see if anyone can guess - I'll be back to post the real reason...
#main internet marketing discussion forum #hint #posts #read
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  • Profile picture of the author SusanUSA
    Because you made a great "offer."
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  • Profile picture of the author Diana Lane
    Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

    Please tell us why you opened this thread
    Because I don't like it when people claim to know what I'm thinking (Magnum P.I. used to annoy me by doing it all the time ). Being told what I'm not thinking sounds quite appealing in comparison..!
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  • Profile picture of the author Kate Anderson
    Ron,

    Because the subject line peeked my curiousity.. which happens whenever someone assumes they know what I am thinking and tells me I'm wrong. I should know better by now though, it's been used so very often but still seems to get me every time.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sarah Harvey
      o.o I thought I was going to get some info that is worthwhile
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    "Here's how to get all your posts read - Hint: it's NOT what you think"

    Actually, it was EXACTLY what I was thinking.


    Frank
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    I've just put Richard Branson's number on speed-dial. I call it my "Get-Rich-Quick" scheme.

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    • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
      Originally Posted by Frank Donovan View Post

      "Here's how to get all your posts read - Hint: it's NOT what you think"

      Actually, it was EXACTLY what I was thinking.


      Frank
      But you still had to find out for sure ;-)
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    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi Ron,

      Hint: it's NOT what you think...
      It's partly curiosity, but only a small part.

      The main part is that people reading on the internet -

      a) are used to having to wade through dross

      b) are used to having their expectations raised followed by an anti-climax

      People are on constant 'nugget-alert' - they have been trained to only expect to find 1-5% useful information amongst a majority of incorrect, re-hashed, familiar information along with a barrage of advertising.

      Therefore, by suggesting to them that 'it's not what they think' they will likely read it, still sceptical, but hoping to find a nugget or two, or a stimulating thought that helps then to consider things from a different perspective.

      The phrase suggests that you have considered and are aware of what the reader usually finds on this subject (the anti climax - same old info).

      And it also suggests that what is within is new, fresh, different etc.

      Obviously, in order to make this effective without shooting yourself in the foot for your next post title/email title/headline, it's wise to follow through with the promise and deliver something that's at least helpful, or better - 'not what they were thinking'.
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      Roger Davis

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      • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
        Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

        Hi Ron,



        It's partly curiosity, but only a small part.

        The main part is that people reading on the internet -

        a) are used to having to wade through dross

        b) are used to having their expectations raised followed by an anti-climax

        People are on constant 'nugget-alert' - they have been trained to only expect to find 1-5% useful information amongst a majority of incorrect, re-hashed, familiar information along with a barrage of advertising.

        Therefore, by suggesting to them that 'it's not what they think' they will likely read it, still sceptical, but hoping to find a nugget or two, or a stimulating thought that helps then to consider things from a different perspective.

        The phrase suggests that you have considered and are aware of what the reader usually finds on this subject (the anti climax - same old info).

        And it also suggests that what is within is new, fresh, different etc.

        Obviously, in order to make this effective without shooting yourself in the foot for your next post title/email title/headline, it's wise to follow through with the promise and deliver something that's at least helpful, or better - 'not what they were thinking'.

        Smart, but that's only one part of the equation. There is another component that made the headline effective. Can anyone guess?
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  • Profile picture of the author zoulkifl
    Ah touche. I had an idea that's what you were going to do.
    I have a question for you:
    Why do you think people click on unconventional ads?
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    • Profile picture of the author Mad Dawg
      For me it was an offer of valuable information combined with an eye catching and unique headline to make me read it in the first place.

      Kind of like PPC advertising and saying "You are Fat" in your headline or something along those lines. Then offering valuable information in the text, after the eye catching headline.
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    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi Ron,

      OK, I'll keep biting. There are a few factors -

      It's the fact that you are 'challenging' the reader. So they may click through and read because -

      a) they want to prove you wrong

      b) they want to prove themselves right

      It appeals to peoples' mental competitiveness.

      I think the word 'hint' plays an important role in this, and so do the '...' at the end.

      ('Hint' is a slightly cocky/challenging word - by using it you are assuming the teacher role in a teacher/student situation - a little bit. This of course activates the reader's competitive gland.

      The '...' are a kind of subliminal way of suggesting that the natural course of action is to then read the thread - people like things to be complete and finished. By leaving the end of the title 'open' like this they need to read your post to make the 'thing' complete.)

      Also, rather than a thread title which simply says, 'my host shut me down' where the reader will be reading a story - possibly sucked in by the negative/bad news/rubber neck aspect - with your title you are offering a gift, a freebie, a nugget.

      And as explained above, you also emphasize that it is a new/fresh nugget - IE more valuable.

      ........

      What's interesting is that the actual answer to your question in your first post for me is -

      There were only about 8 threads bolded for me as new/unread at the top

      The other titles suggested they were specific subjects that didn't interest me

      I have to admit bias in that I make a point of reading certain peoples' posts for a variety of reasons and your name drew me to the post in combination with the title. If anything, the name did it more than the title!
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      Roger Davis

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  • Profile picture of the author NMP
    A - YES
    I - YES
    D - No Way
    A - Hell No
    S - Nope
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  • Profile picture of the author John Rowe
    The first half of the headline appeals to a person's criteria if they are a person who does indeed want to have all their posts read.

    Once the first half calls in it's target audience, then the second half acts as the important part that catches interest. DIFFERENCE grabs interest. The words you chose directly suggests that it's something that we are not already thinking. Something we don't know. DIFFERENT than what we may already have inside the head.

    That's my guess.
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    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi Ron,

      I'm still pondering this as I read the new posts.

      I forgot to mention, when I said -

      'Hint' is a slightly cocky/challenging word - by using it you are assuming the teacher role in a teacher/student situation - a little bit. This of course activates the reader's competitive gland.
      ...I should have also mentioned that the NOT in this -
      Hint: it's NOT what you think...
      reinforces the same angle because you are 'shouting' NOT. You didn't say, 'it might not be what you think' which is much weaker. You are saying, "In my mind there is no question that whatever you think/thought is incorrect."

      That's quite challenging. And as well as appealing to the reader's competitiveness and curiosity, it also 'brands' you mildly as someone who has 'alpha' or leader tendencies - which is another good reason to use it.

      I think it was in 'money and power' that Allen Says touched upon the benefits of communicating in this way - when he talks about 'audacity.'

      Edit - Ha! Found it. Money & Power - page 17 Allen gives an example sentence and changes it to demonstrate standing behind your statements, not weakening them and and trying to 'escape ownership of them' by adding something like 'might not be thinking' (in this example). That was what I was trying to think of...:-)
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      Roger Davis

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      • Profile picture of the author Hamida Harland
        Here's how
        I like posts that will show me how to do something - you sounded like you knew what you were talking about.

        Hint:
        Well I had to check to see if you really knew what I was thinking!
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        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          Ron, you must be a copywriter

          Great topic title. Now, if you follow up with your copy on exactly what it is
          you just did, you have a great newsletter there.
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          • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
            I'm not a copy writer but I'm really good at email marketing after 6 years and 215,000 subscribers.

            You guys collectively figured out the strategy behind this subject line and even came up with some things I hadn't even thought of.

            All and all it was a good thread with valuable lessons on grabbing attention - which is critical for any type of marketing you do.

            Here is what I think made this effective:

            - I promised a benefit that everyone who posts on this forum wants - to get all your posts read. That alone grabs attention. The better you know your market, the better you will understand that one thing that they want.

            - I phrased it - "Here's how to..." which implies that you will learn something by just opening this thread. Everyone loves free how-to information.

            - I used "...all your posts read" - not just one, but every darn post. This is a really big claim. In marketing you have to paint the prettiest picture of your service as possible. Don't be afraid to make big claims because that's what gets attention. Just be sure you can back it up.

            Could this thread do what it states? Well, technically YES. By learning how to grab attention and spark curiosity, you will get your posts read at a higher success rate. However, notice that I'm not making any promises on how many views you'll get.

            - "Hint: it's NOT what you think..." - I think ExRat explains this best above. This is a very powerful statement. If the reader doesn't click through, he will never know what it is he doesn't know. One guy even commented above - "it's exactly what I thought" but still had to open it to see.

            You may not appreciated being "tricked" into opening this thread but, if you really pay attention, you will find some jewels which will make you extra money. You can use these tips for:

            - Sales page headlines
            - PPC and all types of ads
            - Email campaigns - both headlines and copy
            - Affiliate marketing
            - Forum marketing
            - And basically anything in which you want to grab attention and have the reader take the next step

            Peace,

            Ron
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  • Profile picture of the author jbolte1976
    Thanks Ron. I can say I did learn some things from that.
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  • Profile picture of the author zenmn
    Everyone loves trivia.

    I watch people gather around the morning newspaper and read the days trivia questions. You also see them in line in the local coffee shops answering the days trivia question posted above the menu.

    In each case the answer/s are irresistable. They argue, surmise, question, converse and must know if they are right.
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  • Profile picture of the author mingles
    Hey Ron great post. I believe the title sparks interest and curiosity thus driving people to open. It hit a cord with most of us because we are marketers therefor are always looking for ways to improve our skills.

    You need to find what interest and needs your niche market are searching for and then place those in your title with a teaser at the end such as your "Hint: It's not what you think".
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    • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
      I opened this thread the other day when it first appeared with only one or two replies.

      The title says "Here's how to get all your posts read."

      Now, I opened it, but as it didn't immediately deliver on its promise, I closed it without reading it.

      Maybe I was looking for the nugget like Roger said. Maybe I realised what the intention was, ie to build the answer from replies and was just too impatient. Whatever my motives I can tell you my initial feelings - I felt a bit cheated.

      I appreciate how short sighted of me this reaction was, but that's the way I felt. It tainted the way I read subsequent posts from Ron. (Yes I came back once I saw it was getting more replies) It even got my back up when Ron said:
      Let's see if anyone can guess why. I'll be back to post the real reason!
      Despite his credentials, I felt patronised.

      Now, I'm grown up enough to realise that I shouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water, and I knew that there'd be something of value in the conclusion to the thread (and there is) but the initial promise of the title was that all my posts would get read - not just opened. I think there's an important caveat here and one that's been discussed before; by all means use a title that gets people to open your posts , just remember to follow through with the content in a believable and congruent manner.

      Peter
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      • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
        Sorry Peter. I should have said this in the initial post:

        "Let's see if anyone can guess why. I'll be back to post the real reason!"

        Hopefully you got something from it in the end.

        Question - how did you know it didn't immediately deliver on it's promise if you didn't read it?

        Originally Posted by Peter Bestel View Post

        I opened this thread the other day when it first appeared with only one or two replies.

        The title says "Here's how to get all your posts read."

        Now, I opened it, but as it didn't immediately deliver on its promise, I closed it without reading it.

        Maybe I was looking for the nugget like Roger said. Maybe I realised what the intention was, ie to build the answer from replies and was just too impatient. Whatever my motives I can tell you my initial feelings - I felt a bit cheated.

        I appreciate how short sighted of me this reaction was, but that's the way I felt. It tainted the way I read subsequent posts from Ron. (Yes I came back once I saw it was getting more replies) It even got my back up when Ron said:
        Despite his credentials, I felt patronised.

        Now, I'm grown up enough to realise that I shouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water, and I knew that there'd be something of value in the conclusion to the thread (and there is) but the initial promise of the title was that all my posts would get read - not just opened. I think there's an important caveat here and one that's been discussed before; by all means use a title that gets people to open your posts , just remember to follow through with the content in a believable and congruent manner.

        Peter
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        • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
          Ron

          Firstly. yes I did get something from the thread - thank you.

          OK, yes I did read the few lines that were initially posted, but they didn't say too much did they?

          Peter
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      • Profile picture of the author sylviad
        Originally Posted by Peter Bestel View Post

        I opened this thread the other day when it first appeared with only one or two replies.

        The title says "Here's how to get all your posts read."

        Now, I opened it, but as it didn't immediately deliver on its promise, I closed it without reading it.

        Maybe I was looking for the nugget like Roger said. Maybe I realised what the intention was, ie to build the answer from replies and was just too impatient. Whatever my motives I can tell you my initial feelings - I felt a bit cheated.

        I appreciate how short sighted of me this reaction was, but that's the way I felt. It tainted the way I read subsequent posts from Ron. (Yes I came back once I saw it was getting more replies) It even got my back up when Ron said:
        Despite his credentials, I felt patronised.

        Now, I'm grown up enough to realise that I shouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water, and I knew that there'd be something of value in the conclusion to the thread (and there is) but the initial promise of the title was that all my posts would get read - not just opened. I think there's an important caveat here and one that's been discussed before; by all means use a title that gets people to open your posts , just remember to follow through with the content in a believable and congruent manner.

        Peter
        Peter, you and I seem to be on the same wavelength. I ignored the thread when I first saw it, but when I did open it and saw the first post - which, as you say, didn't deliver anything - I was ready to just click away without reading on. Like you, I felt cheated and it tainted my view of about 3/4 of the posts.

        It's imperative that you deliver on your headline, otherwise you simply cause bad feelings. And you have to do it early on or your visitor will not read on through to the end of your message. I'm not sure that was mentioned specifically.

        In this thread, you hinted at a solution in the headline, but then right at the top, you expect us to wait for you to return. How is that effective? :rolleyes:

        Sylvia
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        • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
          Originally Posted by sylviad View Post

          Peter, you and I seem to be on the same wavelength. I ignored the thread when I first saw it, but when I did open it and saw the first post - which, as you say, didn't deliver anything - I was ready to just click away without reading on. Like you, I felt cheated and it tainted my view of about 3/4 of the posts.

          It's imperative that you deliver on your headline, otherwise you simply cause bad feelings. And you have to do it early on or your visitor will not read on through to the end of your message. I'm not sure that was mentioned specifically.

          In this thread, you hinted at a solution in the headline, but then right at the top, you expect us to wait for you to return. How is that effective? :rolleyes:

          Sylvia
          If you look at the collective effort of contributions in this post you will see that it overdelivered. It wasn't just about what I thought.
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          • Profile picture of the author sylviad
            Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

            If you look at the collective effort of contributions in this post you will see that it overdelivered. It wasn't just about what I thought.
            That's not my point. My point is that if you want people to read your posts (or salesletters, whatever), you need more than a catchy headline for the curious. You need to get right into whatever your point is at the beginning... as soon as people "open your letter". If you received a letter, opened it and the first thing you read was a message telling you to wait, we'll get around to giving you the information later, are you seriously going to sit on the step, listening to what other people "think" the answer is? If you would, then you certainly have far more patience than I do. As it happens, the thread did eventually deliver.
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            • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
              Originally Posted by sylviad View Post

              That's not my point. My point is that if you want people to read your posts (or salesletters, whatever), you need more than a catchy headline for the curious. You need to get right into whatever your point is at the beginning... as soon as people "open your letter". If you received a letter, opened it and the first thing you read was a message telling you to wait, we'll get around to giving you the information later, are you seriously going to sit on the step, listening to what other people "think" the answer is? If you would, then you certainly have far more patience than I do. As it happens, the thread did eventually deliver.
              Thanks for pointing out the obvious. I wouldn't write a sales letter in this format and I wasn't selling anything here. This was sort of an experiment to encourage a discussion. Some people didn't like it, some did. Just as some people get it and some never will.

              There were some positive and negative lessons just as Allen says.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman
    Originally Posted by Ron Douglas View Post

    Please tell us why you opened this thread
    Ron,

    I didn't...



    Steve






    P.S. It was the "Hint: It's NOT what you think..." that did it for me.
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    Not promoting right now

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    • Profile picture of the author andyelite
      Excellent thread, thanks.

      For me it was 50% curiosity and 50% that I just started a new thread http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ffiliates.html and the content was relevant to me at that time.

      For those looking for practical things other than a catchy headline that will help get your threads read, you can do what I just did - update your signature :-)
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  • A Shocking headline ,that no one can resist with a Revelation of a valuable secret.
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  • Profile picture of the author DougBarger
    Excellent thread Ron.

    Ted Nicholas publishes a cool series called headline shortcuts that

    cover a lot of the most effective headlines and why they work.

    Of course they can be used in so many more applications than just

    salesletters and forum thread titles also such as in public speaking

    and even social events when knowing how to keep a conversation going

    can mean the difference between a boring event or sharing in the life of the party.

    Looks like you've got them down cold!
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  • Profile picture of the author George Wright
    Hi,

    I did not open it until right now. I've been seeing it off and on for a few days. I guess its the old "you must see an ad 7 times thing."

    So, I opened it because It keeps coming up, I opened it because it had a lot of views and replies.

    At first the title seemed like just another "don't click here," subjects which have been used a lot over the years on this forum. But the constant bumping and posting and viewing got me.

    George Wright
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  • Profile picture of the author Allen Graves
    I came in here because I thought maybe there was an RSS feature somewhere that I missed.

    DAMN!

    AL
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    Every day I check the obituaries. If I don't see my name there, then I know it's going to be a good day!
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  • Profile picture of the author Fairuz Talib
    Because it seems you're offering a solution everyone on this forum is looking for .. to get his/her post read
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  • Profile picture of the author admin
    Administrator
    This thread has quite a few lessons in it :-)

    Positive lessons AND negative lessons which can be just as important, if not more so.

    I saw this late but I would have simply said two words..

    "How To"....very little in advertising is more powerful than those two words.

    I completely ignored the second part of the sentence.
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    • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
      Originally Posted by admin View Post

      "How To"....very little in advertising is more powerful than those two words.
      Agreed Allen, but you do realise that by you reminding/telling people about it, there just might be a flurry of "How to..." subject lines in the same vein as the "bad news..."

      By simply stating "How to..." and just those two words, you're using a powerful, almost hypnotic, language pattern that hits the reader on some key levels.

      Interest, intrigue, curiosity - call it what you will, people will open the thread/email. They've just gotta know what you're talking about and wonder if the "How to" directly relates to them. It may just be more powerful than 'bad news..'

      If you also deliver on your content then you'd onto a winner.

      Peter
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