The marketing bait that attracts the fish

fishing-for-money-1416836-639x961A cold steel hook rarely catches a fish. Experienced anglers know they have to bait the hook to draw the attention of the fish in order to hook and draw them in.   In marketing, there is only one effective way to bait your hook. The marketing bait which will draw in your prospects, clients and supporters is an effective headline.

From print ads to social media posts, your target audience is party to an endless flow of information snippets. It takes a great deal to cut through the clutter. Since your goal is to attract someone to your social site, landing page, piece of content or ad, it is critical you learn how to bait the hook with headlines that get action.

Three Types of Bait

As someone who is fishing would use minnows, flies, and worms, we have our three types of bait. Attached are the three most powerful appeals I use and in parentheses how they may engage the brain of my audience.

Evidence or proof is a great way to attract attention. It plays off the idea of herd experiences, where members of your audience don’t want to be left out.

  • The secret behind how Oprah achieved her unequaled success. (No one can dispute that Oprah Winfrey has had outstanding business success, no matter what you think of her. Knowing this could lead to more success on our part.)
  • Join the list of top business leaders who have already downloaded this eBook. (If a group of top business leaders know something, most business professionals looking to get ahead also want to have that knowledge.)
  • Be the someone that other car drivers ask.  (Cars are a status item. If someone of influence is the first one and demonstrates leadership and innovation, everyone is at least curious how they did it.)

Pain avoidance is an effective way to get the attention. This headline ties directly back to the possibility or actual occurrence of a negative event and what you could do to avoid it.

  • Don’t pay outrageous heating costs again this winter. (No matter the climate, no one wants to pay more than they have to for natural gas, heating oil or electricity.)
  • Before you take your infant out, the four things to check on their car seat. (Most parents are cautious around infants and toddlers.)
  • How to keep in Google’s good graces with your SEO. (All technologists work hard to stay on the right side of Google’s search algorithms, and no one wants to fall to page two because of a stupid mistake. )

Success motivation is my favorite bait to use. It comes from a (generally) sincere desire to help others achieve their goals, feel better about what they are doing and find the success which they seek.

  • Teach you dog whose master once and for all. (Every dog owner would like to end the tug of war between them and their pet.)
  • Just three minutes a day will positively lower your cholesterol. (Good health in just three minutes? It sounds too good to be true, I wonder what they suggest?)
  • What to say next time you ask your boss for a raise. (Everyone feels they deserve more money. Yet, the majority of employees get tongue tied and nervous at just the mention of the idea. Sure, let me know what to say.)

Take the time to develop bait which will attract those you want to catch. Writing great headlines takes practice and skill. With time, you will be landing schools of fish into your marketing boat.

— WDL