It’s the bane of my grubby little industry, so it is.
If you’re not aware of this pejorative term, it’s the practice of putting together a headline (or email subject line) much like the one I’ve used in this email, purely for the purpose of getting your eyeballs on whatever it is they’re selling.
Which, at first glance, might not seem like such a bad idea…
After all, you want people to read your ads and emails, right?
But not at the expense of accuracy, clarity, and integrity. And you don’t want just anybody who happens to find your headline funny / interesting / intriguing.
This email is the only time I’ve used a clickbait headline and I did it specifically to illustrate what it is: an eyecatching headline designed to sucker people into clicking. Hence “clickbait”. There’s nothing about lampshades that look like Anne Robinson in this email. I’m not selling lampshades, Anne Robinsons, or any household furnishings or TV presenters. The only reason I chose that particular headline was that it made me laugh.
What you want isn’t all the eyeballs you can get your hands on.
You want qualified eyeballs. People who are your ideal customer. Those who are most likely to buy from you and get value from what you offer.
For example, I could sell products to any old business owner if I wanted to, by making out that I’ve got this magic formula that’ll put cash in their pockets without them having to put in any effort… but I don’t want that kind of muppet. I want people who are ready and willing to put in the hard work they need to.
And those people are few and far between, believe me. Most people are out for what they can get for free (or at a knock-down price). It’s a rare and special business owner who’s genuinely willing to listen to experience, take what they learn, do the uncomfortable stuff, and put in the hard graft.
So, if clickbait isn’t the answer, what is?
Groundwork. Getting to know your ideal customer, getting to know who you are as a seller, and putting the two together. Then headlines that speak to them, and a sales funnel that takes them exactly where you want them to go.
Direct response marketing, in other words.
The art of getting people into your world, onto your website, then making your website work hard to convert them.
Want to know how to start your Direct response marketing and sales funnels? Grab yourself a copy of my book, Business For Superheroes. Read it and take action, it’ll help.
Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.