By Tom Trush
Successful marketing is a bit like swimming.
In the water, you have a couple options for getting from one point to the other…
You can thrash around, flailing your arms and legs – and unless you have the buoyancy of a cement barrel, you’ll eventually reach where you want to go.
Or you can gently glide your arms through the water while calmly kicking your legs. You’ll still get to the same destination, but with much less effort (and often faster).
Marketing your business works in a similar manner.
You can get super aggressive.
Put your ads everywhere. Crank out content every day. Try the latest tool or tactic each time something new comes out…
Or you can simply focus on efficiency. Make small adjustments to your existing materials that lead to big wins.
One place worthy of this type of attention is your email outreach.
So, let me show you a subtle trick – a way to instantly trigger more interest in your messages and keep prospects craving more…
In the copywriting world, this is called an “open loop” (or sometimes the Zeigarnik Effect). It’s a technique where you share just enough information to create curiosity…
You see, open loops prey on our brain’s natural desire for completion. The brain enters a state of tension when presented with incomplete thoughts.
It needs to close the “loop.”
So, to create greater interest in your messages, just add more curiosity.
Well, let’s look at a subject line I recently wrote for a tax attorney:
This is why your tax settlement failed… And how to fix it
The subject line works well for a tax attorney’s audience because…
- It implies a solution to their problem (so it grabs attention)
- It creates an open loop
When you’re unsuccessful with a settlement offer to the IRS, you want to know why. As such, you’re likely to open and read this email.
Imagine if the subject line read: “Use us to settle your tax debt.” Would the email have as much appeal?
Of course not.
To create an open loop, simply determine what your prospects want most. Then hold back a critical piece of information until later in your messaging.
Ever binge watch episodes of a show on Netflix?
If so, you probably fell victim to an open loop.
After all, how many times do you see a show hit a high level of suspense and then end?
And because you need to know what happens next, you click play on the next episode to calm your anxiety.
You can create this same effect in your marketing materials.
Now, in the above example, we looked at a subject line. Yet you can use open loops anywhere in your messaging.
Bullets… Body copy… Headers… Opt-in offers… Calls to action…
A word of warning, though:
Close your loops. Fail to do so, and you’ll lose credibility because your readers will feel tricked.