Techniques to Keep your Readers Reading…


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A guilty pleasure of mine is to read the May Report. It’s basically a weekly gossip email about venture capital and tech companies in Chicago. There are various opinions about Ron May, the Editor. I choose to remain open to the idea that every person in some way shape or form is naturally a good person…

The reason I bring up the May Report is that I have to say that I am TOTALLY impressed with a series of ads placed in his emails by Forensicon. I had the idea to share the brilliance of their campaign while reading The FRAUDfiles Blog by Tracy Coenen. Tracy wrote about a Milwaukee museum that is considering hiring forensic auditors to audit the finances of the evidently poorly managed museum. This is a very interesting blog on a topic that admittedly has NOTHING to do with moms working at home. But I’ll admit to the guilty pleasure syndrome once again and tie it into this blog in a second. ;)

The Forensicon ads are run in a series of 4-6. So you have to read every ad “episode” in different emails in order to get the whole story.

Here’s a sample ad:

INTERNAL INVESTIGATIONS: THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT KATHERINE — PART ONE Katherine, an administrative assistant in the Accounting Department of a large corporation, enters the parking lot driving a brand new Mercedes convertible. When asked by coworkers about the car, she explained that she has been saving for the down payment for years. She had also just moved into a new house. Her supervisor was becoming suspicious. —————- Forensicon specializes in conducting computer forensics nationwide pertaining to internal investigations, employment litigation and intellectual property misappropriation.

I caught one or two in the series, and became intrigued. I normally only read the May Report when I have time to waste (not very often), but once I got hooked I went back into every one of his dang emails, opened them, and read the ad threads. They are now on their 3rd or fourth ad story series, and I open his emails immediately to get my ‘fix’ of their ads.

Now THAT is effective advertising! If you have your own email marketing program in place, you can take this tactic and apply it to ads, articles, whatever - anything to hook your reader.

The psychology behind why this works is what’s called a completion strategy, by the way. If you start something with your audience (whether that be one person over lunch or your entire mailing list), and then purposefully leave the ending for later, people have a natural instinct to want to “complete” what you have started. You can leverage your audience’s natural instincts to want to read more from you by purposefully leaving some things open-ended. It’s a tactic that is subtle, and WORKS!

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    On June 29th, 2006 at 2:24 pm, Tracy Coenen said:

    Hi Wendy - Thanks for the mention. You may be disappointed to know that the musem never had their forensic audit. The County declined to fund the project, so those who stole from this precious resource will never be held accountable!

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