You’ve probably heard how important it is to have a headline that drags readers to your article, but very few people use a real teaser to close the “sale”.
And it doesn’t matter if you’re writing blog posts or articles – you need a strong teaser. Copying and pasting the start of the article – which most people do (me included, often) – is not enough.
A teaser can be the first couple of paragraphs, but to form a successful one, you need two elements. Which?
According to Wikipedia, a teaser campaign is:
A teaser campaign is an advertising campaign which typically consists of a series of small, cryptic, challenging advertisements that anticipate a larger, full-blown campaign for a product launch or otherwise important event. These advertisements are called “teasers” or “teaser ads”. A teaser trailer upcoming film, television program, video game or similar, usually released long in advance of the product, so as to “tease” the audience.
You have probably noticed that a teaser trailer for an upcoming film never just consists of the first few minutes from the film.
No, they take a glimpse here, and a glimpse there, either from funny or important scenes, and the glimpses together make some kind of sense.
It’s like a super-fast resume of the film, in fact.
Except that they leave out the end.
And the glimpses all leave at least one question to be solved, and if you want the answer? You have to see the film.
Also, you would want to see the film, because of how the human mind works. We want to make the imperfect perfect. We need to solve that puzzle.
One of the sites I’ve set my browser to open at is The Free Dictionary.
You can use that site not only as a dictionary, but also for entertainment. It has today’s weather, a word game, and then several articles, like “Today’s Birthday”, “Article of the Day”, “This Day in History” and “In the News”.
But all you see of each article on the front page of The Free Dictionary is a teaser.
Well, I’m a lazy and picky reader. I don’t normally go after bibliographical articles about Rockefeller or articles about decompression sickness. And yet, when The Free Dictionary serves me those articles, I go and read them.
It’s simple. Their teasers are awesome.
Look at this one about Rockefeller:
After two years of high school, Rockefeller—the man destined to become, by some estimates, the richest person in history—got a job as a bookkeeper. A few years later, he formed a food handling firm that prospered in the American Civil War. In 1863, he entered the brand new oil business, and within 15 years, his company dominated the American petroleum industry. A noted philanthropist, he donated $550 million during his lifetime. It has been said that Rockefeller had what two ambitions in life?
You just have to know what two ambitions that is, don’t you?
Or what about something that didn’t have much of my interest to begin with – decompression sickness:
Decompression sickness is a disorder that often affects scuba divers who ascend from the depths too quickly, causing severe joint and muscle pain, nausea, paralysis, and even death—for no externally obvious reason. Under pressure, respiratory gasses are compressed and dissolved in the body’s tissues. When a person rapidly moves to a lower pressure environment, the dissolved gases expand and form bubbles that cause “the bends.” Workers in what other occupations are susceptible to this sickness?
Wow, I knew that divers were at risk, but what other occupations are? You just have to know, don’t you?
Can you see, how they arouse curiosity?
They give you a short resume of the article, or rather, they mention some of the important points, and then they ask you as question, and unless you have a really broad knowledge, you cannot answer this question, unless you read the article.
Your homework: Check out The Free Dictionary. Read their teasers. Then go and read the full articles, and learn from how they extract the content they use for their teasers.