• Scott Herring

The Tease...

Your most popular blog posts probably have one thing in common: The Hook. Something you used in your headline or introduction captured enough interest from readers to open the article and continue. And one of the best ways to maximize the response is The Tease. Here's how it works.

Years ago, I was hired to do marketing for a small business in Southern California. One of our tactics was a blog about health & beauty. We would include our blog posts in the monthly newsletter, which had a high open rate but a low click rate. That is, people loved the newsletter but didn't visit the site after reading. After a couple of months, I figured out that I was including too much in the emails. Instead of using all the content, I started linking the headlines to the full story. That worked better, but after a couple more months, I included a little bit of the article in the newsletter too. It resembled Google search results, and it worked. Click rates doubled. The key here is to use your content to drive traffic to your website using The Tease. The Tease is enough content to give someone context and want to know more.

Later, I shared this concept with Michael. Like my small business client, he had been including his full post in his weekly newsletter. Skeptical at first, he tried it one week. Guess what? Traffic doubled. Over time, Michael showed his amazing skills as a writer & marketer, though, by perfecting The Tease. He is an absolute Master of using cliffhangers to get more readers to his blog post. Many of Michael's articles use a problem/solution outline, so he's really adept at setting up the problem. Here are two recent examples from his newsletters:

Over the past year, educational standards have fallen like a rodeo cowboy. It's not your fault. The pandemic has taken a toll on everything in its wake. But now that students are returning to school, how do we lift the bar back into place? How do we reverse course and refocus students on school? It's a critical question that will determine just how far they'll fall behind.

Do you see how he sets it up? How could you not want to find the answer

This post isn't meant to be humorous. It isn't meant to be judgemental or hypercritical or make you feel like a failure. It's meant to be helpful. You see, viewing classroom management through a negative lens—as in, what not to do—can bring the greatest clarity. Wincing as we recognize ourselves in the list below can help us identify those areas holding us back from having the well-behaved class we really want. So, in that spirit, what follows are 55 ways to be bad at classroom management.

Wouldn't you want to know FIFTY FIVE ways to improve? It's brilliant. Just don't tell him I said so.

Michael isn't the only one who uses this method. If you're like me, you examine other people's newsletters and ads to find good ideas (amateurs borrow, professionals steal).

Take, for example, this teaser from Harry's.

There's psychology at play here. First, there's the obvious suspense. And second, you've probably heard of FOMO (fear of missing out). Neuromarketing is working.

And then there's shopping experts (who probably have more data on what converts than half the websites on earth) at Shopify.

Shopify's email is like Michael's. You get the build-up, but you have to click to get the full story.

And even if you're not an 800 pound gorilla in e-commerce, you can still leave your readers begging for the answer. Havenly does it with "That's all we can say for now..."

It's fun, but it uses The Tease. "we know" is powerful in building anticipation.

The next time you sit down to write, keep The Tease in mind. Write The Hook first, but don't give it all away, not yet...


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