Words that Really Almost Get You to Click

2 December, 2007

Language, web content

I don’t know about you, but I’ve recently been faced with a few very titillating Sponsored Ads that I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve come this…..close to clicking on. Why? Keywords that I think really tug at all of us, our curiosity.

I want to know:

  • how to get my girlfriend to come running back
  • who has a crush on me
  • and the things I’m missing that keep me from losing that last 10.

(and I continue to secretly want to know the “secrets that coffee cos won’t tell” me).

Unfortunately in some cases when they really could have hooked me (again, embarrassed) the marketers just go a bit into lame-land:


What loses me here? the domain name: FatLoss4idiots…..oooo sorry. not clicking.

But what does get me: “Rules.” That’s a hand’s down strong word, unfortunately totally undone by the domain name.

Here’s another by the same advertiser:


no doubt split-testing the two to see which draws the most traffic.

I again want to know those rules, this time “That Work…by Dieting Smarter.” Sinks it: “Idiot-Proof.” nope, not clicking.

What gets us? rules to love by, crush by, secrets and rules we don’t know for smarter anything. Used wisely, there ARE words that might get me to click, but in some cases, marketers clearly don’t realize the power they have with just one word.

Here are two sponsored ad impressions, from two seemingly different sources. One works for me, the other, not so much:

Doesn’t work:


What’s good in this ad: “83.6% Success Rate” sounds honest and reasonable. What spoils it: “Dirty Tricks.” How ’bout “dumb.” That would work just as well here.

Works much better:


Can you figure out why? If you can you have most average marketers beat, I’ll bet.

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