There’s a whole lotta science in the subject line that I used for this article.
Stick around, I will explain what I just did there.
People like information.
That’s what evolutionary science says.
“Hey, I know a secret. But I won’t tell you.”
Yeah, this creates curiosity, tension, and at times obsession.
And that’s the reason why so many shows on Netflix withhold information at the end of every episode. There is always a cliffhanger. Because people cant live with the secret.
But it doesn’t end here. There is something deeper than this…
It’s true that people want information.
But if the information is scarce, they want it even more!
If you know that I am going to give you a piece of information, and if it’s going to be available only to you, then you are going to value it much more!
Here’s a part of an article by ‘Influence at Work’. This article talks about an example that Robert Cialdini uses in his book – Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion –
Cialdini cites an experiment done by his student who became a successful owner of a beef-import company. In the experiment, the student’s company gave one group of clients a standard presentation on its beef products. The second group was given the same presentation plus the information that the beef imports would be scarce in the upcoming months. The third group was given the same presentation as the second one, plus an extra comment that the news about the scarce beef imports was for exclusive clients. According to Cialdini’s book, the second group ordered twice as much beef as the first did, and the third group did six times as much.
The third group bought the most beef, simply because they felt that they are the only ones who have that scarce information.
Going back to the subject line of this article…
Yes, I am promising to tell you a valuable piece of information. But more importantly, I am also conveying that no one else knows this information, which apparently makes it even more valuable for the reader.
There are ethical boundaries to be considered here, of course. You don’t want to be manipulating people with this power. But that’s a topic for another day.
Here are a few subject lines that follow the same principle –
“One dirty secret in the beauty industry that no one would tell you.”
“An embarrassing thing about me, that I haven’t told anyone…”
“Once you know this secret, your marketing would never be the same”