13 Things You Should Know about Raising the Stakes in Your Copy

The web writing formula is simple: clear, concise and compelling.

Last week I showed you what it looked like to make copy compelling by raising the stakes with cancer and death.

This week we are going to expand on that, but ultimately boils down to this: show your reader something she wants–and then threaten it.

Let’s go.

1. Threaten Their Lifestyle

Threaten their home with the pool and five acres, their freedom to roam and crash anywhere (think of the new nomad), the parties they get to have with all the cool kids.

Show them how if they don’t do X then life as they know it will come to an end. Amp it up: fail to do X and then you could be shunned, you could become an outsider. No more parties with the cool kids for you.

2. Threaten Their Security or Privacy.

On the one hand, think door locks, car alarms or self-defense classes. On the other hand, tell them someone is prying into their lives–their secrets–and that threatens to blow their cover.

Microsoft used this strategy with their “Are You Scroogled?” ad, suggesting that Google is looking at your emails to generate relevant text ads–text ads that might get you in hot water.

13 Things You Should Know about Raising the Stakes in Your Copy


Rick Duris is CopyRanger.

Leave a Reply