Everyone knows how to recognize a clickbait headline. Phrases like “You won’t believe X” or “X things you didn’t know about Y” are designed to grab our attention and entice us to investigate further. Plenty of websites use these tactics to generate revenue based on ad traffic, and despite the fact that we know exactly what these sites are up to, curiosity often gets the better of us (okay, me) and we click anyway. Clickbait is annoying, but it works – so how can we adapt the same tactics to our own print advertising? Consider the following image, taken from an article on Target Marketing.com by Paul Bobnak:
What stopped me and prompted this post was something I quickly saw on the front side of this direct mail membership appeal from The Ocean Conservancy.
It was the clickbait-like teaser on the front: “10 THINGS you never knew about the ocean that will amaze you! NUMBER 3 will take your breath away …”. On the back, the clincher: “WARNING: NUMBER 1 might make you cry.”
Bobnak goes on to describe a few other tactics that marketers and designers have taken from online advertising, including infographics and location apps like Google Maps. One of the reasons I believe that print marketing is still successful is because of it’s adaptability – the same techniques used in other marketing channels can be used in print, sometimes more effectively. We can challenge the limitations we put on print media and come up with some truly unique campaigns that work in unison across any number of platforms.