Curiosity | One Of The Best Copywriting Secrets For Online Promotion


“What in the world killed the cat?”   Curiosity!

Curiosity!  It’s one of the best copywriting secrets online writers use today.  When it comes to  promotion, “Curiosity killed the cat,” is as powerful for off line promotion as it is for online promotion.  In the late 1800’s,  BT Barnum said, “There’s a customer born every minute.”  He was a genus at using curiosity as a promotional strategy to gain customers.

Curiosity means:  eager to learn or know…arousing interest or attention.

Curiosity summons a “need to know” in your reader or customer’s mind.  What?  Why?  How?  Where?

Some years ago, when I worked for a large craft company, we traveled to trade shows to promote and sell our products.  There were hundreds of booths at the show so we had to come up with unique ways to draw buyers into our booth.

We used “curiosity.”  We offered a fantastic “Make It and Take It” craft project.  Ladies would stand in line in front of our booth for hours just to sit down for 15 minutes and make an expensive, classy project.  We went “over the top” to compete with our competitors with our “Make It and Take It” projects.

So…. how did this project create curiosity?  The large crowd.  “What in the world is going on over there?”  We had tremendous success…. our booth was always full of ladies…. and as a result… our sales people were always busy with buyers that came to our booth to see what was going on.  (P T Barnum used “the large crowd” strategy.)

In online marketing, curiosity is created by using words.

Famous copywriter, John Caples, wrote this famous headline.  “They Laughed When I Sat Down At the Piano…. But When I Started To Play!…  This headline is still considered a classic.  It invokes curiosity.  What Happened…when he started to play?

Online marketing guru, Jimmy Brown, says that curiosity is the one method that distances all others for getting people to read your blog.

Whether you’re writing copy for a a blog post or a title for a opt-in box or sales page, the old “Curiosity Strategy” will work every time.

As Jimmy Brown put it… “Curiosity may have killed the cat, but I’m guessing with at least a few of those nine lives… he came back for more.”

Til Later,

Kathryn Griffiths

P.S.  I’m curious to know how you came to read this blog.  What curiosity strategies do you use?

Technorati Tags: Copywriting, online promotion, Promotion

Categories : Promotion


  1. Kat Simpson says:

    Curiosity hasn’t killed this Kat yet but I use it a lot ! And that is what brought me to read this post!

  2. I know curiosity works on me. I got an email about a controversy the sender had started on a form we belong to. I clicked to see what was going on. The only thing was ….no controversy. Some readers were mad! He did apologize, say he did expect controversy.

    I so dislike those email subject lines that create curiosity and then do not deliver. Like “affiliate commission”, I think I have an update on my affiliate commissions, but instead it is a sales pitch.

    So I say…use curiosity but then deliver what is promised.

  3. I’d like to underscore Sheila’s remark about “not delivering” after creating curiosity. I think it’s very unprofessional, downright sneaky, and the next thing to criminal when the subject lines in emails are nothing but disguises for blatant sales pitches! They’re the kinds of headlines that definitely create curiosity — so I’ll give them that much credit — but those folks are really practicing “deceit”.

    I think one really tactful and effective way to arouse curiosity is to create “anticipation” by providing your audience with a lesson or strategy that can be divided up into a “series” of messages.


  4. Interesting post and comments. We have to create curiosity in order to peak potential customer’s interest. However, what these comments indicate is that you want something really awesome if you are curious enough to take a peek. Interesting data 🙂

  5. Joyce Hansen says:

    Your brain has the unique ability to fill in the blanks in miliseconds. When it keeps noticing a pattern over time it can fill in the blanks to the predictable outcome. When it responds with curiosity to something new and different it wants to find out if there is a new pattern or if this is a old pattern dressed up in sheep’s clothing.

    If your brain’s curiosity is peaked, it be looking for the new and novel. If it doesn’t find it, your brain will remember. So with the next e-mail from the same person your brain will recognize it as a possible fraud (not content but a sales pitch), but against your better judgment you will open it up just to see if you are wrong. Hence your frustration and disappointment.

    Best thing to do is trust your feeling, Delete and don’t worry about it, because if you remain on the marketer’s list, there will be another e-mail on its way shortly.

  6. joe says:

    A very interesting post.
    I was interested in the online promotion side of curiosity and this answered it very well. What a thoughtful post.
    I think that curiosity should be used however it works. It’s up to the visitor to decide whether or not to view what it is that piqued that curiosity. If a sales letter, and this is not what you expected, you can always go on to the next page.
    In my small way of thinking, as an online marketer, I applaud the efforts the person went to try and get peeps (eyes, not people) to stop and read what was being promoted. It is not easy as a marketer to get someone to stop and click on something online and even more when competing with million other distractions. So, my hat is off to the marketer who succeeds in getting someone to stop and look and Kathryn, thanks for taking the time to write this up. I appreciate the information very much.

  7. Very awesome point here! I’ve heard of using curiosity and I know it’s a good tactic though you put it in a very great perspective!

    Thanks for turning on the light bulb in my head! 🙂