Dirty Little Secrets to Seducing Customers with Copy

When getting ready to launch a new product or service, you’re probably falling off your chair with anticipation to share all of its goodness with the world.

The problem?

You’d rather watch paint dry than sit and write about features, benefits, or any other marketing gobbledygook the experts claim you need to share.

So, you slap something together in the hopes that people will just “get it,” only to end up with a big stinker of a sales page, and big snores from your clients.


Don’t fret. Keep reading to learn how to inject a splash of adrenaline into your sales copy that will have people drooling to buy your goods.

The Habit That’ll Have You Churning Out Killer Headlines

You probably already know that you have just a few seconds to captivate a reader.  And, you also know that your headline is the ultimate first impression.

However, unless you’re an award-winning copywriter you’re probably sweating bullets trying to craft the perfect headline that will impress the pants off your customers.

I have a solution – and it’s super fun.

Get your behind into the grocery store and make a beeline right for the check out line. Do you see all of those racks stacked with trashy tabloids and other glossy treasures? Grab a copy of at least three of these publications and then take note of all the headlines. How can you re-work these for your own business so customers will buy your stuff just as easily as a random grocery shopper shells out $3.50 for a magazine?

Let’s pretend you’re a health coach launching a new program to help people beat sugar addiction.

National Enquirer Headline: Stars’ Ex Lovers Tell All: The Heartbreak that Changed Her Forever

Your headline: Ex-Sugar Addict Reveals: How to Cut Sweets Out of your Life Forever

This will take some practice, but following the basic make-up of these headlines to craft your own will have your customers itching to learn more.

The Simple Copy Trick to Make an Instant Connection with Customers

If you’re using the Internet to communicate with customers (and I suspect you are if you’re a Laura Roeder fan), you have to find some way to make your words jump off the page and help people feel like you’re right in the room with them.

The best way to do this is to infuse words and phrases that will have them clinging fiercely to each word.

Here’s a neat little trick to try.

Pretend your ideal customer is plopping down on a lazy Sunday afternoon with a cup of coffee and his/her favorite magazine. Which magazine are they reading?

Once you identify what this magazine is (if there are 2 or 3, that’s fine too) head out and pick it up. Comb through the headlines, advertisements, and articles to find words and phrases that will get your customers buzzing. Keep these in a file and work them into your sales copy, blog posts, etc.

For example, if my customer liked SELF magazine, I might pull out from an issue: so-simple plan, radiant, go crazy, less stress, exhale, sunny side up, celebrate, yours truly, ready-set-slow.

Why does this work? Because national magazines spend thousands of dollars on market research to learn what customers want to read. If you don’t have that kind of budget for market research, this is a sweet little shortcut.

Stop Faking It

Last, but certainly not least, don’t try to be something you’re not.

In business, we often think we have to fit some kind of mold.

Often times that mold is B-O-R-I-N-G.

Read every piece of copy you write OUT LOUD. Are you tripping over your words? Is this something you would actually say to someone in person?

If not, ditch it and swap in something more authentic.

Oh, and pepper in some of those fun words and phrases from #2.

Copywriting doesn’t have to be the bane of your existence. In fact, it can be quite fun. Plus it gives you an excuse to check out all of those trashy magazines you were always too ashamed to read.

Now that sounds like a good time to me.


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Melissa CasseraMelissa Cassera helps business owners score millions of dollars in free advertising using the power of publicity. Download her free eBook on how to pitch the media like a pro at www.casseracommunications.com  


  1. Loved this! Already grabbed some magazines and started “clipping” ideas. Thank you!
    ~Edie Kay

  2. Epic! Melissa does a Stand-Up job of explaining these great tricks for headlines and content! KAPOW! It’s a headline smackdown, and you guys WON!

  3. That’s crazy I do this sometimes for some of my other websites. I’ll go through my girlfriends cosmopolitan magazine and try to change the headline to match my topic.

    I mean these copywriters are probably the best in the world, if they weren’t I doubt they’d be working for such a big magazine.

    • Wilson – that’s so smart! I have heard some other professional copywriters talk about the Cosmo headline strategy before. I’ve always done it in the PR world, but it works so great in many marketing + pr instances.

  4. Thanks for sharing this great idea Melissa. I’d never really thought of trying it for posts about new products, but it makes sense! They need to be just as juicy & enticing to readers as a regular blog post. My business is geared toward babies so I’m going to have to pay attention to Parents Mag & other similar ones.

    One thing that I’ve done it the past is just to do a Google image search for “magazine covers” & you’ll get a ton of images! Just scan the headlines & you’re set! Thanks again!

    • You got it Meagan! Dive into those Parenting mags and also check out sites like Daily Candy Kids – they always have really fun headlines and whimsical copy inspiration.

  5. I love these tricks for getting the right “voice” for copy and breaking up the periodic writer’s block. Reminds me of a game a former mag editor and I used to play when young pro’s living in NYC. We’d talk only in magazine schpeak for HOURS of laughter! It was kinda copywriter’s improv and the perfect way to cultivate a niche’s vocabulary.

  6. Melissa-I’m a NYC based personal trainer and nutrition coach, so I guess I got lucky that you used the SELF example-love this idea! I’m getting ready to launch my first info product: Tighter in 10 Days: When You Have to Look Your Best, Fast…it’s basically a 10 day diet/exercise plan for women with someplace to be, so they don’t have to dread getting dressed up and they can do some last minute tightening and toning with efficient workouts and eating really clean. It’s pretty much how I trained myself for my last photo shoot in July…I usually love copy writing but have been feeling blocked-thanks for the timely post!

  7. Fantastic post and inspired me to get my behind to the shops to get some magazines. Such a simple idea and one that had never crossed my mind. I am sat here currently procrastinating writing copy for a new eCourse I am about to launch and I just did not know where to start, now I do. Thank you Melissa.

    • Welcome Claire! If you have a Barnes and Noble near you, you can always sit in the cafe and go through them for the price of a coffee/tea :-) That’s one of my favorite things to do. I bet your eCourse copy will ROCK in no time!

  8. Brilliant, and a trick I can adapt to seasonal content. I’m a doctor and catchy copy is soooo not my training. Yet, like a moth to flame, I’m determined to make doctor quality skin care info accessible (and interesting) on the web. I love the idea of picking up the magazines my readers are reading, benefiting from the market research and running with it. Thanks!

  9. Great tips Melissa! Your last post inspired me to start taking myself on dates to Barnes and Noble every couple of months to take note of the headlines in the magazine aisles. Love this idea to grab the ones your ideal customer reads to help you with with sales letters – I always dread that part. Thanks!!

  10. Melissa, I looooove your secrets. Fab article: Great, practical info AND entertainment rolled into one. :-)

  11. Great tips here! And I see what you mean about the headlines. That’s always my biggest frustration. Yours sure drew me right in like a sucker;-)

  12. Great article, and so much fun to read. I’m just wondering how this would translate for a B2B audience, where the tone of their articles is much more serious. They also may not have mainstream magazines with sexy or fun titles. Would you still use those fun titles, or tone it down?

    • Re: B2B. Remember that you’re still trying to reach PEOPLE in these companies. As long as your headline direction complements your overall brand, why not have a little fun and attract attention at the same time?

      We’ve had a lot of B2B success with offering an information-type offer coupled with a free gift: gourmet coffee + biscotti to enjoy with our latest white paper, etc. Even though it’s a tech audience, they tend to really love this approach.

  13. thanks for the useful advice….

  14. I’ve lot count of the number of times I’ve bought a magazine (with out intending to) because of the headlines. Thanks for the reminder that that works! =)

  15. This idea is new to me. I want to thank you. I am a one person company and I need all the help I can get.

  16. Headlines or catchy titles has always attracted customers. Such techniques often makes even the poor quality products and services sound more appealing. So true, as businessmen we really have to think of smarter ways and smarter words to convince the customers.

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