Attention!

I don’t know about you, but normally I see myself as simply a copywriter.

However, in recent years, I’ve seen myself more and more as… “an attention hacker.”

You may remember AIDA–attention, interest, desire and action. It’s a copywriting formula that’s stood the test of time.

That’s is, until recently…

Yeah, that’s right. AIDA’s working less and less. And there’s a reason.

I first started noticing this anomaly several years ago, when I was being asked to write these long epic, content-rich article landers.

You see, with information consumption behavior on the Internet these days…

… you can’t just rely on getting someone’s attention ONE TIME at the beginning and then assume it’s there for the rest of your copy.

It doesn’t work like that anymore.

AIDA is no longer a linear, sequential process.

Interest does not “follow” attention.

It’s essential you get AND KEEP attention throughout the entire process.

This is admittedly DIFFICULT.

Roughly 10-15% of my actual copywriting efforts is devising ways to keep someone’s attention on what I want them consuming so they don’t get bored.

So that they stay engaged.

Now, let me give you an idea or two I use every day that may help with that…

My first go-to attention hacking tool is FORMATTING.

In most of my work, I format the copy so that I highlight what’s important.

I’ll change the font size, I’ll bold or I’ll underline.

(I rarely italicize because italics can be hard to visually digest.)

We mix these formatting types up so there’s little repetition. We don’t want them falling into a reading rut.

My hope is we’re bolding, underlining or highlighting something in almost every paragraph.

(If there isn’t something worth highlighting in every paragraph, I would question the value of why the paragraph or sentence is there in the first place.)

Now you may ask “How do I know what to highlight?”

And the answer is simple:

You highlight promises, claims and benefits.

WIFM

When you pack your communication like Eugene Schwartz, you’ll have promises, claims and benefits oozing from every sentence, every bullet.

The beauty of what you’re doing is that done right, your people reading appreciate the formatting.

How do we know?

Because when you use tools like http://crazyegg.com you can actually see them consuming the page.

Not only that, but people who appreciate your communication, buy your stuff.

Conversions go up.

Which is kinda the whole point, right?

–Matt

P.S. If you don’t want to use http://crazyegg.com, you can use http://hotjar.com and it’ll do the same thing. It’s free.