Keep Your Reader Engaged

Professional salespeople have a clever rule while engaged with a prospect.

Every so often, they ask questions like:

  • “Are you with me so far?”
  • “Does this sound good to you?”
  • “Am I on the right track?”

Pure genius! If the prospect says yes, the salesperson scores a win, he has permission to continue. And more importantly, he knows he’s moving in the right direction. If he hears a “no,” he wins again – because he doesn’t waste his or his prospect’s time, and he can hang a left or bank to the right.

Are you with me so far?

In writing articles, blogs and similar fare, we typically avoid stopping to ask if we’re on the right track. That would be weird.

What’s the solution?

First, stand in the readers’ shoes. Read your post as though it’s brand new to you. It takes a little bending of the mind, but you can do it.

Next, lean on your colleagues and friends. Send your draft to one or two of them and ask if it makes sense to them. More importantly, ask if they felt compelled to click your target button or link. Promise them some reward, like a mention in the article itself.

And finally, walk away. Take a few hours to work on something else; if you have the time, abandon the project for a day or two. Your brain gets a chance to reset itself, and you will almost always find a word or 20 to replace with something more powerful. The goal is to guide the visitor to a link, a button, a form, etc.

Remember, your client (and that might be you) wants sales. When the medium is written, do all you can to keep your prospect “with you” all the way to the “click.”


Looking for Madison Avenue marketing impact on a Shady Lane budget? Me too. But until one of us finds it, Kendall Avenue will have to do. That’s where the writers of Bold Copy throw darts at pictures of $2-a-day content providers while patiently awaiting the opportunity to serve you.


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