Three ways copywriting creates curiosity in a saturated market

Copywriting featured

You don’t like copywriting.

I get it.

You sell widgets, and everyone else sells the same thing as you.

No matter how you try to spin it, in the customer’s mind, you and your competitors are all the same.

Look. At the end of the day, when you’re dealing in mature, saturated markets, everyone has heard the same old claims a million times.

About ten years ago, I learnt two very valuable copywriting lessons from Gary Halbert. I’ve used these lessons very successfully ever since. These lessons are so obvious, but so brilliant at the same time.

Lesson #1: Your readers are bored.

Lesson #2: Everyone reads your copy by himself at his computer.


You can apply these two lessons in tandem. Most people are bored at work, bored at home, bored when they go out. It’s all just too boring. When they are browsing around on the web and they come across your brilliant copywriting, you are actually doing them a favour by providing something that is interesting.

And everyone is alone when he or she is reading your message. You’re not talking to an audience of 1,000 people. You’re having a personal conversation with one person. What does this mean? It means your copywriting can get emotional. It means you can write your copy with the frame of mind you would have in copywriting a personal letter to a friend.

This is very important. If you can nail this, then everything else becomes a lot easier. This is the part where most marketing crap doesn’t work.

You need to make sure your sales messaging is compelling, it’s sharp and hitting those pain points that I’ve mentioned in previous articles.


Example 1 – Copywriting in the weight loss industry

For example how would you get a weight loss client? What kind of claims would you make if you were a consultant and you wanted to show people how to lose weight?

Would you say, “How to lose five pounds?” Of course not. Why wouldn’t that work?

“How to lose five pounds” is too generic. This is a mature market. The weight loss industry has been around for a long time. There’s a lot of players in that market. It’s a very crowded field.

We are making claims in a crowded field. We need to use curiosity copywriting.

We can change our claims in a number of different ways.

Copywriting Lose Five Pounds

1. You can add more specifics

We can say – “How to lose five pounds in seven days”

However, in the weight loss market, this claim has been made many times before as well.

2. You can add curiosity

What if we kept that same headline but added a couple more words? – “How to lose five pounds by eating more cake.” Who wants to do that one?

Are people going to click on this ad? Of course they are!

This works as long as you’re making claims that are legitimate and they work and they’re proven.


Example 2 – Property investors

I do a lot of work with property investment companies. Just in the last few years, over 30,000 people registered through my marketing to attend property investment seminars, so I know this market very, very well.

To build curiosity in the real estate investor market, we first need to understand their drivers.

Looking at the property investment market, the number one question that property investors have is – wait for it…

“Where are the hot spots?”

Copywriting hotspots

“Tell me that random suburb in Northwest Australia that no one knows about that’s going to double in value next year. Tell me that. That’s what I want to know.”

Real estate investors always want to get the edge over the other investors. They want to feel they know information that the other investor doesn’t know. They love that.

Another thing investors always say is:

“I want to invest more in property but I don’t like huge debts”.

Real estate investors love the idea of owning a lot of properties but they get very, very nervous when they think it’s going to be a lot of debt for them. They don’t like debt at all.

Then we’ve got:

“How can I quit my day job and have a passive income?”

It’s the proverbial lifestyle on the beach dream. Many potential investors think that by investing in real estate, “I’ll get to a stage where I can quit my job and I can sit on the beach with a laptop”. (Side note: I don’t know why you’d want to sit on the beach with a laptop.)

“How do I invest if I don’t have a deposit?”

A lot of investors want to get into the real estate market but they can’t get in because they haven’t got $40,000 or $50,000 to get in with a deposit. There are different people out there in the market that have solutions where you can get into real estate without having a huge deposit.

“What if the tenant moves out and I can’t pay the mortgage?”

Big fear factor for investors here because you’ve got your own house and then you might buy one or two investment properties. Hey, your salary can’t sustain three mortgages. That’s not going to help anyone. That’s a big fear as well.

Bringing this all together, one of my friends Alexi also recently ran a great campaign in the real estate market. Here’s the headline and subhead:

Headline: “How to uncover the hottest growth in cash flow areas before other investors”
Subhead: Two magic indicators used by a street smart property investor who bought fifteen properties before his twenty-seventh birthday

This headline works well for several reasons. As I mentioned before, Property investors are always wanting to know how to get capital growth or cash flow. They’re really wanting to know how to find cash flow, and they’re always wondering how can they get a leg up on other investors. So that’s why there’s the headline, “How to uncover the hottest growth in cash flow areas before other investors.”

But that’s not necessarily a new claim, which is why in the subhead there is specificity: fifteen properties before his twenty-seventh birthday. Now you take it all as a collaborative; you’ve got yourself a headline and subhead that’s really never gone to market before.

When we’re running seminars for our clients, our clients have solutions to the questions that investors are asking. And in the marketing materials, we say that the attendees will learn the answers to these questions when they attend. That’s why we get huge numbers to these property seminars.


Using Curiosity Copywriting in your marketing message

This is a copywriting strategy that’s very advanced. I can tell you your competitors aren’t thinking about this. Not many people know about this strategy. If we can integrate a little bit of curiosity copy into your marketing, you will do really, really well.

‘What’s that all about?’, ‘That sounds really cool. How do I do that?’ – That’s the reaction we want from people when they read this copy.

Curiosity is telling people the opposite of what they expect to hear – ‘How to lose five kilos by eating more cake’ – We all want to know how that works because everyone tells you, ‘Don’t eat cake. Stop eating cake. It’s bad for you.’

When someone tells you that it’s good to eat cake and you’re going to lose weight by eating cake, that’s why we click on that because it’s, ‘Oh, that’s kind of different.’

If someone is surprised, they will want to read more. And then you’ve done your job.


Example 3 – The photocopier market

Around 10 years ago I was selling photocopiers to Educational institutions. My copiers were around double the price of the competition, and on face value, had very similar features.

I applied this same copywriting strategy.

What’s the biggest pain point of photocopier buyers?

“When the copier breaks, it takes forever for someone to fix the damn thing!”

So how did I overcome this?

I interviewed our head of service and got all the stats why our service was far superior to the competition. As an example, at the time, if you called our support centre, on average you’d be speaking with a real person in 9.8 seconds. And if you needed an on-site technician, we would be there within 4 hours.

Turned out there was 8 advantages we had over the competition.

So I formatted this into a one page brochure that said “8 questions you should ask your copier company before purchasing a new copier”


I left this brochure with every client.

This marketing message was so effective that it was rolled out nationally across the whole organisation. In fact, one day I received a call from a competitive salesperson who was furious. He had a potential client ask him every single one of these questions…..let’s just say he lost that deal to us!


Action exercises:

  • What are the pain points of your marketplace?
  • Is your marketing message as boring as “how to lose weight?” Change it!
  • Are all your competitors saying the same thing? Can you say the opposite?

I’m looking forward to hearing your copywriting success stories. These tips came from Chapter One of my latest book Feed A Starving Crowd: More than 200 Hot and Fresh Marketing Strategies to Help you Find Hungry Customers.

You can get a free copy of this book from

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