What do you call a fisherman who throws an empty hook? A bad fisherman.
It’s the same with copywriting.
It’s not enough for your hook to grab attention or be slightly controversial… The main driver of any real engagement with your copy is trust and authority.
Casey Hill tested this theory by using two different hooks and sharing results on LinkedIn:
- Empty hook: “Recently I sat down with Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight, to discuss how to scale your organization.”
- Trustworthy hook: “Nick Mehta runs Gainsight, a company that Vista acquired for $1,100,000,000. He knows a thing or two about scaling organizations.”
Guess what? The second hook had 10x more views than the first one.
Let’s dig into Casey’s takeaways…
Use specific claims. When you can show real numbers and results, it feels far more persuasive than only showing the end result. For example:
“In June 2022, [insert brand] implemented [insert solution] to replace [insert alternative]. After a bit of a ramp period, they saw demo conversions climb first 6% in July and then 11% in August.”
Use customer proof. Casey points out that when many brands use customer claims, they usually just include a quote. That’s an empty hook, because we don’t know if real people made them.
Replace quotes with videos of clients or customers describing specific before-and-afters of your product. You’ll see an immediate difference.
Affinity matters. If you want someone to buy your product, make them feel you’re on the same page.
Casey says he bought a SaaS start-up book just because the title was closely related to the growth stage his company was in.
Borrow authority. Sometimes you can use a little help from already authoritative people.
This can take many forms… Quoting an industry leader, referencing an excerpt of a high-profile podcast, citing a trusted website, and so on.
That’s how you put real, tasty bait on your hook. Just make sure you can back your trustworthy claim when the time comes… and you’ll catch the big ones. Good luck!