"Don't be such a tease," Mom chided every time I poked fun at my older sister's high-school crushes. I was relentless. When it came to preserving my sister's sanity, Mom was right. But Mom wasn't right about banning teasing entirely.
Teasing is often very good.
Many sites forget the art of a good tease in their rush to hit the right keywords and satisfy harried Web users. Teasers are the two or three lines below the headline that tell more about what's inside. They hint there's good stuff in there. You can tease for special site features and updates to your regular content.
Consider the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine. There's always a woman with a décolleté neckline and those amazing teasers:Who's That Guy Without His Shirt?
Granted, they're the product of a one-track mind. But they're good.
Take PeopleSoft's Web site. Granted, we won't see "Hot Software Sex Tips" or "How Hot-Tubbing Helped Me Achieve Corporate Goals." But content still can have spice. Most readers won't madly rush to "See What an Integrated Learning Plan Can Do." But they may be tempted to dig deeper if presented with:Learn how our software program helped one company save $5 million and complete training ahead of schedule.
It's intriguing and provides quantifiable, impressive results up front.
Most home pages are cluttered with unfocused content from competing departments. Or, they're the product of an overworked Webmaster who's given up teasing and opted for vanilla: "Learn More About Our Organization" or "Check Out Our Many Locations." Yawn.
Of course, writing a terrific teaser is an art:
Want more insights into writing head-snapping Web content? Page through my long list of archived columns. You'll find tips on targeting key audiences, writing in a distinct voice, copywriting, and more.
Mom was right. I love to tease!
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Susan Solomon is the executive director of marketing and public relations for Memorial Health Services, a five-hospital health system in Southern California. In this capacity, she manages promotional activities for both traditional and new media. Susan is also a marketing communications instructor at the University of California, Irvine; California State University, Fullerton; and the University of California, Los Angeles.
December 12, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT