Never underestimate the importance of the teaser text!
The teaser text is the short bit of information that appears below an article heading. It is used to introduce or summarise the content of an article. Sometimes it is referred to as the “Abstract” or “Article Summary”.
An example of a heading and teaser text for an article about sailing in the Caribbean could be:
An Unspoilt Paradise Not to Be Missed
During my twenty-year love affair with the British Virgin Islands, I have never found a place more perfect than this hidden bay in north Anguilla.
In the context of a subscription website, the heading and teaser for an article are usually viewable by any visitor to the site, whilst the main body of the article is only available to the paying members.
The art of the great teaser is to give enough information away to be useful and interesting to the reader, but not enough information that they feel satiated and fulfilled. The perfect teaser needs to leave the reader wanting more, but not frustrated and unhappy about how little they got. It is a fine line that the writer needs to tread.
It is best to give away enough information to ensure that the visitor learns something genuinely new and useful from the teaser. This means giving away valuable information usually reserved for members.
Subscription website owners often protest when this strategy is suggested.
But the answer is this. A subscription website has two purposes, each of which is equally important. They are:
- Provide a password-protected area for distributing content to your members
- Convert website visitors to paying members
To achieve the second objective, visitors need to feel very comfortable that what you offer is what they want. They can only make this judgment if you open your kimono a little bit to show what you have.
Visitors rarely subscribe on their first visit. Therefore, they have to be given a very good reason to keep coming back. Valuable information in the teaser is one of the strongest marketing tools and one of the easiest to keep up to date and relevant.
Here is an example of a tantalizing teaser, which informs but leaves the reader wanting more:
Finding the Cheapest Flights to America
The best websites through which to find cheap flights to America are cheapflights.com, Expedia.com, and SkyScanner.com … but I have found a trick that can reduce the cost of flights by a further 20%. Compelling isn’t it?!
Every website has different content so the teasers must be tailored to the specific subject area, but as a general rule think of the teaser as like a first date. Give enough to make them want to see you again, but not too much that they feel they have seen all you’ve got!