There is a very significant reason that I am writing this article and using the title above. It has to do with the fact that marketers ruin everything.
Much in the same way that I have talked about email open rates going down from 90%, and Google AdWords going up from ten cents, it’s always about being a first mover. People who are executing properly and making the right assumptions create the market.
In this case, it was Buzzfeed. Buzzfeed was right. Let me say it again: Buzzfeed was 100% right. And now, the rest of the market is following them.
This type of headline, the listicle format, is a homerun. It tells people upfront what the commitment is. It puts everything in front of you right away. It doesn’t waste anyones time. In our world today, time is the most valuable asset. When you read “5 reasons you should never eat these foods again”, you know exactly what you are going to get and how long it will take to get it (except for, of course, the foods; that’s the part that gets you to click).
So yes. These headlines, completely gamified and data driven, are working. They are working very well.
But are they working as well as they did twenty-four months ago?
Well, as media properties like The Guardian, and The Washington Post, and Vox, and Wired, and handfuls of others join in, it becomes a classic game of the supply and demand of attention.
At the end of the day, I’m a one trick pony: I understand that supply and demand of attention. And that is why I am emphatically confident that in 2019, this title won’t work as well.
Will it still work?
Sure. Google AdWords still work. Email marketing still works. Radio and television and billboards still work. But are they as valuable? Absolutely not. The ROI of attention and the upside practices of 2019 will not include this headline.
Okay, got it? Get it? Good. Now, to recap: 3 reasons this title will not work in 2019:
1. The market will move by 2019 and headlines like this won’t work any more
2. The market will move by 2019 and headlines like this won’t work any more
3. You won’t even be on bullet 3 by the time 2019 hits. Sorry. It’s true.