Do me a favour.
Watch one of those daytime soaps today.
Watch carefully how the episode begins.
First, they show you a little bit of last time's story to jog your memory, before pulling you into today's episode. In effect, they're using a connector.
And right after they connect, they disconnect.
Disconnectors create a 'kapow!'
Your brain is jolted into action and you wonder, "What the heck, is happening here?"
The jolt almost feels like you were driving down the road And suddenly you hit a bump on the road. The bump slaps you out of your reverie, and forces you to instantly focus. What's more interesting, is that the bump wakes you up, but doesn't throw off the road.
That's exactly what a disconnector will do to your reader
When you're copywriting a sales letter or an article, you need to put powerful connectors to move the customer along. But hey, it ain't much good, if the reader falls asleep at the 'wheel.' The disconnector is the device you need to use, to make sure the reader stays alert as they read your article.
Here are some examples of disconnectors in copywriting
Those were the commands of the art teacher to a bunch of five year olds. They didn't know it just then, but they were part of a psychological experiment.
The command reverberated through the room with a varying effect.
Some kids furrowed their eyebrows. Some scoured their brains for inspiration. Others chewed on their crayons uneasily.
Yet three kids seemed unmistakably unperturbed Whipping out their crayons, they seemed to sport an air of flamboyance, even haughtiness. With practiced deft strokes, they went about rendering a piece of art many adults would have been proud to call their own.
Barring the three obviously talented ones, the rest of the class seemed to produce nothing but chaos.
Did you see the intense disconnect between the headline and the body copy?
No you didn't! If you were just reading this article, you'd have never seen it. The first fifty words would have got your attention, and you'd be away. It's only because I'm pointing it out to you, that you're noticing the disconnector.
You can create disconnection at the start of an article, in the middle of an article or even towards the end of the article. As long as you can learn to disconnect and then connect, you're effectively doing what every soap opera does day, after day, after day.
Let's see how the disconnectors work in the middle of an article
The article below was based on how Harley Davidson, the bike company built its membership from 28 members to 350,000.
Well let's jump back to Harley Davidson's profit line. Think jackets, boots, gloves, t-shirts, bike accessories, baseball caps. Then do the math. Don't you think each HOG member is going to spend at least $10 to keep up his/her Harley image?
What's $10 profit x 350,000 members? You got it. $3.5 million.
Let's look at actual figures In 1996, Harley took home $100 million. Up from $20 million, just eight years before in 1988. Mind boggling, huh?
And we're not even counting the profits from the sales of the Harley bikes!
So how can you do a Harley?
Let's face it. You work too damn hard in your business
Yes, you know you've got to sell time and again to a customer.
And yes you know the real profit lies in your existing customer coming back time and again. And that customers talk to customers and it helps to build sales. But where the heck are you going to get the time to do all of this community business?
If Kate can do it, you can
Kate runs a little dress store in a town that boasts of less than 15,000 residents. Business can be cut-throat, specially with the big megastores within 'small business gobbling distance.'
Yet Kate's done a 'Harley.'
Every month, Kate heads out for coffee. And she's not alone. In the quaint little cafe down the road, there's a hubbub of excitement. Kate's customers are having a whale of a time. They're laughing, chatting and tucking into cheesecake -- while Kate picks up the tab month after month.
Do you see the word advertising anywhere?
Printing of glossy brochures? Hundreds of dollars of publicity?
All it costs is $2.50 for a coffee. Per customer. Per month.
That's all it takes. And Kate's community builds one customer at a time. Customers bring friends, friends bring friends and the dresses fly out of Kate's dress store.
You noticed the disconnection in the article, didn't you?
You sure paid close attention as we bounced from Harley Davidson to Kate's clothing store story. And though the disconnector was clear as day, it didn't seem to jar, because within the article itself, there were connectors, that demonstrated how Kate could do a mini-Harley Davidson as well.
Use disconnectors in your articles today
The job of the connector is to make sure the customer slip slides from one part of the article to another. It keeps the momentum steady. The disconnector is meant to give the reader just a little bounce. Just to make sure the reader hasn't quite nodded off, and to build what is called a plot, within a plot.
If you want an education of disconnectors, get to your remote control.
There's sure to be an 'educational' soap on, right now!
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