Curiosity Actually Increases Your Conversions! Here’s How…

Want to know the easiest way to get more of your e-mails read, and to get more blog comments?

Is it to say less in your e-mails?  And less in your blog posts?

kittenI wanted to finally know the truth, I did what any programmer would do... I took the word count of 100-plus of my blog posts and the comment count of 100-plus of my blog posts.

(My blog posts are an average of 539 words and I get an average of 28 comments per post... cool, right?)

I dumped the whole thing into an Excel spreadsheet and calculated the correlation between the length of a blog post and the number of comments it gets.

I was dead-set on telling you that shorter blog posts get you more comments, but guess what happened?

I Was Wrong... and The Answer Really Surprised Me!

Excel is supposed to give me a number between -1 and +1.  -1 means a negative correlation.  That would mean shorter blog posts get more comments. +1 would be a negative correlation, meaning LONGER blog posts get you more comments.


But the correlation was: -0.050037583

Almost No Relationship Between

Length of a Blog Post and Number of Comments!

There is no difference between a short blog post (my shortest is 40 to 100 words) and a long blog post (my longest is 1000 to 1300 words)...they get the same number of comments!

If you're a boring blogger, it doesn't matter if your post is short or long.  You'll still get the same number of comments.  And if you're exciting, whether you're short or long, you'll get the same number of comments.

It's about the content, not the length.

That Means Size Doesn't Matter... Or Does It?

So does that mean you shouldn't care whether your posts or short or long?  It means your posts should always be short.  Here's why...

Scenario #1 - One Long Post: Let's say it takes you an hour to write a 1000 word blog post.  You could post it once and get 10 comments and be done.

Scenario #2 - Three Short Posts: Or you could split it into three blog posts, post there 333 word blog posts and get 10 comments once, 10 comments the next time, and 10 comments on the third part for a total of 30 comments.

So if you're trying to maximize the number of comments on your blog, why WOULDN'T you write short blog posts?  Since it makes no difference?

And on top of all that, it's easier to "tease"... arouse saying less. When you try to get curiosity by saying MORE... it becomes more and more like an episode of "Lost" which to me is just too much work.

Keep It Simple....

Say less in your blog posts (keep it at 500 words or less) and say less in your e-mails leading up to your blog posts to get them to click.

I'll leave you with the template for Lance's BEST converting e-mail message ever. It's fill-in-the-blank and it's such a short and vague message it'll make your head spin...

This is what me and Lance joke about as the "What's That About?" e-mail template.  Just replace anything inside (parentheses) with your own words related to your product and your niche.

Why (insert technique here) is the worst way to (get the result you want).

What (number) other techniques work much better?

What are other keys to (desired result)?


What's that all about?

Discover the secrets...


Go there now...

That's right.  A simple 39-word e-mail converted better than a year's worth of longer e-mails.  Crazy, isn't it?

As usual, I need 50 comments to continue blogging... and after I get 100 comments... I will CLOSE all future comments to this thread.  Looking forward to your comments below!


What's Your Weirdest Curiosity Technique That's
Gotten You Clicks, Optins and Sales?

Or what technique from an e-mail guru has sucked you into either clicking on an e-mail link, opting in or buying?  What single line has aroused your curiosity more than anything else?

Filed in: Copywriting

Comments (47)

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  1. Dave says:

    Would like to see an example of the phrasing you’d use in “(Guess)?”

  2. Robert Plank says:


    Here is an example of the guess email:

    Why forced continuity is the worst way to establish a recurring income with membership sites.

    What other techniques work much better?

    What are other keys to getting people to pay you, month after month?

    Trial offers, maybe? What’s that all about?

    Discover the secrets…


    Go there now…

  3. Great analysis!

    I’d also like to see what “Guess” example you have up your sleeve…

  4. Robert Plank says:

    Hey guys, here’s the post I used as my “guess” email:

    I asked… guess what word I hate the most?

    That was one blog post, then the blog post delivering the answer arrived a couple days later.

  5. Joel Walters says:

    Hey Robert, thanks for sharing the email template (straight in the swipe file). One of the most curiosity pulling subject lines that suckered me in was: “The easiest customer to sell to by far….”

    But you should see the crazy converting email I got from frank Kerns….

    Joel Walters:)

  6. Joe says:

    Hey Robert interesting results.

    I guess it just goes to show that people don’t like to read too much. It kind of reminds me of the elevator speech, having 2 minutes to tell the story.

    Great post, thanks for sharing.


  7. My best conversions have come with any post related to the common pains of entrepreneurs and an invitation to receive a the “top ___ mistakes you can avoid” or “__things you can do right now to get more ___”.

  8. Robert Plank says:


    I’m glad you added the positive benefit at the end of those titles. I see too many people say, “Top X Mistakes” and I’m thinking… don’t tell me about the mistakes, what can I avoid? Great job there.

  9. John Flynn says:

    I like that “What’s That About?” e-mail template — and a very interesting post overall. 🙂

  10. Ron Barrett says:


    The template is great. I thought curiosity killed the cat, not the kitten?

  11. Bryan says:

    Interesting observation! I always wondered about this question myself…

  12. John B says:

    Curiosity definitely fires up the brain receptors. So I’m thinking you put the kitty cat photo in your post because it is totally irrelevant to the post to create even more curiosity, or you are referencing the kitty cat to be curious.

    Either way it’s a cute kitty cat!

  13. Robert Plank says:


    The cat is in there because the original title of this blog post was something like, “Curiosity Killed the Cat but Has an Opposite Effect on Your Conversions!” Which I decided was too cheesy and cutesy.

    After changing the title to something more normal I left the cat in there because I knew it would get people wondering and maybe get the inside joke — which you did.

  14. Ken Speegle says:

    Great points, Robert. At the end of the day, the ONLY thing that matters is the quality of a post. Size might matter in other areas of life, but blog posts aren’t one of them 🙂

    Focus on quality; you’ll be rewarded for it.

  15. Donna says:

    As always, good content, Robert.

    That’s what keeps people coming back over and over. We all have busy lives but when we know there will be something ‘meaty’ (like your blog) we do take the time to come on over and read it.

    Thanks for sharing – it’s appreciated!


  16. Roger says:

    Hey Robert,

    Thanks for another insightful and informational post! I really do appreciate the fact that you and Lance both put together posts that are thoughtful instead of full of filler like so many others!

    Thanks again,


  17. Kevin Brown says:

    Thanks Robert, That’s very helpful to me.

    I’m a scientist by training and I always try to explain all the angles and answer all the likely questions…

    But that’s quite wrong when you’re in marketing-mode, I realise. (But still quite correct, when delivering the solution people have paid for).


  18. Robert Plank says:

    If you try to cover all the angles, you’ll never be done.

    You can always go back later and update a blog post (good reason to bump it back up to the top), update a product (reason to relaunch it), update your sales letter after a split test to make it convert better…

    Something else to think about it: I’ll pay MORE to get LESS solutions. I don’t want the top 7 ways to do it, I want “THE” top way to do it.

  19. Bruce says:

    Hey Robert,

    Short emails-Quailty content blog post!

    What a simple easy to make sense idea!

    Going to try it out.
    Thanks Bruce
    P.S. Got me to comment!

  20. Nancy Boyd says:

    Robert, I am still working on finding several “magic lures” that get people more involved with my blog topics. So far it’s a variety of things — but one of the key elements seems to be posing some kind of open-ended question or situation where the answer (or plural) is not easily known or guessed.

    So yes, that would certainly be curiosity. But it would also be on a topic or sub-topic that people want to know about.

    No one is going to be curious about”boring” LOL!

    That bring novelty into play.

    And frankly — the more playful energy that’s happening, the more connection and involvement.

    At least that’s what I’m observing.

    I’d love to hear more thoughts about that!

  21. Robert Plank says:


    It’s interesting that you bring up WHAT question to ask because you can somehow scare people into not answering a question if it’s too hard or too personal.

    A couple of years ago, one of my students was running a webinar (I was a panelist so I saw the responses) and asked something like, “Will you remove clutter from your life in one of these areas?”

    Tons of “yes” responses flooded in…

    A few minutes later she asked, “Will you remove clutter in the next 2 days?”

    Hardly any response.

    Even though there was only one change, people suddenly couldn’t commit to it. That’s why something more general like, “What do you think?” Or, “What was your favorite technique?” Is a safer bet because it opens it up for more “easy” comments, but the more aggressive people can commit to something if they want.

  22. Jeff Bode says:

    I don’t know if I have any ‘weird’ curiosity tactics, but I’ll share a few tactics

    asking questions like this tend to work good for emails:

    Best deal of 2010?
    Want [X] Or [Y]?

    or using unfinished phrases:

    the best way to…
    I almost…
    too good to…

    In sales pages I sometimes use pictures of odd things like I used a subway logo on a product about list building.

    That’s about all you can swipe from my right now …lol

  23. Robert Plank says:

    Heck yeah thanks for the swipes Jeff.

  24. Khairul says:

    That’s great idea. I like to try the curios template.
    Just curios…

  25. Jase says:

    I only open emails from you and Lance these days! Rarely read the bunch of other stuff I get. What piqués my curiosity includes
    … different headlines (you could have had ‘How To Get More Conversions’ and I probably would have parked it)

    … useful content ( who else thinks to run such a bit of research?!)

    … conversational style of writing


  26. Hi Robert,

    This was timely. I was just talking with someone yesterday about this very topic. He was touting longer posts, and I suggested that 5 300 word posts might gain more hits than the one 1,500 word post he was recommending.

    But thinking about it, the issue is a text based one. You regularly release Webinars with way more than 1,500 words. The medium must have an effect. Have you tried to do the same analysis with webinars or audit?


  27. Robert Plank says:

    Hi Warren,

    Weren’t you in one of the Webinar Crusher classes? After experimenting with all kinds of webinars, the best length is exactly 1 hour.

    45 minutes of teaching, 15 minutes of pitch. On a free webinar your “pitch” is literally go buy this thing, here are the details. In a paid webinar class the pitch is summary, Q&A, and what assignment to complete.

    If the webinar is under an hour, then people miss too much if they show up late, if it’s over an hour, that’s just too much to sit through and we lose a lot of people at the top of the hour.

  28. Niche Revolution Member says:

    Great tip Robert!

    In this situation though, we wouldn’t necessarily want curiosity to “kill” the cat. Or would we?


  29. Lauren says:


    You should know that size does matter, but what you do with that size and how expertly you manipulate it is the other half of the equation rarely discussed!


  30. Robert Plank says:


    It’s all about the “motion of the ocean”, right? 😉

    I know plenty of people who can be boring in just 2 paragraphs, and they’re still boring if they write 2 pages.

    Something else is that every now and then, I’ll edit a blog post just after it goes out or I’ll revise a report or sales letter of mine to say the same thing in less words. It takes me a little MORE time to write LESS. Something to think about.

  31. Interesting stuff, Robert.

    Short blog posts are fun to write, so I’m glad that you research shows that short posts get the same number off posts.

  32. here’s what made me comment on this and not the others, beside the title (blame it on… curiosity!)

    Notice: Only 26 More Comments Will Be Allowed in This Blog Post…

    Why only 26 comments will be allowed, by the way? lol

  33. Robert Plank says:

    Hey Codrut,

    It’s simple. I respect your time and attention and I want to reward you for getting in early and leaving a comment before the riff-raff gets to the blog. You should try it on a smaller scale with your own blog.

  34. My best technique was actually writing a number of articles in the subject of marriage counselling, divorce and keeping marriage alive – and I converted extremely well based upon the fact that the e-book I offered was highly targetted to the small niche of people seeking to avoid ending their relationships in divorce.

    You don’t need 10,000 readers of one article as long as a targetted audience of some 500 convert at a rate of 3-5%…

    So article marketing *works*. It’s just a question of writing the right content that fits your niche. 🙂

  35. Stu McLaren says:

    Great article Robert – I loved the fact that you broke this down by importing everything into Excel 🙂

    Ok, here are two subject lines straight from our swipe file for an “early bird” price promotion we were conducting.

    One of these subject lines beat the other by almost 2-1.

    SUBJECT #1: Early Bird special ends soon…
    SUBJECT #2: Discount Price – Only 2 Days Left…

    Can you guess the winner? LOL

  36. Robert Plank says:


    Reasons to choose #1: “Specials” sound fun (+1), “early bird” sounds like I have to wake up early (-1), I might click just to find out how soon your “soon” is (+1)

    Reasons to choose #2: Everyone loves “discounts” (+1), but not paying a “price” (-1), and you’re giving me “2 days” to wait till the last minute (-1)

    So even though I personally would click on subject line #2, my guess is subject line #1 got you more clicks.

  37. David Bibby says:

    My blog posts have been getting longer of late, and the number of comments hasn’t increased. I think I will try the tactic of splitting them up. Making Part I and then having people wait for Part II.

    Thanks for the tips!

  38. Robert Plank says:


    That’s always great, but I would see if you can make the posts standalone and NOT name them Part 1 and Part 2, if that makes sense. So they’re complimentary but people don’t think they have to read Part 1 in order to understand Part 2.

  39. “Weird video…” got me twice.

    Once just out of pure curiosity. The second because it was on the same day and wasn’t from a similar JV partner that usually teams up with.

    I think what helped is that neither were from cheezeburger or funnyordie but they were from business people and so part of me was like… “Whaaaat?”

    I LOVE that your study revealed what it has.

    Lately I’ve been restricting the time I’ll spend on a certain activity to a preset amount of time and forcing myself to race the clock instead of just leaving projects or tasks with an open deadline.

    This shorter post tactic not only would help to create more curiosity but it’d also let me be ok with writing 500 words and then moving on to the next project that needs attention.

    In recent times I’ve been known to spend hours on a post and thanks to what you’ve written here Robert, you’ve seriously reinforced what a good idea this has been (that along with the fact I’ve accomplishing more in less time).

    Get more done. Quicker. Create more interest. That’s a formula for success if I ever saw one.

  40. Robert Plank says:

    Yep, keep it shippable. I’d rather have 3 short published/scheduled blog posts than 3 long draft/unpublished posts anyday.

  41. Do you think it’s better to end a blog post with a question for readers to answer, to tell them to comment, or both? Very interesting post, thanks!

  42. Great post, Robert.

    Love the analytical approach! 🙂

    Another reason short posts probably make more sense is because they make better use of your time! (I’m still learning THAT lesson!)

    One subject line I used not too long ago that got a great response was, “I shouldn’t be telling you this…”

    And Stu, I bet #2 did better.

  43. William says:

    Robert, one that caught my eye and made me buy the product was by Paul Myers for his Killer Content ebook. I did have to go back and re-read the sales page to actually find out why I bought it.
    Here it is:

    My goal with this book is to show you how to create content that succeeds. The only definition I accept for that is: It gets the action you want.

    It Gets the Action You want! This sentence is what made me click.

    By the way it is one of the best ebooks I have read this year.

  44. Robert Plank says:


    All the more reason to focus on benefits (what you get) and not so much on features (what’s in it) in a sales letter. I can’t tell you how many times vague headlines win over detailed ones in my sales letters.

  45. Good to know about your blogging stats. Content is the key and yours is quality. Thanks, Cynthia

  46. Robert says:

    You are right curiosity increments your conversions. I always agree with the keep it simple philosopy.
    Thanks Robert you are the best.

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