Assembling Booby-Trap Content for your Audience

Booby Trap

Let’s face it, your content will not always attract leads. Meaning it’s just that – content. It does not have any other purpose than to just educate people. You don’t want that. You want content that lures people in, snaps and traps their attention, transform them into leads – then finally get them to convert as a customer.

This entry is part of our Breaking Down Content Marketing Series

Sometimes Content is just Content

When you don’t purpose your content to do anything else than just to be read by your visitors, that’s what it’s going to be. Content Marketing starts with great content but does not end there. Great Content Marketing gets to hit the company’s goals – leads, sales, branding, etc through content. It’s not ‘just content’. How do you do this?

Start with going through the first three of our Content Marketing Series:

Then go through our Content Strategy Series:

checkmark-red Why is Content Strategy Important?

checkmark-red Establishing your Content Identity

checkmark-red Developing a User Centric Content Strategy

checkmark-red Training your Content to Look for Users

checkmark-red Using “Yes” Content for Effective Emotional Content Strategy and SEO


Always keep in mind that every content should have a goal – something useful to you and to your readers. Usually this comes in the form of email subscription where both parties benefit. Your readers get more stuff from you and you get to increase your email list. It’s a win-win that is sure to work.

Here’s a great example of action-focused content from Copyblogger (from their Email Marketing ebook page):

Email Marketing strikes many as old-fashioned. More fashionable venues like social media and mobile marketing get all the attention, and some people will even try to tell you that email marketing is dead.

Unfortunately, reality doesn’t agree. In fact, with a strong content marketing approach, email is more powerful than ever thanks to social media.


Because it moves the conversation about your business to a more personal environment — the in-box.

Email provides you the most direct line of communication for conversion to sales … which is why the most savvy online marketers have no intention of giving it up any time soon.

It’s also amazingly cost-effective. With an ROI of around 4,300% (according to the Direct Marketing Association), email practically pays for itself … and saves a tree or two. It’s what you use when you want to move from “conversation to commerce.”

What makes email content work?

All of us are far too familiar with email newsletters that waste our time, pitches that annoy us, and downright spam. Those don’t work.

What works is a value exchange — your valuable information for your prospect’s valued time. Your subscribers need to know they can trust you … that you’re not a soulless self-promoting spam-bot.

Good email content deepens your relationship with your audience through effective subject line writing (getting your messages opened), your distinctive voice (getting those messages read), and delivering quality, niche specific content your prospect needs and shares with others (inspiring referrals and word-of-mouth).

Story (and) Context

Booby-Trap Content does not work without a great Story and Context behind it. Brian Clark, the owner and founder of Copyblogger writes this copy on email marketing and furnishes it with data, commonality and authority to make way for the crown.

  • Data – Writing a context without data is like sun without heat. It’s like clouds without rain. It’s like tornado without…. You get the point. Data makes your context powerful. It makes it more believable.  It makes it concrete.
  • Commonality – You are not writing for yourself. You’re writing for your readers. As such, you need to touch base with them. To tell them that “we both know” or in this case, Brian uses the phrase “All of us are too familiar…”
  • Authority – Let them in a little on what they’re going to get when they perform the action you want them to take. Show them a little of what you know. Brian gives you a hint of his authority when he writes: “…effective subject line writing (getting your messages opened), your distinctive voice (getting those messages read), and delivering quality…”

Then they crown that copy of content with this:

Copyblogger Email Marketing

Let’s break it down, shall we?


I just can’t stress the importance of headlines enough. Take a look at how Copyblogger uses the headline:

Email Marketing Headline

Very simple, short and concise on what the ebook does for you. It is a one-liner on the benefit that you’ll get when you download their ebook. It’s an attention-grabber that takes you no more than 2 seconds to read.


You may not realize it on first glance but the 8 chapters of the ebook that is outlined here is meant to increase its value and justify your opt-in to their email list as you download this free ebook.

Email Marketing ebook Benefits

It’s not directly telling you “DOWNLOAD ME”, rather it’s telling you, “Don’t you want this? And this? And this?” and you nod your head and look for the button that will lead you to the candy.

Call to Action

This is where you clinch the deal. A little push and all the context and story of your booby-trap content will have worked wonders. Scroll down a little and you’ll see how Brian Clark inches you on to click on the exact button he wants you to click:

Get this ebook for free

See that “Register Today!” Button over there? It stands out, it’s loud and it’s very, very enticing.

Go ahead and click on it why don’t you?

People Power

Another Example of an action-driven page is our very own 8 Actionable On Site Optimization Techniques ebook page.

SEO Hacker ebook

It has a limited copy but it deals with one more principle:

People testimonies

Testimonies – Believe it or not, testimonies on action-driven pages are powerful. They are ‘the crowd’ and they speak for you. If you can get happy readers to give you a testimonial or two, it creates a world of difference for people to take your action.

Content Marketing for SEO Purposes

Creating great content for SEO is well and good and it’s where the SEO should be founded on. However, why stop there when you can purpose it to do much more? Copyblogger has a massive email list because of the way they convert their readers to leads. From those leads, they have met a good level of success in converting those leads to customers.

Action Words Bullhorn Megaphone Motivation MissionBooby-Trap content is all about copywriting. There is an art and science beneath copywriting. Triggering the right emotions using the right words. Building up action through story and context. It’s a whole new different world.

Action Words

However cliche it may seem, action words are still a powerful way in driving your readers to doing what you want them to do. Here’s a list of action words that are meant to help you out in your Booby-Trap Content from Authoritydomains:

Free Cut Quick
New Ultimate Easy
Sale Best Buy Buy
Genuine Final Powerful
Buy-today Last Don’t
Save Vital Lowest
Download Free Trial Last Chance Most
Sale Ends Tomorrow Money Off Now is Your Chance
Buy Today and Save __% Marked Down You Should
Offer Ends Soon Price Cut Discover Your Potential
Hurry Complimentary Make Money Now
Reduce Potent Faster
Discover Cut Make __ Per Week
Retire Show Wider Variety
Improve Change Discount
Boost Great Most Comprehensive
Enhance Decrease Lowest Price
Increase Best Free Sample
Avoid The Best __Made me __
Uncover Buy and Get Buy Now
Eliminate _% Off Beat
Prevent Care Get
Cheap Learn Certified
Sale Lower Prices Smash
Limited Time Prime Tell
Say Raw Try
Gain Seize Want
Provide Refinance Develop
Leverage Donate Create
Extend Cash Score
Achieve Guarantee Find
Accelerate Take Advantage Drive
Build Generate Join
Obtain Profit


Critical Note: Action words’ effectivity is minimized if you don’t build it up through the story and context.

Booby-Trap Content is an awesome way to draw in leads. SEO is just collateral damage. Start setting up your booby-trap content NOW!

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  • Hey! I’ve been boobytrapped and now all of a sudden I’m commenting! Thanks Sean – I’m gonna take a closer look at these asap.

    • Hi Donna,
      Stepped right into my plan eh? Tell me if this works for you :)

  • It’s funny, but when I talk to other peers at our company, people often don’t even understand what content really means. I had to go as far and make a definitions list of content and separating the intention of the content (it’s purpose). You can have a piece of content and then apply the action of the content. Great article. I thought I was alone on the interpretation.

    • Hi Chris,
      Perhaps you can have them take a look into this post to help you out in defining what content should mean. There are tons of content on the internet about this – you’re definitely not alone.

  • this is a very detailed post on all techniques to get more audience, I also agree that email marketing continues to be the most successful way to close deals, even when sounds old fashioned, it is just effective.

    • Yeah! i agree with you. now a days email marketing plays vital role in all business. It is helpful to get business leads.

  • Patrick

    I know that most people are running sites for some type of commercial reason but don’t you think that writing something just to provide your readers with good and interesting information should be ok at times. Even if thats your only goal for a piece of content you still get the benefit of attracting return visits from people simply because they are interested in what you have to say.

  • Baju Bola

    Very informative article, I have bookmarked this page for future reference, very nice and helpful..

    Thank you

  • P.Stewart

    Great Blog Posts, Thanks I will try Your Ideas!

  • Rob

    I definitely think that it’s easy to go over board on CTAs. There comes a point where it is no longer an added incentive, but just becomes pushy advertising – which is counter-productive to content marketing in general.

    • For Rob,

      Yes, it IS possible to go overboard on CTA’s, especially when the “A” is to buy something now.

      BUT..! I believe it’s our responsibility to let folks know what actions they can take to get more of what they just got from our writing.

      The “A” (action) can be to click on the next article in a helpful series, or a challenge to follow a beneficial step that’s outlined in the article itself and see if it indeed was helpful. The call to action doesn’t have to be spammy or cheesy, but rather a prompt to do the next logical step while that topic is clearest in the mind and that step is the most logical continuation.

      Keep Stepping,


  • Sean,

    I can surely see the signature of copyblogger in your writing here. I JUST found out about this site but have marked it for many future returns.

    My fave point above: action-based. Too often when I write, I’m trying to be insightful and thoughtful… but the end result for the user should be to take some sort of action that’s in their best interest. Otherwise I’ve just taken a lot of energy to impress somebody without really giving them someplace to go next. Nice going, Chief…

    Thanks Sean for bringing me back: Action based writing and action based words. I’ll try and be more considerate of what my readers want to do NEXT after seeing how dang smart I think I am ;-)

    Again, great points and I’ll be back.

    Keep Stepping,


    • Hey Kurt,
      Copyblogger is perhaps my greatest influence when I was starting out. We’re all a victim of being passionate about the meat of our content but we lose out on forgetting that there’s a purpose to why we want this read – and that’s to take our users to another level.