The Mystery in the Ad

Found something that tends to work particularly well in recruiting for your sim? Looking for advice on what you can do, or simply wanting to see what others do generally? Here's the place.
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The Mystery in the Ad

Post by Williams » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:42 am

One thing that I've found to work particularly well lately when writing adverts is to create a bit of mystery at the very start of the advert. My philosophy behind discovering it was simple; which ads do I personally read, and which do I ignore? The very first determining factor is the title of the advert. I get so many ads into my email account constantly throughout the day, that if I look at the title - and I only ever glance at it - and I see something bland, or commonplace, or including the name of a ship or a station... I almost always ignore it. Chances are, so do most other people subscribed to those lists. If, however, the name of the ad makes me curious; if it doesn't tell me what the ad is for, and has some feature to it that makes it sound interesting, then I'm more likely to read the ad itself, even just to sate my curiosity.

Some examples of ad titles used by Pegasus Fleet sims would be;
  • Keepers of the Verge
  • All men dream, but not equally
  • Web of Mystery
Now, how many of you, just from the names listed above, would be able to tell me anything about the sims that they are advertising? I doubt anyone without an intricate knowledge of said sim would. If you saw an email titled with one of these, would you not be interested in finding out what it was about? I bet you would.

However, the title is not the only thing that you need to make use of in order to create the Mystery Factor, as I've just this second decided to call it. When I write adverts now, I try to refrain from mentioning the sim's name, class, characters, or even that it is a sim at all in the first paragraph. Instead, I find a key theme (usually linked in some way to the title), and play around with that a little bit. I don't flat out tell the reader anything, but rather use a lot of descriptive language to make it sound really exciting. Overall though, the purpose of this first paragraph is to get the reader to continue reading. Again, referring back to what I would do personally; there have been many times where I've seen an ad title, and clicked on it, wondering what it was about. The very first line I see 'USS Whatsit' or 'Starbase Doohickey'; straight away I think it is just another bog-standard sim advert, and I don't read any further. However, if the first paragraph still doesn't tell me what the ad is about, even if the second does, I'm likely to read through to the end, because I'm interested.

Now, the best way I can describe this 'theme' I speak of is this; think of something that your sim is likely to focus on. Be that a large majority of missions around a certain race, or region of space (canon or not); a certain way of running the sim, or even just your aim to try and get a racially diverse crew. Anything will do, so long as you can play on that theme in the title and the first paragraph. Once you have a theme nailed down, just go for it; write something that focuses around making that theme sound really exciting, but that doesn't quite tell the reader what the ad is really about.

When trying to come up with the title and the first paragraph, the most important thing for you to do is think what you would do. Would you click on that ad? Would you bother to continue reading it? Would it interest you? If the answer is no to any of these questions, then you need to re-think your ad. Remember; you are a simmer too. You're likely to have very similar thought patterns to other simmers out there.

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