Open Loops

I hopped on a zoom call with a past client this morning.

My last work for him was a long form text sales page.

This time, he was looking for a new VSL instead of text.

He had a pretty big budget, too.

He wasn’t just looking for a basic powerpoint presentation.

The whole deal:

Script, scenes, story, etc.

An actual cast, with a real budget.

So, we chopped it up.

Decided on doing a humor based VSL similar to products like the Dollar Shave Club.

On that call I was talking about something called “open loops” — which as implied is opening a loop to keep them interested in what comes.

Catching attention is the first step in copy.

You know, headlines, etc.

Keeping attention? That’s the second step.

That’s where open loops come in.

One time in an old 1980’s ad about dropshipping (yeah it existed before shopify and 18 year old guru’s living in their parents basement) he started the ad by bringing out wheelbarrows full of cash.

Then he took out a wallet with 20’s and said “who want’s $20?” a couple people raised their hands, then he handed it out to a couple of people.

Next he took out some $100’s and said “okay, now who wants $100?”

About everyone raised their hand.

Then he said “okay, I’d like to give you all $100, and I’ll show you how”.

He then proceeded to pitch his offer and ended with “this product is only $297, but today I’m going to give you $100, so you’re only paying $197”.

They do the same thing for TV shoes, build up suspense right before an advertising break so you’re hooked until after.

The walking dead was notorious for that.

You know, some character would be an inch from getting biten by a zombie and it’d cut to a commercial about dawn soap cleaning ducks.


That’s an open loop.

He created curiosity before the meat and potatoes of the copy, then he satisfied that curiosity only after the meat and patatoes.

It’s the same thing for text based copy, too.

The main goal of any line of copy is to keep attention until the next line of copy and beyond.

Open loops are essential for that.

Catch attention, keep attention.

My two cents for the day.

Oh, and by the way…

Don’t hire me.

Unless of course, you’re looking for killer copy (eww buzz words) that actually converts.

In that case…

Talk soon,

Colton Randolph

This blog post was originally part of an email newsletter I used to send out.

That list has since then been inactive due to me being busy with client work, but I plan on starting back up a newsletter here soon.

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