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How To Find Paying Customers Using 'Dog Whistle Copy'

If you are interested in getting better quality customers into your business who are predisposed to buy from you, carry on reading because I'm going to show you a technique which will give you laser-like precision in identifying and calling out your customer in your marketing.

We only want to attract the right type of customer into your business, ideally the ones who are most likely to buy from you. We don't want to attract everybody and anybody because they may not have a need for your product or service. You can do this using a technique called “dog whistle copy”.

Dog whistles only attract dogs – they understand what the sound means. Humans, on the other hand, can’t hear it at all and so they ignore it. And that’s exactly how we want your marketing to work; magnetically attracting your customer, but also to repelling the people that are not appropriate for your business.

The easiest way to explain how dog-whistle copy works are to give you a few examples, and then tell you how to construct it.

Example 1

Does your car need an MOT in the next 30 days?

Here we're calling out specifically to find car owners, who have cars that are at least 3 years old and need an MOT in the next 30 days.

That’s a very specific group. We’re not calling out to motorcyclists or mountain bikers. We’re not even calling out to every car owner but a specific subset of car owners. Additionally, we’re identifying their needs, i.e. that they require an MOT. Notice how the statement is also time-bound (30 days) which adds even greater focus.

Example 2

Are you paying too much in corporation tax?

Our callout here is to business owners, specifically, business owners that are over the taxable threshold and who perceive that they have a problem with their tax. We've established who they are and we've also identified their need, namely, they want to pay less tax.

Example 3

We're selling 12-week puppy training courses for £199/week.

This callout is to people who own dogs and specifically puppies who need training for themselves and their dogs. You’ll notice that by adding in the price we’re also signalling that they must be prepared to pay a decent amount of money for it. That then repels people who wouldn’t be prepared to pay that price.

Now you may have noticed that the previous two examples were questions and could easily work as headlines but this one is more suited to being somewhere in the marketing copy, itself. In fact, it doesn't really matter that the dog whistle copy is right at the top, it can be peppered all the way throughout the marketing.

Example 4:

Does your dog run away when you let him off the lead?

Here is a callout to dog owners who want to be confident when they let their dog off the lead it will remain obedient and come to heel (i.e. the exact opposite of our dog, Cotton).

You'll have noticed that in all the examples the dog whistle copy divides in two. First, it calls out the type of customer we want. Second, it calls out their need.

You even do this quite explicitly in your marketing, for example.

Calling All Gardeners: Do you want a lush green lawn?


Movie Goers: Why you should never wear the 3D glasses they give you at the cinema.

Dog whistle copy is a powerful marketing technique to employ in your copy because it speaks directly to your customer and only your customer. And by describing their need you capture their attention enabling the rest of your marketing to be more effective as you now have an engaged and interested reader who is primed for your message



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