I have the following sentence:

Earn Up to $12,000 for Evaluating Code!

I am thinking of using this as a headline to entice visitors to enter their email, but most people feel this sentence scares people off, because it’s worded like a scam.

The subheading is the following

We’re recruiters, not professional developers. We pay you to help us recruit better developers… it’s that simple!

But it’s really the heading that stands out. When you think about it, this shouldn’t feel like a scam because software developers make 80-140k a year, and you’re getting 10% for issuing the recommendation, as opposed to recruiters who currently charge 20-25%, but I feel most people won’t dig down into understanding what this is about if the headline feels sketchy.

At the same time, I want to the headline to remain catchy. Hence, my question is, How do I communicate the same thing without it feeling like a scam?

  • 7
    If it's about recruiting, and not a scam or a pyramid scheme, then just say what it is. "Help us recruit developers" is a straightforward description of the job. Sep 13, 2016 at 14:46
  • thank you for your help and i think it will do make this page a lot more clearer recruitly.co Sep 13, 2016 at 15:49
  • 2
    What makes it sound like scam is that you have the money you offer in the headline. Serious job offers are headlined by the job title or job description ("Code Evaluators Wanted") and mention the pay in the details, if at all. Serious job offers try to attract people who are interested in doing the job first and foremost. You are attracting people who are interested in the money and don't much care what they do for it. That is not a good strategy for you, and people know it.
    – user5645
    Sep 14, 2016 at 11:43

1 Answer 1


I think this relates to the classic warning, "If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is." Any advertisement or headline that sounds like you're giving a big reward for little effort will instantly make most rational people suspect a scam.

Overstating your offer can make it sound suspicious. Even if the offer is completely legitimate, if the headline makes it sound TOO good, it can be counterproductive.

Like, "Code evaluator jobs. Competitive rates." would not make me think of a scam. If I was looking for a job I might read it. "Code evaluator jobs. $10,000 per week!!!" I would probably dismiss as a scam instantly and delete without even opening. Maybe I've missed some incredibly great offers with that attitude, but I'm sure I've also missed out on losing lots of money to scams.

In short, you need to make the offer sound "good" without making it unbelievable.

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