I see on many occasions people who provide great products and services only to be let down by the headlines they use to market themselves, their products or services.
This is the most important part of your marketing with regard to copy, adverts, text, blogs and graphics that use imagery with text. If it doesn’t grab your reader’s interest immediately, its simple – Your campaign will FAIL.
Let’s jump straight in and Pull Out The Good Ones
We’ll examine what helps to add intrigue and engage people into reading your headlines.
Tell your readers exactly what they will get out of reading the blog / article … the headline lets prospects know whether they should bother reading or not. It needs to offer immediate benefits. For example ‘Here’s how to generate £4000 extra income this month (just by working 4 hours with an email list of 300 people)’ or ‘(Here’s how to Grow your Business to 5 figures per month with one simple strategy)’.
Another approach is to invoke curiosity. This is harder to do, but better if you’re offering (product / service) doesn’t contain a prominent benefit.
Here’s a good example … “Here’s why 4 out of 5 Business Owners will be out of business before they reach 5 years of trading” or “3 reasons why you should call Leon Streete before 10pm and Take Your Sales to double your current levels”.
Most importantly, your headline needs to stop the reader dead in their tracks.
Another trick is to speak directly to them in your headline. For example, why not make your headline something like … “Friend, here’s how you can make an extra £19,000 this year and make your Partner happy”. If you have the person’s Name [Think, email], personalise and replace friend with their actual name.
Where possible create a strong introduction… On a blog or in an article. The first couple of sentences are important. They tell the reader whether they should read on in depth or start skim reading.
9 out of 10 times people will skim read.
Here’s an example of intros that help get higher readership…
“Before you start skim reading, just stop. Stop and think about where your marketing is heading” or “You don’t know it yet, but the next 5 paragraphs contain the blueprint of earning your true worth, without breaking your back”.
You need to immediately let people know that they’re doing the right thing by reading. Here’s another “cut them off at the pass” style intro: “I know you’re tempted to skim through this article without really reading it, but I have a warning for you”.
In most cases your first paragraph will support your headline and wrap your reader into continuing further down your article.
For example, “You’re probably a little sceptical. In fact, I’m certain that you think I’m making this up, but let me show you why that headline is 100% true”.
If you don’t tell people what to do, they probably won’t do anything.
Give them precise instructions on what to do – what button, where and, when to do it and what to look out for. Here’s a good example – “Take Advantage of the FREE Lead Generation eBook now, click on the Download Now Button and get your 30 page Ebook straight to your Inbox”.
Include concise and convincing body copy … the body copy is the actual text between the intro and the conclusion + call to action.
You don’t need to be Shakespeare to get this right, simply follow the structure and you will get results that you can tweak and focus on the opportunities that follow.
After you write your first draft, go through and edit ferociously – that is, cut out any sentence or word that doesn’t need to be there. Next, read it aloud and make sure it flows. Lastly, if you can, have a couple of people check through, and ask them to tell you what they got out of it. Ask them to explain it back to you, just to make sure you’re getting the point across. Ask which parts were boring, and don’t be afraid of the criticism.
A quick example of going from Bad to Good
Lets take an exciting topic like, say.. Pensions… I know not so exciting. Neither was this headline I once saw on someones social media post online.
Lets see what can be done.
Poor (The actual Headline I saw)
- We offer a unique pension performance review service – Check us out and see if this service is for you
Good (3 alternatives)
- “Here’s why you will need at least £400k In Your Pension Pot, and How A Pension Review with us will Help.
- “3 reasons why you should call Leon Streete before 4pm and Take your Pension from £5876 per year to at least £20,000”.
- Friend, here’s how you can earn Double Your Pension From 3 Simple Strategies
With figures you may need an earnings disclaimer *
Here’s a few examples from one of the all-time great Direct Response Copy writers David Ogilvy
- “At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in the New Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock” >>
- “It’s a mutiny to mix a Gin-and-Tonic without Schweppes!”
- ‘Now Puerto Rico Offers 100% Tax Exemption to New Industry’
- ‘How Women Over 35 Can Look Younger’
- ‘Reward your top executives with a sabbatical year in Britain – on half pay’
- ‘How to tour the U.S.A. for £35 a week’
- How 3 of Super Shells 9 Ingredients fight engine noise – including one hard to hear form of knock that could lead to real damage
So over to you…
What titles will you now come up with?
Do you have a particular strategy you use when it comes to creating headlines that pull your audience in – like water being sucked down a plug hole?
Let me know in the comments below.
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