You can write the most persuasive, selling copy ever…but if your prospect doesn’t make it past the headline, you’ve wasted your time. Capture your reader’s attention and move him or her into your copy by using at least one, if not more, of these five effective headline writing ingredients:
1) Appeal to the prospect – Use words such as “you,” “your” or words that imply you are speaking directly to the reader.
“You Can Look Younger in 10 Days,” or “See Your Wrinkles Disappear in 10 Days.” The use of you or your, or an implied use of “you” gives a personal tone to the headline. The reader feels as though you are speaking directly to him or her.
2) Mention the benefits – People buy products or services for their benefits. The prospect’s primary concern is, “What’s in it for me?” Mention at least one benefit in your headlines. Try to emphasize the primary benefit.
“Lose Weight and Look Great in 14 Days!” emphasizes weight loss to improve one’s appearance. Good health is also a benefit of weight loss, but most people care more about their appearance than their health. This headline emphasizes what most prospects perceive as the main benefit, and it grabs their attention.
3) Use current news in headline writing. You can make a headline sound like a news item to gain reader interest. Using words like “now,” “finally” or “at last” make the headline sound like the copy may be about something new or interesting. The reader wants to continue to read and find out what is “new”.
4) Use curiosity – Create curiosity in your headline writing. Ask questions such as, “Are You Paying Too Much for Your Monthly Utilities?” If the reader pays high power bills, this headline grabs his attention.
Use the curiosity technique properly so that it is relevant to the product. If you use curiosity to hook the reader and then write about something entirely different, the reader gets disappointed and stops reading.
5) Mention the product favorably – Show favor toward the product or service you are writing about by using complimentary adjectives in the headline. If you don’t sound enthusiastic about the product or service, it is difficult to get the prospect excited about it.
Rather than just writing, “The Mercedes ML63 AMG Outsells Automobiles in its Class Every Time!” write, “The All-New, High-Performance and Luxurious Mercedes ML63 AMG Outsells Automobiles in its Class Every Time!”
The success of your sales or ad copy depends on strong headline writing. You only have a moment to capture your prospect’s attention and persuade him or her to continue to read your copy. Use these headline ingredients to increase your chances of capturing attention, keeping it and making a sale!