Headlines are the gateway to your website, blog, newsletter, e-shot, advertisement, direct mailshot or any other promotional piece. Ineffective headline? The result = fewer readers and sales.
“On average, five times as many people read the headline as the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” ~ David Ogilvy
When I was 26, I landed a job as a trainee copywriter. For the next three years, my boss would disembowel my words every single working day, with a blunt red pen. Ouch!
We spent a great deal of time talking about headlines.
Marketers live and die by their headlines and I cannot stress how important they are.
Here are 26 tips for you:
- Start your headline with ‘How to”
- Use questions in your headlines
- Write about what you deliver, not just what you do
- Include a benefit statement
- An emotional appeal outsells a logical approach
- Create pictures inside the readers’ head
- Use positive language and never be negative
- Include numbers, i.e. “7 ways to save money”
- How long will they have to wait?
- Talk in the language of your audience
- Write several versions, before you select your headline
- It is OK to write long headlines as it only takes a moment to read it
- Include facts and figures, if you have them
- Study advertisement headlines
- Avoid superlatives regarding your fantastic product
- Help, don’t just sell
- See your headline from the reader’s perspective
- Provide proof
- Be bold
- Where appropriate, convey a sense of urgency
- Don’t Use Leading Capitals As They Are A Bit Harder To Read
- Avoid humour in headlines; they won’t all get the joke
- Ask whether the reader has a specific problem?
- Don’t be vague
- Don’t make the reader think too hard
- Ensure that your message is clear
Oh, and tip #27: Employ a professional copywriter (like me, for example). If you would like to learn how to be a better copywriter or if you would like someone to do the writing for you, email me via firstname.lastname@example.org call me on +44(0)1628 773128. I have written over a million words of copy for thousands of clients and I love to write.