Top 7 Tips For Creating More Effective, Attention-Grabbing Headlines
By Robert Boduch
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Few things are more important to the success of your marketing efforts than the headlines you lead off with in your sales letters, display ads, and web pages. An attention-getting, arresting headline has the power to pull in many more prospects and customers.
A headline is nothing more than a collection of words designed to get qualified prospects to sit up and take notice. As such, its task is a huge and vital one. To create a winning headline, distill your most unique benefits down to one powerful sentence that packs a punch. Following are easy-to-follow tips to help you create more successful headlines.
- Do your homework. Start by gathering important information. Decide on the venue for your headline, then, identify the 6 key elements of successful marketing materials.
- The product or service.
- The benefits.
- The market.
- What the market really desires and the most common problem it encounters.
- Any special offer or inducement you can think of that would increase interest.
- The competition and any claims they may be making.
- Isolate your most impressive and unique competitive advantage. Look at your product or service the way your customers and prospects do. Put yourself in their shoes. What would get these people to pay attention? What is the strongest benefit you can offer?
If your product was the "dream solution", the answer to your customers deepest desires, what would it do for them? Now your job is to create a headline that clearly contrasts from other competing headlines, all vying to attract the same audience.
- Get started and write as many headlines as you can. Your first headline probably won't be your best work. But as you continue writing, you'll find better ways to express your thoughts in a more compelling, provocative or arresting way.
Try several different formats from questions to combination-style headlines. Don't worry about perfect spelling or presentation -- simply let your ideas flow and jot them down. This strategy is shared by some of the best copywriters in the world. After you've created a lengthy list of possibilities, choose your top 3 to 5 headlines and tweak them for maximum impact. Testing will reveal your most responsive headline.
- Brainstorm words and phrases that colorfully express your product's unique benefits. In a short space of time, you can generate a plethora of vibrant, expressive words and original phrases that can help make your headline stand out from all others.
With brainstorming, best results are obtained with a pre-set time frame of 5 minutes or so. Simply allow your creative juices to flow and record every word, without judgment. Ignore the temptation to evaluate the merit of any particular suggestion. After a few short minutes, you'll have plenty of power-packed, benefit-oriented headline words to choose from.
- Deliver a clear, concise, and complete message. Edit your headline for clarity. Make sure your words are easily understood and do not evoke mixed messages. Be direct rather than subtle, benefit-oriented rather than amusing or "catchy".
Readers generally digest a headline as one item, simultaneously taking in all the words as a complete unit and processing it as a single image. You want to be sure that the image your headline delivers is crystal-clear and not open to misinterpretation.
- Capture attention, pique the interest of your prospects and arouse their curiosity. Do these three things and you're sure to have a winning headline.
First and foremost, you've got to attract the attention of readers. Think of your headline as a visual siren. Call out to your best prospects with something that's vitally important to these folks only.
Secondly, communicate in terms of benefits or helpful advantages and make your benefits more enticing and appealing than what the competition offers. Benefits address the self-interest of prospects. Benefits are all about prospects and what they'll get as a result of buying your product.
Thirdly, add a little mystique to the picture and you'll arouse your prospect's curiosity. Reveal just enough in your headline to literally drive your prospects to find out more.
- Think of your headline as the message on a billboard. With most headlines you probably only have a few fleeting seconds to get your main selling point across.
Rewrite and refine your message to down to its most powerful, concise statement. Make it deliver your most payable punch, promptly. Give the skimming reader the opportunity to receive your essential message in one quick take. Hit hard and hit fast. If you don't, you'll never win at this increasingly competitive game.
Today's Top7Business Article Was Submitted By Robert Boduch, the author of Great Headlines Instantly! How To Write Powerful, Attention-Grabbing Headlines That Pull In More Prospects, More Customers And More Profits, NOW! which features hundreds of helpful tips, techniques, strategies, and hands-on formulas for writing successful headlines for any purpose, on demand. Visit his site for more information: http://www.bizprofitbuilder.com
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Article Submitted On: September 09, 1999