A Marketing Piece without a headline is a mistake made by 95% of businesses and yet the headline is the ‘ad for the ad’. Your company name for example is not a headline. People don’t care about the name of your company – all they care about is what you can do for them. The headline is the one thing that grabs their attention. If your reader ignores the headline – that’s it, you’ve lost them. There is no reason for them to continue reading your letter, advertisement, brochure, etc. – and you won’t get a response or a sale.
If you get your headline right, you increase dramatically the chance of success of the marketing piece.
Effective Headlines Fulfill Four Key Objectives…
They get the attention of the prospect.
They select an audience and can help the advertisement define the target market.
Deliver a complete message.
Draw the reader into the body copy.
“On average five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy”
Here is a checklist that will help you add power to your headlines
Does the headline promise a benefit or reward for reading on?
Is the headline clear and direct?
Do not be clever, etc.
Is the headline specific? (“Lose 22 pounds in four weeks” is better than “Lose weight fast’’)
Does the headline select the audience (target market)?
Avoid negatives – instead of “Contains No Impurities”, write “100% Impurity Free”
Always make the headline positive.
Does the headline reach out and grab your reader’s attention?
Avoid headlines that merely provide curiosity: “The trouble with single men is…..”You must not have a clever or cute headline – it simply does not work.
“If you can come up with a good headline, you are almost sure to have a good ad. But even the greatest writer cannot save an ad with a poor headline”
Test Your Headlines
It is impossible to know which good headline (notice the word good) will work better than the next. Therefore, you must test all your headlines. Pick the three or four best ones and test them against each other.
The Business Growth system
This article has been based on resources inherent in The Business Growth System – a sales and marketing system created by Steve Hackney.
All North City Accounting business clients have free and unlimited access to this system.