Steps to Writing Headlines That Attract Attention
1) Spend Time On It
The headline is the heartbeat of an advertisement. It is going to draw the attention you need in order to make sales. According to John Caples in “Tested Advertising Methods” the copy can be a pretty simple task with the help of a good headline. If you have a great headline your copy can be less than fabulous, however without a good headline even award-winning copy is worthless. Caples explains, “If the headline doesn’t stop people, the copy might as well be written in Greek.” As discussed in the Newsletter it is important to take your time with the headline and make sure that it is your best possible choice. Spend time thinking about your product or service, what stands out? The answer is probably your key selling point and possibly a great headline.
2) It’s All About Them
Headlines that highlight benefits to the readers are generally the best options. These types of headlines are based on what your product or service can do for consumers. Who do you know that isn’t interested in benefiting themselves? It is our nature to be on the lookout for what will simplify our lives. What does your product do that is going to make my life easier? How are you going to save me a bunch of money? These are the types of things that are going to get people interested, and the types of facts that you want to lead with.
3) Spark Curiosity (With Caution)
A curiosity headline will entice readers to read on. As mentioned in the Newsletter, curiosity headlines rarely work on curiosity alone. For example, a headline advertising life insurance read, “Is Worry Robbing You of the Good Things of Life?” This headline was written to spark a reader’s curiosity; however, a reader has no hint as to what to expect in the body of the ad. This headline is much too vague. What if the writer would have added self-interest to the headline, and would have come up with something like, “How Our Life Insurance Can Get You Back to Enjoying the Good Things in Life.” This headline sparks curiosity, but at the same time offers a benefit to readers. Make sure that your headlines intended to spark curiosity have a point.
4) People Like Quick & Easy
Generally, people want things now and with little work. This is why headlines that offer “Quick and Easy” solutions to life’s problems are generally successful. Adding “Quick and Easy” language to self-interest headlines are generally a recipe for success. For example, “How I Improved my Memory in One Evening.” Notice that this headline offers a benefit, improved memory, and also offers it quickly, in one evening. Also, note the specifics. This headline doesn’t just say “How I Improved my Memory Quickly” it gives a specific time period. Try to be specific when telling readers that something is quick and/or easy. How quick? How easy?
5) Get to Your Point
Unfortunately, few, if any people will actually take the time to read each and every newspaper ad in its entirety. That is why it is important to get to your point in the headline. If you spark curiosity, explain consumers benefits, and describe how quick and easy your product is, that is great! However, if you fail to mention what it is you are selling, your ad is a waste. The example, “Is Worry Robbing You of the Good Things of Life?” has no point, therefore does not invite people to continue passed the headline. Make sure that you give your potential clients a reason to keep reading.