By John Jantsch @ Duct Tape Marketing
It is a scientifically proven fact that 5 times as many people read headlines as read the body copy of an ad. So with the headline, you've spent about 80% of your advertising dollar. So from there it's pretty easy to make a case that the headline is the most important part of any ad.
Yet, a very large percentage of advertising that you see out there doesn't even carry a headline. Those that do tend towards cute, catchy slogans. By headline I mean a benefit rich offer that grabs you by the throat.
It doesn't matter what format your advertising takes - postcards, letters, print ads, radio or TV ads and even web sales copy. When you understand this then you begin to realize that should use 80% of your marketing time and energy getting your headlines perfect.
Now I must admit I have found a way to cheat. Oh it's not really cheating. Creating great headlines takes practice, patience, and a fair amount of creativity. I have found a software program that does the hard work and allows you to create power packed headlines in seconds. You can do the work yourself but this makes it much more fun. The program is called Headline Creator Pro. I use it daily!
The headline is the first thing that your reader or prospect sees when they open your letter or flip your postcard. In that moment (about 5 seconds) your reader decides whether or not to read any farther.
So first and foremost your headline must grab your reader's attention. If you don't grab them by the throat and hold them right away, you never will.
Writing powerful headlines is not easy but it can be done if you follow some simple guidelines. Some of the most powerful and effective headlines of all time contain at least 3 of the following points
1. Your headline must give the reader a reason to act now instead of later
2. Your headline must communicate something the reader considers valuable
3. Your headline must scream how you might offer something that is unique
4. Your headline must point to something very specific for the reader
Using these points as a guide to create your headlines allows you to create headlines that hook your reader quickly, offers them a benefit they want, and gives them a reason to read on.
On top of getting your prospects attention, great headlines can also let the reader know that they are the target for your services, stir curiosity, offer a promise or guarantee, challenge the reader, or let the reader know that you understand their needs.
Never use boring, conventional or overused statements and never use a headline to trick your reader into looking on.
20 Attention Getting Power Words for Your Headlines
Here are some headlines that fall in the "Headline Hall of Fame" category for their design and their effectiveness over time.
How Many of these mistakes are causing your to work harder
WHY SOME PEOPLE ALMOST ALWAYS MAKE MONEY IN THE STOCK MARKET
HOW TO PLAN YOUR HOUSE TO SUIT YOURSELF
How Banks Play Tricks With Interest Rates
Burn Disease Out of Your Body lying flat on your back using nothing but the palm of your hand
What food to never ever eat on an airplane
Start of by writing some headlines that clearly communicate your promise, benefit or USP. Then look for ways to make them even more powerful by adding a power word or two and checking if they contain at least 3 of the guidelines provided above.
John Jantsch is the owner of Jantsch Communications, a marketing consulting firm located in Kansas City, Mo. He is the creator of Duct Tape Marketing, a fully-customizable turn-key marketing system. You can reach him at 816-561-3931 or firstname.lastname@example.org