Oops, did I say that?
What I meant to say is…Why Headlines Matter Very Much!
In this post, I want to cover what “smart” copywriters consider the most important element of a sales message.
Writing a killer sales letter or series of emails is a great skill to have. But if your letter or emails don’t get read, all your hard work won’t end up getting you sales.
Your ability to get the attention of your prospect can be much more crucial than the effectiveness of your sales message.
So, I’d like to focus on the key to bringing your prospect into your world, and ultimately get them to become a customer.
Chances are, no matter what market you’re in, there’s plenty of ads out there competing for your customers business.
Also, most people live busy lives and they’re constantly being bombarded by advertisements throughout the day. So it’s just natural for them to have a natural resistance to ads, and be unmotivated when it comes to reading a sales message that doesn’t peak their interest.
And that’s why is so crucial for you to master the art of creating killer headlines.
“A-list” copywriters consider headlines one of the last steps in writing their ads. They have done their market research and know who their ideal customer is. And they understand what makes them tick, enabling them to hit their biggest “hot buttons” in just one short and simple statement.
Headlines need to be very compelling, and at the same time sound credible and believable.
To give you a picture…
Let’s say there’s a single guy that’s driving on a country road, in a hurry to make an appointment with a business client.
On the way he spots a figure on the side of the road. As he gets closer, he sees that it’s a raggedy looking male hitch-hiker with hopes of catching a ride. Of course, he passes him up because he has no incentive to take the risk of picking up a total stranger and create a situation that might make him late for his appointment.
A few miles down the road, he sees another figure as he draws near. It turns out to be a gorgeous woman wearing next to nothing. Of course, he feels a strong temptation to pull over. But his skepticism makes him pass her by also. After all, that’s an absurd sight that seems out of place. And it could be some type of setup for him to be ambushed, scammed or ripped off.
Further down the road, he sees another figure standing on the shoulder of the road. It’s a very attractive woman that’s dressed in a sexy dress. He pulls over this time.
She tell him where she needs a ride to, and he agrees because it’s won’t take him too far off his path. He’ll need to call his client to inform them that he will be a little late. But the thought of making a connection with the girl is worth the effort. (He hasn’t had a date in months.)
And that’s the way you should approach your headlines.
First, they need to motivate your prospect out of their lazy state.
Second, they need to be enticing enough to make your prospect read your ad, and at the same time be credible and believable.
Before you start writing your headline, ask question like…
1. What is the most attractive benefit or end result of using your product or service?
2. How can you condense the most important benefit into a few words or short sentences?
3. How can you shock your prospect out of their apathetic state, and at the same time be believable?
The length of your headline will depend on what you’re offering. It’s not always possible to convey the value of your offer in just a few words. But either way, make sure every word is an essential part of your headline.
And never get lazy when it comes to crafting a compelling headline. You might have written your letter, and be anxious to get it working for you. But it’s a serious mistake to that will make many a prospect pass your copy by without a glance.
I recommend writing out at least 100 to 150 to come up with the ideal mix of words. And generally, your best headlines will be the last ten of the batch.
And brainstorm like crazy. A good way to get inspiration is to visit “Victor Schwab’s, 100 Greatest Headlines” and swipe to create your list. That’s a method I use when I’m stuck in a rut, and it works wonders.