Effective headlines are what you need not just to get your target’s attention but to help you get sales. Did you know that 90% of the outcome of the success of your business lies on these headlines? Whether it is for an advertisement, a promotion or a sales newsletter, writing effective headlines is key. Making them may be quite challenging for some, so read up on these tips and strategies to help you write your way to success.
What the advertising gurus say about effective headlines
From David Ogilvy: “On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy. It follows that, unless your headline writing sells your product, you have wasted 90 percent of your money.”
John Caples said: “Advice to copywriters: When you are assigned to write an ad, write a lot of headlines first. Spend hours writing headlines or days if necessary. If you happen to think of a headline while walking down the street or while riding the bus, take out pencil and paper and write it down.”
Whether you are an amateur or a professional writer, there are definitely ways to improve how you write effective headlines.
What makes effective headlines effective?
These headlines must fulfill the following:
- they must be attention grabbing
- they must properly convey the benefits
- they must give the answers to: so what, what’s in it for me or who cares
- they must lure your target’s interests
- they must appeal to the right set of audience
Tips in writing effective headlines
It is correct that you should also have great content, but with effective headlines alone, the body of your article or letter need not be that hardworking anymore. Keep the following in mind as you write your headlines:
- Your product promise must be convincing
- Use less than 17 words
- Avoid using the reverse type because it makes the text illegible
- Avoid using all caps because that will also make it hard to read. Use upper and lower case properly.
- The headline text should have the same font size all throughout
- If you are using a photo, put the headline below
- To make text memorable, use quotation marks
Apart from effective headlines, also have effective content
Your effective headlines will be made stronger if you follow them with effective content as well. You should take note of the following:
- Make sure you review all elements properly
- Read it from the eyes of a marketer and not as a writer
- Make use of strong action words such as slash, multiply, chop, etc.
- Establish all the product features and benefits through the eyes of your potential customers.
- It is important for you to emphasize the benefits, as these are what will catch the attention of your target market, of what your product can do for them.
- Product benefits must be about believability and to do that, you must give as much details as possible. For instance, if you are selling a book, mention the number of pages, the number of illustrations, the size of the book.
- Product features and benefits must be focused on in the ad’s copy, but the headline should contain it as well for more emphasis. This is because 90% of people base their actions on emotions. And product benefits highly appeal to people’s emotions.
Test those effective headlines
When you think you have written a really effective headline, it is time you test it out. This is due to the following reasons:
- To check if you can make a new one that is better
- Each headline lasts a lifetime so you might need to revise it
If the headline works with your customers, no need to change it. But if you do find something better, then change it.
Powerful words to use for effective headlines
By now you should have learned a lot of things about writing effective headlines and you can now get into its content. Headlines usually start with the phrase “How To” because it appeals naturally to people’s curiosity. But since there are too many “How To’s” already out there, I’ll give you some tips on some other words and phrases that you can use instead:
- Advice to
- Secrets of
- The truth of
- How much
- How would
- Facts you
- Do you
- At last
And last but not the least, do not forget these two most powerful words in your headline: – Free
Hopefully you now have all the right tools and information in writing effective headlines, now go on and start writing and get that sale!