A headline is a front door to your business. Whether it is for your web page, print ad, or any other contact, your headline is your best chance to make prospects identify, linger, and read on for more. In this second installment of my series “Marketing tactics that will increase your business,” I reveal how you can make your headlines irresistible.
Winning headlines. Make it all about your customer.
The first key is to write from your customer’s self-interest. Before they will listen to anything else you have to say, your customers first must see that you’ve got something they need or want. No one is ready to hear all about you yet – not until they’ve decided you may have what they want.
One way to do this is to put one or two benefits right up in your headline: Lose ten pounds in thirty days. Instead of The new MX81A Starjet printer has 500 mb onboard storage and prints 500wpm (talks about the product) say One fast printer serves three dozen workers (shows benefits the customer will see). Another tactic is to inform readers your message is about their pain or problem: Sleepless and tired? Say ‘Goodnight’ to insomnia.
Either way, write so your ideal customer immediately knows this is where they need to be. By highlighting benefits or writing to your customer’s pain or desires you can do this.
Customer research (catch up with my first installment about knowing your customer) is key. The possible approaches are limited only by your creativity. Once you have an approach, follow through with strong copy by employing the four U’s.
Use the U’s. A great copywriter has defined four U’s that make headlines grab readers. Make your headlines Urgent, Unique, Ultra-specific and Useful:
- Urgent – Can you give a reason for your audience to act now? Think “Limited time offer,” or “Discount for early registration.”
- Unique – You want to stand out, so don’t say the same thing as everyone else.
- Ultra-specific – Are the homes in your new subdivision just reliable, or are they “Termite free and earthquake safe?”
- Useful – Put strong benefits at the fore. “No one has lower prices, we guarantee it” is a classic example.
You won’t be able to get all these into a single headline. But see if you can rate your headline high on at least three of the four points.
Test, test, test. With email, direct mail and web landing pages it is possible to test headlines to see which gets the highest response before launching a complete campaign. Spend time on testing, research and creative thinking. Or let pro do it for you. Call me if want to invest but don’t have the time to spend on this.
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by Christine Kelly – CEO & Queen Bee – Viral Solutions LLC