You're flipping through this publication as you wait for your latte, when suddenly you decide to stop and read an ad. What made you stop? I'll bet it was an attention grabbing headline.
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, an advertiser has spent about 80% of their advertising dollar. It doesn't take a genius to realize then the headline is the most important part of any ad.
Yet, most small business advertising is wasted for lack of an effective headline or, worse yet, no headline at all. Don't make this same mistake.
The headline is the first thing that your reader or prospect sees when they open your letter, browse a magazine, or flip your postcard. In that moment, (about 3 seconds) your reader decides whether or not to read any farther.
So first and foremost, any advertisement you produce must have a headline and your headline must grab your reader's attention immediately. If you don't grab them by the throat and hold them right away, you never will.
Writing powerful headlines takes some hard work but it can be done if you follow some simple guidelines.
1. Your headline should give the reader a reason to stop and read now instead of later - a carefully chosen word or two can create urgency
2. Your headline should communicate something the reader considers valuable - they need to be able to justify the time spent reader your ad
3. Your headline should scream how you might offer something that is unique or at least interesting
4. Your headline should point to something very specific for the reader - use facts and how to's
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.
Never use boring, conventional or overused statements and never use a headline to trick your reader into looking on.
Attention Getting Power Words for Your Headlines
Look at powerful headlines and you will see that many contain one or more of the following words that sell.
Discover Easy Free New Proven Save Results Introducing
At Last Guarantee Bargain Easy Quick Sale Why How To
Just Arrived Now Announcing
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.
Copyright 2004 John Jantsch
John Jantsch is a marketing coach and creator of the Duct Tape Marketing System. You can get more information about the Duct Tape System and download your free copy of "How To Create the Ultimate Small Business Marketing System in 7 Simple Steps" by visiting http://www.DuctTapeMarketing.com