Create Headlines That Stop Your Prospects in Their Tracks…
And motivate them to take action!
Imagine yourself standing in a long checkout line at the grocery store. You’re surrounded by sleazy tabloids and “fluffy” gossip magazines, but there’s no way you’d let anyone catch you looking at them. Yet… you’re curious. You just can’t help using your peripheral vision to take a peek.
As your eyes scan all the headlines, you see one that intrigues you. That can’t be true… could it? Before you know it, you’re throwing the magazine in the cart hoping no one will notice your lapse in judgment.
So what happened? The headline stopped you in your tracks. What’s more, the headline intrigued you enough to buy the story.
Now, I’m not here to talk to you about impulse magazine buys in the checkout line, but what this scenario does do is illustrate the importance of a headline that motivates a prospect to take action.
When it comes to marketing your business, headlines are arguably the most important element of your copy– whether it be for your website, a print promotion, an email blast or any other marketing piece. The reason? Because the headline is what attracts your prospect. And, if your headline doesn’t blow their socks off, it could be the last thing they read.
In addition to grabbing the attention of your prospects and directing them to your offer(s), an effective headline sets the tone for the rest of your marketing message and prepares the prospect for what’s coming. In other words, it pre-frames them for your offer better than any other element could.
So where should you get started? We suggest brainstorming headlines before you start the copy, writing the copy while brainstorming more headlines, brainstorming more when you finish and then selecting the winner.
Although there are almost too many types of headlines to count, we usually group them into six main categories. Check out all six below along with popular examples:
The Question Headline
This headline gets the prospect curious about the answer and you can even pull them through the copy by not revealing the answer until the end.
Ex: Do You Make These Mistakes in English?
The News Headline
This headline is very effective in conveying a sense of urgency and importance when you’re offering something new or breakthrough.
Ex: Amazing New Medical Breakthrough for Fat Loss
The Benefit Headline
This type of headline is classic. Better yet, if the benefit of your offer is desirable, you have the prospect’s attention immediately.
Ex: Make Enough Money to Buy a New Car!
The Scare or Fear of Loss Headline
For many people, the fear of losing something is greater than the desire for gain, which will make it hard for them to resist checking out your offer.
Ex: Just How Much Money Are You Losing?
The Intrigue Headline
This headline is ideal for arousing interest and intriguing the reader enough that they want to keep reading the copy.
Ex: Can You Pass the Prosperity Test?
The Testimonial Headline
This type of headline is good for establishing credibility, whether the testimonial is by a celebrity or simply at satisfied client.
Ex: “My Hair Started Growing Back in Two Weeks!”
It probably goes without saying that the way to learn headline writing is to write them. So, what are you waiting for? Have fun brainstorming and being creative! And don’t forget to test your efforts. If you send out an email blast, send 500 with one headline and 500 with another (as an A/B Test) to track the response. Once you sent the control, change only one element, like the headline, and test again. Before long, you’ll be writing headlines like a pro and motivating your prospects to take action!
What’s your favorite type of headline or headline style? Do you have an example of an effective or ineffective headline? Leave us a comment below.