Here about Content Writing & E-Book Creation.

Headlines are important because they attract the first attention. Attracting attention is, of course, the first step to closing the sale. This headline directs the reader’s attention to the rest of your sales content, regardless of what form that content takes — ad, brochure, catalog, package or insert, flyer, mailing, or Internet site. Headlines can also help determine the target audience (“Attention, business beginners!”).

It is crucial to make the headline as meaningful and punchy as possible. Why is that? Because eight times as many people read the headline as the rest of your ad.

Choose the words

Below are some tips on how to create irresistible, attention-grabbing headlines:

1. Rotate the words

This strategy is very popular because it is one of the most sensational. You start with a simple phrase or saying and then give it a little twist. But beware of cleverness for its own sake. Remember that your job is to sell, not to entertain or amuse.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. (Diet Center)
How to Sell Away. (Sales Seminar)
When these stuffed creatures are exposed to a temperature of 105 degrees, they dye. (Woolite)
What nut did that? (Nutmaker)

Most “clever” headlines are not there to provide clarity, but to observe the copywriter’s wit. That’s why they are a flop.

Here is an illustration I discovered. It was just before Christmas and the ad was for a cordless phone.

“Give a gift that gets people talking.”
You can see how the copywriter was trying to be imaginative. People talk to people about the phone; ergo, a phone is a conversation piece.

Of course, this sentence is nonsense. When was the last time you had a conversation about a cordless phone? A telephone is not a conversation piece. The copywriter’s ingenuity does nothing to clarify the content.

This is what a clever headline looks like:

“Advance your slide show without retreating to the projector.”

Yes, it’s clever. There’s a play on words in the composition of “advance” and “retreat.”

But what’s special and impressive about this sentence is that the wordplay gives value to the content.

It is valuable because the word “retreat” is not simply the opposite of the word “advance.”

The word really captures the state of mind of the speaker or presenter. If you like to be in motion when you speak, you often feel like you lose the flow and momentum when you have to go back to your laptop to press a key. You really “pull back.” You feel like you have to pull back and then restore the flow of your speech until the next slide, and so on.

This adds depth and feeling to the heading.

A play on words is not enough. This play must also add another valuable layer of meaning to the content.

2. A query

Develop your question from the reader’s point of view. You need readers who have already asked the question — you are about to provide the solution! — Or at least have the idea. Avoid asking questions that the reader can answer “yes” or “no” to — if they answer “no,” you have lost them.

The ability to ask open-ended questions is critical in many professions, including teaching, counseling, mediation, sales, fact-finding, and journalism.

An open-ended question is designed to allow for a complete, meaningful response using the person’s own knowledge and/or feelings. It is the opposite of a closed question, which encourages a short or one-sided answer. Open-ended questions are also more objective and less leading than closed-ended questions.

Open-ended questions usually begin with words such as “why” and “how” or with phrases such as “Tell me about…”. Often it is not a question, but a statement that implicitly invites a response.

Illustrations:

Closed-Ended Question

Do you get along well with your foreman?
What color shirt are you wearing?
Who will you choose in this election?

Open-Ended Question

Tell me about your relationship with your foreman.
What do you think about the two candidates in this election?
That’s an interesting color on the shirt you are wearing.

Perhaps the most famous (or infamous) open-ended question is “How do you feel about that?” or some other version of it. This question has become a cliché. The reason it is used so often is because it is so good.

In journalism, reports are always about individuals and how they are affected by events. The audience wants to witness the emotions. Although modern audiences cringe at this question, it is so valuable that it remains a standard tool.

In psychological science, feelings and emotions are central to human behavior. Therapists naturally like to inquire about feelings.

3. Effect a challenge or command

Challenges or commands are effective because:

(a) they confront readers and involve them directly in the content, or

(b) They ask them to do something, provoking the first action that leads to an eventual purchase.

I challenge you to burn this coupon. (Charcoal Company)
Put a tiger in your tank. (Gas Company)
See what it takes to touch the sky. (Air Force)

The title that creates urgency tempts reactions when used for writing on the web.

Your headline needs to be captivating and intriguing so that it stimulates readers of your information. It can also be worded in terms of urgency. Use this formula when you want to move the reader to a specific action.

Make him an offer for a limited period of time.
Offer limited quantities of a particular product.
Say that this is a seasonal offer.
Use a time stamp that says you will undercut the competitor’s price for a day, a week, a month, etc.
Why not offer a free gift when a particular promotion is running?
Daily offers — this is a great way to generate response.

All of these offers need to be taken seriously by you. If you specify a limited time offer, you need to make sure that the offer cannot be used after the time you specify has expired.

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