Noted British wordsmith Joe Robson and his colleagues offer us Yanks these tips on what makes headlines work:
Make Your Headlines Crystal Clear
Successful headlines deliver a hard-hitting, unmistakable message towards a specific group of prospects. Great headlines draw the reader into body copy. Whenever you find yourself deep inside the text of an advertisement, chances are you responded to a carefully constructed headline.
Maximize Stopping Power
Your headline has to make the reader stop to investigate your offer and its articulation.
Interrupt Everyday Thoughts
An interruptive headline prompts your sales prospect to shift focus from habitual matters to your offer. To pull this off, you need a headline that speaks to your prospect’s deeply held desires or offers help with a pressing problem.
A provocative headline instigates reader reaction. It tempts, teases, tantalizes the reader. It demands attention by asking a question, delivering a surprising or shocking statement, establishing a connection to a news story or event – anything that makes a reader take notice.
A compelling statement fuels desire by promising a payoff. The closer you match reader desire to your promised payoff, the more effective your headline.
Once your reader’s curiosity has been piqued, his or her interest naturally intensifies.
Headlines that present strong benefits are headlines that capture interest. When you speak in terms of benefits, you’re speaking your prospect’s language.
Use Negatives Cautiously
Most people read carelessly. So a negative statement such as “Our software needs no special training,” may be read as “Our software needs special training.”
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