Posted Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Without a powerful headline, your message stands little chance of being noticed in an increasingly competitive marketplace. If your headline doesn’t capture attention and pull prospects into your copy, than your marketing effort is a total waste of energy and resources.
Nothing is more important to getting your message noticed than your headlines. If you’re not allocating a sizable percentage of your time and creative effort to the headline used on each page of your website, you could be losing out on a large chunk of business.
Top copywriters understand this concept well. They know how essential it is to capture attention by literally stopping pre-occupied prospects in their tracks.
Following are five good reasons why your site headlines deserve greater emphasis and attention.
1) Headlines Are Natural Attention Getters. Most online prospects quickly skim web copy looking for a reason to stay or a reason to go. No one reads the body copy of a page without first being pulled in by a strong lead, delivered by a compelling headline or sub-heading.
Headlines are the first things your visitors see. They jump right out visually and command attention by being set distinctly above the rest of the text. Often the typeface, size, and style used for headlines contrasts with that used in the body copy. This proven approach naturally attracts eyeballs, virtually forcing interested prospects to grasp the key message and to read on due to its magnetic appeal.
According to advertising legend David Ogilvy, 5 times more people read headlines than body copy. Although Ogilvy was talking about print advertising in general, the observation is certainly applicable to websites as well.
With 5 times the readership, headlines have the power and capability to make any message much more successful.
2) Site Headlines Serve As Valuable Guides To Busy People. Headlines reveal key details. They tip off readers as to what follows. A strong headline provides clear signals to help readers decide whether they should stick around for the full message, or dash off to something else – something better suited to their own special needs and interests.
As a summary of the entire piece, headlines either help sustain continued interest and readership, or they repel it. Without a headline, the reader is forced to wade through a portion of the text to understand the meaning and relevance. Forcing readers to do this is to risk losing them altogether. It’s sales suicide. In effect, having no headline will cost you at least 80% of your potential audience.
3) Headlines Create Anticipation and Stimulate Interest. They captivate, arouse curiosity and stimulate the desire for more. It’s the headline that starts the reader’s motor running. A good headline sets up a feeling of expectation as the reader anticipates discovering more -- and can’t wait to get it!
Successful headlines address specific audiences. They open prospects minds to new possibilities and expand their level of enthusiasm and interest. The best headlines involve prospects, increasing the likelihood of their sustained attention and engagement.
4) Headlines Simplify The Learning Curve. Every headline serves to introduce whatever follows. As an opening or lead-in, the role of the headline is to succinctly communicate the essence of the message it precedes in an interesting and compelling way.
Effective headlines and sub-headings reveal key bits of information, often with the added power of emotion. A review of the various headings alone often delivers the gist of a given message. This makes it faster and easier to understand, remember, and review.
Use your headings to generate emotional involvement and you boost the chances prospects will go back and read more of your copy. When you make it easier to read and comprehend your messages, you increase the chances of making the sale.
5) Headlines Allow You To Deliver Your Biggest Bang Right Up-Front. Capture attention and interest at the outset, by using your most appealing selling point. If the strongest, most desirable product attribute (benefit) fails to pull prospects in, surely nothing else you could ever say would do the trick, either.
The stronger and more compelling your headline, the more time prospects will spend at your site. Create each headline to grab attention and inspire interest. The more alluring and irresistible you can make it, the more genuine prospects you’ll attract and ultimately, the more sales you’ll record.
Headlines are powerful marketing tools when used effectively. Take a good look at your site headline. Could you add more benefit power, intrigue, curiosity, or interest?
Test different headlines by trying various appeals and offer combinations. Keep an eye out for additional headline opportunities throughout your sales letter, as well as on other pages on your site. Make your headlines impossible to miss and difficult to ignore… then, watch your results soar!
About the Author
Robert Boduch is the author of Great Headlines Instantly! -- How To Write Powerful, Attention-Grabbing Headlines That Pull In More Prospects, More Customers And More Profits, NOW! This full-length manual features hundreds of helpful tips, techniques, strategies and hands-on formulas for writing successful headlines of every kind. Visit the author’s site (at: (http://www.headlinesecrets.com)) Or email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org