Posted Monday, February 7, 2005
Question: What do you think the most important part of any ad is?
Your company name? Your telephone number? Your offer?
Look at your own advertising. What stands out? What is in the largest print? If it’s your company name or logo hold out your wrist so I can whack it with a stick.
What’s the answer? THE HEADLINE!!
You see, without a good compelling headline it won’t matter much how great your copy or you offer is, because few will ever read it.
REMEMBER: The Only Job Of A Headline Is To Get The Reader To Read The First Paragraph.
It should be big, bold, dark and easy to read. But more importantly, it must force the reader to read on.
How do you know you have a powerful, effective headline?
Here's a great acid test: separate the headline from everything else, out of context, and treat it as a classified ad; nothing but the headline and a response instruction....then ask yourself if people would respond.
So if your headline is, say, the name of your company, the classified ad would read:
“Acme Mortgage, No. 1 in service and reliability. For more info, call 1-800-000-0000."
Trust me, that does NOT work.
But if the headline is;
"6 Things You Must Know Before Getting A Home Mortgage. Free Report Tells All. Call 1-800-000-0000".
That does work.
Put every headline you use in your ads, letters, flyers, brochures to this test.
Tips For Stronger Headlines
1. Telegraph a dynamic benefit or promise.
(You want to evoke emotion in every advertisement, always answering the reader’s questions, “What’s in it for me? And why should I continue reading this?”)
Example: "You Can Laugh At Money Worries -- If You Follow This Simple Plan"
2. Add "How To" to the beginning.
Example: "How To Escape the Debt Rat-Race And Get Debt-Free, Fast....."
3. "Flag" your targeted prospects. Let them know who the ad is talking too.
Example: "Credit Card Payment Sufferers: How To End The Pain In 3 Days!"
4. Arouse curiosity.
Example: "What Your Banker Doesn’t Want You To Know"
5. Use meaningful specifics.
(3 days is more "specific" than "in days").
Example: "I Instantly Saved $103,239.83 and Never Took The TV Remote Out Of My Hand"
6. Use powerful attention-grabbing words.
(Like "Warning", "Guaranteed", "New", “Now.")
Example: "WARNING: Credit Card Users May Be Paying To Much"
For a free instant reference guide that reveals time tested formulas to create dynamite, attention-getting headlines visit: (http://www.leadgenerationadvertising.com/)
About the Author
Shawn Meldrum has spent the last two decades marketing everything from almonds to landscape lighting. He currently specializes in marketing for mortgage brokers, loan officers and real estate agents. For free mortgage marketing articles and much more visit: (http://www.mortgagemarketingtips.com)