Friday, 25 April 2008

Write compelling headlines

Headlines are all important. The headline is the gateway to the marketing piece. If the reader connects with your headline, they will probably read the rest of your copy (i.e. marketing words).

In advertising, nearly six times as many people read the headline as the body copy of an advertisement. This logic extends to the rest of the promotional mix. For example, as a website homepage is in effect an advert - think how your headline (or first sentence) is affecting your turnover and profitability.

Here are some headline tips for you:

* Write several different headlines for the item you are working on. Choose the best one.
* Don’t write about features: talk about what your product or service will do for the reader. Pack the resulting benefits into your headline.
* Use questions in your headlines. A question is automatically answered by the human brain, isn't it?
* Begin your headline with a leading capital. The rest of the words should be in lower case (as lower case is easier to read).

In his book ‘Confessions of an Advertising Man’, advertising guru David Ogilvy said: ‘The headline is the most important element... it is the telegram which decides whether the reader goes on to read the copy. I never write fewer than sixteen headlines.’ He would then show the headlines to colleagues. A select few would be shown to the client.

If you would like some help with your copywriting - just ask!

Incidentally, I will be discussing copywriting at the Marketing Strategy Workshop on May 15th. This event is for small business owners, who are members of The Marketing Compass.

I wish you all the best with your marketing.


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