How To Write Eye-Grabbing Headlines That Catapult Your Prospects Into Your Ads

If you're interested in improving the selling results of your ads, tweaking your headlines is a great place to start. Because your headlines influence the sales results of your ad more than any other element.

A great ad with the wrong headline can bomb, whereas a great headline on an average ad will probably do OK. Let's take a look at a few techniques for coming up with sales-boosting headlines.

First things first: Avoid these proven sales-killing "headlines" like the pox:

Your company name

A generic industry or service category (e.g. "Plumbing Contractor")

Or on a website or brochure, "Welcome to ABC Industries"

The points above sound basic (and they are), but it's surprising how many ads and websites make those mistakes.

So you've avoided those mistakes. What techniques can you use to create great selling headlines that practically catapult your readers into your ad? Here are a few ideas...

1. Call out to your target audience

If your message is aimed at stockbrokers, mention "stockbrokers" in the headline.

2. Mention specific benefits

Face it - consumers are jaded. We all are. Heck, I can hardly get out of bed in the morning :) General statements like "Lose weight fast" or "Save Money on _____" are no longer effective. Specific numbers and images evoke much more potent images in your prospects' minds than generalities. That's why they sell much better.

3. Use vivid, evocative verbs

Especially online, high-energy headlines work very well.

Here's a headline that uses all 3 of the above techniques...

"New Software Boosts Stockbrokers' Income by 34, 43, even 125% - by Slashing Time Spent Chasing "Dead" Accounts and Laser-Focusing Your Energies on the Big Players"

OK, it needs a bit of work, but you get the idea. Some people don't like this type of headline - it's too "hypey". And it's certainly not right for every kind of product or service - but I've had very good success with this type of headline, especially online.

4. Use "cognitive dissonance"

That's a fancy way of saying, make your audience curious. Here's a headline we're testing for a client who sells bumper stickers:

"Do You Wonder How We Can Sell Full-Colour Stickers At A 1-Color Price, with FREE Artwork?"

This type of headline makes people curious - they feel compelled to find the answer and relieve a sense of "dissonance" with this apparent paradox.

5. Include some challenging or surprising information

Here's a headline that I wrote for a lead-generating website for a rubbish removal contractor, 1300 Rubbish:

"Fast, Professional Rubbish Removal, Sydney-wide...We'll Pay You $1 Per Minute In Cash If We're Late!"

The "hook" is the guarantee. Also bear in mind that most of the people who see this headline will have already searched for the term "rubbish removal sydney" or similar, so they are expecting to see something related to those keywords.

How are your headlines? Can you use any of the above tips to get better response?

For more detailed information on how to improve your ads and written marketing materials, you can sign up free to our monthly newsletter, "Results-Driven Marketing Secrets".To join, just fill in the form below...

William Swayne is a internet marketing consultant based in Brisbane, Australia. He can be contacted at Marketing-Results.com.au.

In The News:

WTF is Ad-ID?  Digiday

16 Methods for Getting Free Advertising

1. Place copies of your circular on bulletin... Read More

The Inside Secrets Of Free Publicity For Your Business

Product publicity is the "secret pathway" to business success... Read More

Classified Ads That Get Results

Classified ads do not have the big market appeal that... Read More

Is Advertising Art?

Oh Grand and Glorious Southern Guru, I am perplexed. What... Read More

Organizing Business Cards for Effective Contact Management

Now that you've had colorful new business cards printed, and... Read More

How To Make Your Yellow Page Ads Work

I hear it often, "advertising in the Yellow Pages directory... Read More

Trade Writing - For Cash!

Often considered as "plain Jane's" of the print world, trade... Read More

The Ultimate, ?Must-Have? Home-Based Business for YOU

The Ultimate, "Must-Have" Home-Based Business for YOU a Underemployed, Unemployed,... Read More

Print Advertising: Knowing What To Put In Your Ads

So you've decided to run a print ad in your... Read More

Heard A Good Radio Ad Lately? Neither Have We

To many ad agencies, radio is considered advertising's ugly stepchild.... Read More

How To Tell If An Advertisement Costs Too Much

People say it all the time: "This advertising costs too... Read More

Electronic Display Signs

Electronic display signs are used nowadays in great extent to... Read More

Customer-Involving Signage and Selling

Here's some easy ways to create signage that will attract,... Read More

Push vs Pull Advertising

Push vs. Pull Advertising - Understand the Consequences for your... Read More

Moving message Sign

Moving Message Signs are a unique, attention-grabbing way to communicate... Read More

The Art Of Fear Free Advertising

Is fear of failure an issue when you commit valuable... Read More

Change, or Reinforce?

Do you know about the distinction - and it's a... Read More

Placemat Ad Advertising

Starting a placemat ad business can create more business for... Read More

Why Most Advertisements Stink!

Question: What do you think the most important part of... Read More

Buying Radio? Read This and Dont Waste Your Money

Pay close attention and make it work the best for... Read More

Does Your Brochure Pass the Test - Or is It Headed for the Trash? Part One

The decision on whether or not someone will read your... Read More

Effective Promotions Through Local Classified Sites

Today's online marketplace is extremely competitive. People want to market... Read More

How To Get Big Sponsorship Money for Your Band, Tour, Event or Production

Touring is a bands greatest opportunity for success. But, touring... Read More

How To Write Ads That Get Response

Your print ads should do more than just get noticed.... Read More

Creditability In Advertising

I recently saw an ad taped to my mailbox, mind... Read More