Sales Writing: How to Create Attention Grabbing Headlines
Knowing how to create attention grabbing headlines is an essential part of writing good copy. The ultimate goal of the headline is to catch the target audience’s eye and pique their curiosity enough to want to keep reading to find out more.
In this article we look at how to write a headline that can compete strongly against all the other information that your target market is subjected to on a daily basis.
Grab a chair and let’s get down to what it takes to write a great headline that your market will notice.
Once you learn how to create attention grabbing headlines, then you’re a lot closer making people want to pull out their credit cards to buy your product or service.
Writing good copy takes skill and experience – however, there are some proven formulas that will get you on your way to being able to achieve this.
When you browse through a magazine or the newspaper you only read a few of the ads. You don’t have the time or even the interest in reading them all. Some of them might be promoting goods that are of great interest to you, but you’ll skip by them.
There are so many ads competing for your attention and then there’s also all the other emails, websites, letters and television content doing all that it can to catch your eye.
This is why it’s essential that as a copywriter, you put your efforts into creating a compelling and attention grabbing headline. Whether you are writing an ad, a blog or a piece of content for your site, putting a little effort into creating headlines that attract the attention of your readers is well worth it and you’ll be financially rewarded.
Professional advertisers know that they have just 3-5 seconds to get the attention of a reader, if nothing stands out then they’ll move on.
David Ogilvy, the marketing advertising guru says
“The headline is the most important element in most advertisements. It is the telegram which decides whether the reader will read the copy. On average five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
Before we get started, be aware that you’ll rarely be able to create the optimal headline straight off – no copywriter can. It will take brainstorming, editing and possibly a bit of daydreaming for something powerful to emerge.
Target your market
One of the most important steps in the copywriting process is knowing your audience – inside and out. You should be aware of their concerns, fears and what excites them before you write a single word. All of your writing has to be about your reader, not about you.
Before you even start thinking about writing anything – you’ve got to be absolutely clear about the type of people that your product or service will appeal to. You need to know what problems they have that you’re offering can solve.
You need to spell out the benefits of why somebody should be interested in what you’ve got – this needs to resonate clearly in your headline.
The headline is the most important piece of any copy. It’s the biggest piece of bait that you can use to encourage your reader to carry on reading to the next line. Then you have to convince them to read the next line, etc.
“What’s in it for me?”
As with all copy, it’s important to clearly communicate the answer to the reader’s question ‘what’s in it for me?’ Why would they want to continue reading and spend time reading your copy – what reward is there?
Whether it’s your blog post, your article or your ad you need to include the most outstanding benefit in the headline. Stick to just one idea, if you go with more you’re at risk of diluting your headline and therefore it won’t have the same powerful punch!
The Most Effective Headline Types
There are a handful of headline types that have been found to be highly effective. Proven over time, these headline types have sold billions of dollars worth of products and they give copywriters a great starting point when coming up with their own.
Of course, you can test your own approaches, but these proven headlines have been effective in thousands of ads. They can and should be taken to recycle, edit and apply to your own products so that they grab the attention of your readers.
Remember that good copywriting isn’t so much about reinventing the wheel when it comes to writing, it’s about making sales.
So what are these most effective headline types?
Where to get inspiration for attention-grabbing headlines
Many copywriters use headline swipe files to give them a little help. Here is a collection of headlines for you to recycle from.
Swipe files provide generic headlines that have worked well in other campaigns, a space is left for you to add a verb and/or your own product. Of course, every market has its own nuances so take care to select a headline that will work well in your market.
Headlines can be tested for their effectiveness through Google Adwords, in a blog post or even on social media such as Twitter to judge the likely response from them before scaling up to a full sized sales page.
Research has proven that if you use a capital letter at the beginning of each word, it’s more attention grabbing in a headline than not. It’s also proven that black writing with a white background is most effective. Also, consider using “quotations” to catch the eye.
Using SEO When You Create Attention Grabbing Headlines on Web Pages
The headline tag is one of the most important parts of any webpage when it comes to search engine optimization. It’s what tells Google what your page is about and will go towards Google’s determination of where your page fits into the search results index and where it will ultimately be displayed on the results page. If possible, use your chosen keyword closer to the beginning of the headline as you will fare better with your results.
Persuasive and Attention-Grabbing Words to Use:
Here is a selection of words that have been found to be highly persuasive when it comes to copy: You, You’re, Your, Proven, Guaranteed, Winning, Breakthrough, Amazing, Shocking, Remarkable, Surprise, Increase, Reduce, Why, Mind-blowing, Daring, Greatest, Secrets, New
Action Steps to Take to Create a Powerful Attention-Grabbing Headline: