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Debbie Mayo-Smith international inspirational motivational how-to speaker technology, time management, improving business performance
Motivational Speakers, Sales, Marketing, Time Management, Productivity, Technology, Tips

Headlines Make A Difference

If you have received a letter from me (which is rare as I only email). Let me start again. If you receive an email from me, you know I always use headlines.

For me, they’re not just for advertisements. Why? I want to get my emails and letters read. As a copywriter, I can usually think of a good angle that will tie in with the text. To quote David Ogilvy, of Ogilvy and Mather

"On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy. It follows that, unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90 percent of your money."

An effective headline does many things simultaneously. It attracts the readers attention, conveys benefit by appealing to the readers self interest and it sets the expectation for what is to come. An effective headline will also serve as a filter, selecting the correct audience for the copy that follows.

The characteristics of a good headline?

It must be believable. Most people believe that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

It’s short . Two rules to make your headlines more memorable:

1) Never use more than fifteen words. 2) Use quotation marks. To shorten your headlines, eliminate adverbs and adjectives. This will also help eliminate some of the sensationalism, making your headline more believable.

It’s easy to read. When typesetting your headlines, please, please, please don't use flowery fonts, reverse type, all caps or italics. Many find these difficult to read and will skip them entirely.

It stirs emotions . Emotions motivate people into action, the stronger the emotion, the more prompt the action. Therefore, headlines that make the reader curious, fearful, excited or protective will produce the best results. Use the first or second person in your headlines and make sure that all verbs are in the present tense. This will make you headlines more imperative, motivating more people to take immediate action.

STRATEGY: Get it read! Start incorporating headlines on all your letters, email paragraphs and email subject lines..

ACTION: Put yourself in the readers shoes. What is most important? What might be funny, interesting, unusual, a tie-in? After you write your headline, test it against the criteria set for a good headline. Is it truthful? Does it grab attention? Does it convey a benefit the reader will be interested in? If a potential headline does not meet these three criteria, rework it or eliminate it

Debbie Mayo-Smith (BSc Hons Econ) is an International Motivational Business Speaker and Managing Director of SuccessIS! (http://www.successis.co.nz) and a leading specialist in easy practical ways to improve business profitability, personal productivity and Internet marketing. Debbie lives in NZ and travels the world speaking, writing and training. By the way, if you'd like to get lots of neat tricks like this, plus marketing and business development tips, why not enrol for our free newsletter?


This article is copyright to Debbie Mayo-Smith & SuccessIS. You may use it for your newsletter, website or as an article. It can be reproduced - but in its entirety and with inclusion of Debbie Mayo-Smith as the author and the weblink www.successis.co.nz


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