Writing headlines can at times be intimidating. For someone who understands copywriting principles, she knows that if she doesn’t get the headline right, chances are the reader will skip out on reading the rest of the copy. At best, you can hope for the reader to skim, but the web page or document better be designed right.
The reason I hammer on headlines is because I see so many web pages or marketing collateral that either don’t have a headline or their headline is so weak that it serves no marketing purpose. And that’s what it’s supposed to do: market your business.
As my advertising hero, John Caples, says, “The success of an entire advertising campaign may stand or fall on what is said in the headlines of the individual advertisements.” (Caples, John and Fred E. Hahn, Tested Advertising Methods, Fifth Edition, Prentice Hall Business Classics 1997).
You can imagine that the truth of this statement has only increased since John Caples first penned those words. (Which was originally in 1932.) And if Caples was alive today, I have a feeling he’d be tearing it up on the Internet, emphasizing the very same principles he espoused 81 years ago.
To get your brain in gear, think of your headline as the film trailer for your feature film. Film trailers are to get us excited about seeing the film. They fill us with anticipation as we watch snippets of the movie flash before our eyes while catching just a glimpse of the story.
That’s what you want your headlines to do — catch your reader’s attention long enough that they stay to watch (or read in this case), the rest of the story.
This week, I’m going to be talking about the different types of headlines, give a few examples, and hopefully help you find your own groove in describing your business. Let’s rock our headlines and make them irresistible!