Is the headline on your home page “Welcome to My Site”?
If so, you are missing a vital opportunity to gain your readers’ attention.
According to David Ogilvy, one of the most successful copywriters of all time, “On 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.”
The purpose of the headline is to motivate people to read the opening paragraph of your content and then continue reading the entire piece. If your headline is not compelling, you might be throwing away all the effort you put into the rest of your marketing piece.
Here are 5 simple tricks that professional copywriters use to write great headlines:
1. Begin with “How to”
One of the most famous “How to” headlines of all time is Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”
“How to” headlines are still extremely effective. To gain your readers’ attention, your “how to” headline should offer valuable advice for a problem they are facing.
You can modify the standard “How to” headline by using a “Top 10” list or incorporating a specific number. For example, “The Top 10 Ways to Increase Your Productivity” or “5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Headlines.”
2. Promise Quick Results
This type of headline is used all the time on magazine covers. Just think of all the articles that promise to teach you how to “Drop 10 Pounds This Month.” If you decide to use this type of headline, be sure that you don’t promise something that you can’t deliver.
3. Share a Secret
This popular headline formula offers your readers inside information.Women’s Health Magazine once ran an article called “Michelle Obama’s 7 Secrets of a Sexy Marriage.” Now that will grab your attention!
4. Extend an Invitation
Invitation headlines are common for special events or promotions. For example, “We Invite You to Join Our Insiders Club.”
5. Create a Sense of Urgency
One of the most effective ways to generate a response is by creating a sense of urgency. You can do this by stressing a deadline, such as, “Please Take a Moment Now to Renew …Your Subscription Expires This Month.”
You can also create a sense of urgency by mentioning that only a limited number of spaces are available, stating that your event is expected to sell out or offering a discounted price for a limited amount of time.
If you still can’t think of an interesting headline, simply use a testimonial. Testimonials are one of the most powerful ways to gain your readers’ trust.
What about you?
What headlines do you find the most effective? Feel free to share your thoughts below.