Your market does not want to read another exaggerated headline

Many books and articles have been written about the headline, and with good reason:

As the great David Ogilvy wrote:

The headline has 80% of your advertising power: it is the most important part of the ad.

In fact, as many A-list copywriters attest, it’s the part of the ad (or sales letter) that requires the most creative thinking, testing, and time to perfect.

So what exactly is the purpose of your title?

Basically, your title should serve the following two purposes:
1. Stop your prospect in their tracks by grabbing their attention
2. Intrigue them to read the opening paragraph (or at least the next line) in your ad

There is one important thing NOT to do in your title that I cannot stress enough:

One of the biggest fallacies used by conventional indirect response advertising is looking for a cute and catchy slogan, something that is entertaining or fun.

It’s the kind of headlines you see on TV commercials or billboards.
You want your headline to stay away from that trend.
Advertising has only one goal: to sell, not to entertain.
You would save a lot of wasted advertising money by following that one guideline.

Sure, humor is a tool that has been shown to increase sales when done with the right message (celebrity marketer Dan Kennedy wrote an entire book on this), but direct response ad campaigns have proven many times over:

People don’t buy just because they’re entertained.

Case in point: how many times have you seen a really funny or dramatic TV commercial, can’t stop thinking about it, but then wonder, “What was that commercial for?”

Bottom line: someone paid a lot of money to entertain you, but did they get any sales from it?…

Ok, back to the importance of your headline:

The headline is your only chance to wow your prospect out of their daily routine, grab their attention, and literally drag them into reading your ad.

So how do you do it?

Well, there are dozens of headline types and thousands of examples I could list here, but I like to keep things as simple as possible, and I’ll stick to the most successful types of great headlines, but first:

The most successful elements of a great headline (you want these to be used as much as possible in your headlines):

Curiosity: The main reason people buy is curiosity. Wake her up as much as possible in the headline and you can be sure they’ll be stopped dead in their tracks.
Self-interest: Knowing what your market wants and using a headline that speaks to that will already make them think about what’s in it for them.
Proof: Nothing builds trust and belief more than providing some kind of proof in the headline that implies “this isn’t just another hype…”. This is especially successful with a cold crowd that hasn’t heard of you or your brand before.

Now for the most successful types of headlines:

The one thought process that never fails is to think about your market: the headline should resonate with your market when they read it.

Questions about your market and the type of headline you want to use for your ad based on their answers:

1. How aware is your market of your product?
A. If your market has heard of you or your business, or better yet, bought from you in the past, then a more direct type of headline should be used:
Yo. A headline stating his offer: Nothing is more direct than simply saying what his offer is.
ii. A headline with the name of your product (use a unique name that your market hasn’t heard of before)
b. If your market is not aware of your brand, a more indirect type of headline should be used:
Yo. A headline that speaks to and emphasizes the problem your market is having (that your product solves): You really want to salt this problem to “stir it up.”
ii. A headline with strong product evidence to build immediate trust and credibility in your market.

2. What promises has your market heard of before?
A. If your product is the first of its kind on the market, simply stating what problem it solves may do the trick.
b. If your market has heard some promises regarding your product type before, the headline should point out a new breakthrough in the field that will differentiate your product from the competition and revive hope that maybe this novelty will finally solve your market’s problem. .

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