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A Good Headline Will Help You Sell!

May 18, 2008
Can a good headline help you sell? You can bet it can! Ninety percent of the success or failure of your home business will be thanks to your headline writing. It doesn't matter if you're writing an ad or a sales letter...

Save Money And Time, The Headline Should Help You Sell And Reach Success

Some books that sell few copies become best sellers with exactly the same content and a new title!

So you need to ignite your sales by writing headlines with amazing power, and I will show you how to do it.

What advertising gurus say?

"Advice to copywriters: When you are assigned to write an ad, write a lot of headlines first. Spend hours writing headlines or days if necessary.

If you happen to think of a headline while walking down the street or while riding the bus, take out pencil and paper and write it down. "John Caples"

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

It doesn't matter if you are a professional copywriter or a newbie, anyone can be stronger in headline writing... You can read about how writing good headlines can help you sell on many places, but most of them talk about mythology that doesn't work, so let"s see some FACTS...

What Must A Headline Do To Help You Sell?

Grab attention
Communicate benefits
Appeal to the reader's self-interest
Answer the question, "What's in it for me?", "Who cares", "So what"
Set the offer's tone
And act like a movie or theater marquee: Select the right audience.

Of course you need a good body copy, but with any body copy, or with the same body copy, writing a good headline can help you sell as much as 17 times more than a so-so headline!

How To Write Headlines To Help You Sell

Write a believable promise
Don't use more than 17 words.
Use quotation marks and index text, because it is more memorable.
Use reverse type sparingly, because it is hard to read.
Don't use all caps. Use upper and lower case letters for reading ease.
If you use a photograph, place the headline below it.
Use the same type size in the entire headline.

How To Write Your Content To Help You Sell

Set apart from the product and review it, element by element.
Look at the product with a marketers eye (don't use the producer's cap, if you are the one who have written or created it).
Use strong action verbs (like slash, chop, stagger, etc). For example "Multiply your income by three!" The word multiply is a strong action one.
Identify all the benefits and feature of the product from the buyer's point of view.

Benefits are the real hot buttons Benefits are those elements of the product that answers the question "What's in it for me?"

A feature is a fact about the product that builds credibility: "It's 11 x l7 inches, 244 pages and has 13 illustrations."

You need both, features and benefits in your copy. But benefits are where to place the emphasis. A powerful headline must scream the product's benefits! Benefits will help you close the sale.

Why?

Because people act 90 percent on their emotions, and benefits help bring out emotions. Once a person is motivated, then that person will justify his decisions by using logic. For each headline write 10 before choosing the best one!

How To Extract Your Product's Benefits To Help You Sell

Buy some 3 x 5 cards,
Review the whole product
Write one benefit or feature on each card.
Once you finish, review your 3 x 5 cards.

You might end with tens or hundreds cards, and sometimes the strongest benefit you can find on a card is also the best headline. Or it can just pop out at you sometimes!

Some people call this strongest benefit your "unique selling proposition" what you can offer that no one else can.

Once you isolate the obvious benefits, you will start building wealth. And you know what? Many marketers miss isolating the obvious benefit of their product.

And this is what will make you immediately start earning a great deal of money as a marketer. Generally you will have many headline choices, and those benefits that you have isolated, will be used to write the rest of the body copy.

To Help You Sell, Your Entire Message
Needs To Be Filled With Benefits!

The Hidden Benefits Can Help You Sell

This is a very creative and interesting concept: Many headlines do not arise from studying the product itself.

And how will you find them?

Just answer the following question: If you had unlimited, godlike powers and could grant your prospective customer the biggest benefit you can possibly imagine he or she would ideally want from your product, what would that be?

Write down your answer. Here is a specific example. While Ted Nicholas (one of Internet's marketing gurus) was writing "The Complete Book of Corporate Forms", to sell it he naturally wanted to dramatize the book and excite his prospects about its benefits.

How could he possibly do that?

Numerous publishers sold legal form books. Not as good as his, but still form books. (His was, and still is, the easiest to use.)

What could he do to differentiate his product?

How could he make a book of forms exciting? He stood back and asked himself that question. And he quickly realized that entrepreneurs don't care a whit about forms. Most abhor paperwork. What they want is the benefit from using the forms.

And he also knew entrepreneurs, more than anyone else, hate to pay taxes. And what every entrepreneur desperately wants is to preserve the corporation's tax shelter status. No one wants to lose that precious benefit.

So it came to him. And he wrote the headline, "What Will You Do When the IRS Suddenly Wipes Out Your Corporation's Tax Shelter Benefits?"

Of course, the book has narrative information about the importance of keeping good records to maintain the corporate protection.

But, while it happens all the time, there is nothing whatsoever in the book about the IRS taking away benefits.

That is why it is a hidden benefit. The rest of the copy for the ad is easy to do once you have the lead. You will find that your copy writing task will be simpler.

Did that title work? You say: Since 1979, 350,000 copies of the book have been sold at $70 per copy. That's 24.5 million dollars worth of product sales. And it is still selling just as well today! Selling a million copies of this book in the next few years is easily within reach!

Hidden Benefit Caveat:

Make sure your product actually delivers on the headline's promise if you want it to help you sell...

Other examples of writing headlines that have nothing whatsoever to do directly with the product, but nonetheless have set sales records:

"The Eighth Wonder of the World"
"Wage Your Own Personal Tax Revolt"
"Only Way Left For Little Guy to Get Rich"
"The Ultimate Tax Shelter".
"What Will You Do When Your Personal Assets Are Seized to Satisfy a Judgment Against Your Corporation?"

Test, Test And Test

Even after you discover the ideal headline to help you sell, it is imperative to keep running new headline tests for two reasons:

To see if you can make a better one, and most of all...
Every headline has a lifetime and you need to change it.

When do you need to change a good headline?

Not too soon! If it is working never change (you'll be tired of it before your customers)
Change it if you beat the results with a new headline.

Powerful Words Will Help You Sell

OK, by now you know how to write the headline, and which should be its content. Now let"s see how to state it.

The safest headline begins with "How To", because it immediately appeals to the reader's self-interest. It piques curiosity. If the benefit is powerful, the reader will move on to the body copy.

The "how to" phrase cannot be overdone (there are over 7,000 books with titles that start with "How To"), and here are some other powerful words and phrases you can use:

Announcing
Advice to
Yes
Secrets of
The truth of
Love
New
Protect
How much
Now
Life
How would
Amazing
Here
This
Facts you
Discover
Only
Breakthrough
Do you
Sale
At last
Bargains
Hate

And finally, the two most powerful words when writing headline:

Free
You

Power words are already implanted in the minds of all your readers, because of what the words mean. You'll get the attention of the maximum number of readers with the first two words of your headline writing.

Other Important Points That Will Help You Sell With Headlines

* Your headline writing must motivate. It doesn't really matter if the headline writing get the reader excited of fearful or protective, but is must stir an emotion.
* Writing headlines must be done in present tense, not the future tense, because a headline writing in present tense makes the promise more credible and believable. The present tense headlines are also far more emphatic.
* Headline writing must be done using the first or second person.
* When writing headlines, you must use colorful, vital and strong verbs.
* When writing headlines you must use short words that create images or pictures in the mind of the reader.
* You must eliminate most adverbs and adjectives in your headline writing; use them in the body copy.
* Do not write headlines trying to be "catchy" or "cute". You must dramatize the product's benefits not call attention to the copy itself.
* Avoid headline writing that merely create curiosity. Your headline writing must be strongly related with your product and its benefits, or the reader will feel deceived and will stop reading.
* A good headline must prompt an action on a reader.
* Writing headlines on ads is like writing headlines on news items. Nobody reads a whole newspaper; you just pick out the headlines that catch your attention.
* People do not read ads for amusement. They just don't read what doesn't seem interesting through its headline.

Finally, use a wide variety of headline writing. Each form of approach will attract different people. You are presenting your product to millions and among them there is a percentage that's interested in some benefits and a percentage that is interested in other benefits. Do not expect to attract every kind of people with just one single headline writing.

Go after your different customers with different headline writing, but don't think those millions will read your ads to see if your product interests them, they will decide at a glance

IT'S THE HEADLINE WHAT SHOULD HELP YOU SELL!
About the Author
Author of THE SECRET of The Magic Lamp and it's 42 Self Help CD with Subliminal Messages, that can be found at http://www.drbonomi.com and also author of The Easy Home Business Web Site at http://www.easy-home-business.com
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