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Proven Steps to Create Profit-Producing Headlines

Aug 17, 2007
I've been racking my brain to come up with a really great headline for an article. I know how important it is. Headlines are your "front line" to any market. It's the first thing the reader sees. It's your one chance to interest and influence your audience.

And they're tough to create.

Good headlines:
- Create excitement, anticipation and enthusiasm for more
- Ignite interest through concise, power-packed statements
- Attract more customers
- Pull readers into copy
- Boost your bottom line

Yet most business owners focus solely on copy and give little thought to headlines. I was falling into the same trap because of a looming deadline when I caught myself and remembered what advertising guru David Ogilvy said:

"On average, 5 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% of your money."

Of all the factors that go into snagging attention, attracting new customers and increasing sales, none are as important as a strong headline. On a website, most visitors give you 10 seconds to make an impression. The time is even shorter when a reader picks up a newspaper or magazine and decides whether to read an article or advertisement.

The job of the headline is to get attention. A good headline makes the reader want to find out more by reading the article, email, webpage, or ad.

The problem, of course, is how to write a headline that convinces your prospect to stay and read more, buy from you and become a loyal customer, a raving fan, an evangelist singing your praises. The hard truth is, success or ultimate failure hinges on how persuasive your headline is.

What's the solution?

Step One: First, step into the shoes of your ideal customer, the person who wants and needs the product or service you are selling. What's important to him or her? What will grab his attention? Why will she care? In other words, what's in it for them?

Step Two: Now think of "power words", verbs that will inspire action. Some examples: new, latest, greatest, fastest, best, easy, guaranteed, results, secrets, conquer, develop, explore, focus, gain, identify, learn, master, prevent, reduce, simplify, transform, unleash, win.

Step Three: Think about headlines that grab your attention. Search the web, pull magazine issues off the news stands, look at your junk mail and review newspaper headlines. Create a "swipe file" with examples that pique your interest. Now unleash your own creativity and pull it all together.

Step Four: Brainstorm headline possibilities. Be sure to:
- Include your ultimate benefit
- Use short, punchy, attention-getting words that encapsulate the story
- Create excitement, ignite interest, attract readers
- Speak directly to your readers.
- Use power-packed words

Step Five: Just do it! You've created great copy. Now wrap it up with a powerful, profit-producing headline that pulls your reader in and inspires him or her to take action. Here are some power headline phrases to jumpstart your thinking:
- How To...
- Inside Secrets Of...
- Single Most-Important...
- Learn To...
- 7 New Ways To...
- Discover How To...
- The Quickest Way To...
- Results In Just...
- Information-Packed...
- 12 Proven Steps To...

Creating winning headlines doesn't require a background in writing, advertising or marketing. Simply follow the guidelines above. Devote time, energy and imagination to combining words that inspire others to take action. If you do, you'll discover prospects and customers taking more interest in your product or service...and you'll boost your bottom line as more of those customers and prospects are inspired to buy from you again and again.
About the Author
Marketing Spitfires Holly George and Leslie Hamp are creators of the 'Fast Track to Marketing Mastery' program. To learn more about the step-by-step program, and to sign up for their *FREE* Marketing Mastery Success Kit, visit www.boostyourbottomline.com
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