Persuasive Copywriting Tips: How To Write An Attention-Getting Headline, Part 2
7 crucial tips for boosting the persuasive power of any headline to motivate your ideal prospect to continue reading your sales letter or ad...
Continued from "Part 1"...
Headline Tip #3: Communicate A Benefit or Implied Benefit
People ultimately buy benefits. So it's important to communicate a strong benefit in your headline.
I once critiqued a brochure with nothing on the outer flap except the words "Going Beyond The Paycheck." It was for a company offering wellness programs for corporate HR departments. Once I understood this, my response was, "Oh... now I get it."
But unless you happened to know what the company did, it would be impossible to derive any meaning or benefit whatsoever from the headline. Consequently, their brochure wasn't nearly as effective as it could have been.
On the other hand, it's important to communicate MORE than just a benefit. To use an earlier example, "Lose Weight Now" is a great benefit. But because it's so over-used it's just not very effective on its own.
The key thing to remember is that while the benefit (or implied benefit) is important, a headline almost always needs other elements to make it stand out and get attention. Take my earlier example:
"How To Melt Your Fat Away And Keep It Off For Good Using This Little-Known Detox Secret The Diet Industry Doesn't Want You To Know About..."
Notice how the benefitcommunicated using different language than the overused "lose weight"is woven in with other elements to give this headline much more impact.
Headline Tip #4: Have A Sense Of Urgency
If there is a deadline to respond, or a limited number being sold, then you have a great opportunity to communicate some urgency in the headline. For example, here is a headline I wrote for Eric Lofholm. It was for a limited promotion, and was to be mailed to his database of buyers (who already knew who he was)...
"A LIFETIME OF SALES TRAINING With Eric LofholmExpires June 29... And There's Only Room For 200."
This is an example of what I call "external urgency". It is manufactured in order to spur people into action. It can be very effectivebut not without what I call "internal urgency"...
You tap into your prospects own "internal" sense of urgency by being very relevant to your target audience. The headline must be newsworthy, and it must promise a solution to a problem your prospect is having and thinking about right now.
Take the following pre-head from a recent sales letter I wrote:
"SPECIAL INVITATION To L.A. Area Business Owners & Entrepreneurs Worried About The Recession..."
Notice how it not only flags the target audience. It addresses a serious concern. This was written in January 2009, when the recession is the big worry on everyone's mind. The headline continues by promising a solution to the "recession problem" in the form of a "Recession-Busting" marketing seminar.
This approach is much more powerful than leading with a scarcity tactic because it builds value FIRST. Once the value has been established, then scarcity can definitely help light a fire under your prospect's hindquarters and spur him into action!
Both kinds of urgency are critical to the success of your sales letters.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joshua Aaron Stanley is an online sales copywriter, or "Salesman in Print", who turns words into wealth using the power of persuasive sales copy. For more persuasive copywriting tips, visit Free Persuasive Copywriting Tips.