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Persuasive Copywriting Tips: How To Write An Attention-Getting Headline, Part 3

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 2"...

Headline Tip #5: Be Specific And Avoid Vague Language

Vague language is the bane of marketing. It will put your prospect to sleep faster than watching C-SPAN after a big lunch. Consider common marketing phrases like "best customer service" or "highest quality products" or "state-of-the-art." They say absolutely nothing because there is no specificity.

If you want your headlines (not to mention your body copy) to be more interesting and have much more impact, then be specific with everything you say.

There are three small but powerful words that will help you avoid all forms of vague language in the future. The way they work is after every statement or claim, ask yourself this 3-word question: "Oh? How So?"

Let's practice. "We offer the best quality products money can buy."

"Oh? How So?"

See how it works?

Then, when you answer that question, ask one more follow up question: "Can you be more specific?"

For example, let's say you're selling a money-making opportunity. You may start out with a dry, boring headline like "Make More Money Now!" Simply apply the two questions, and you'll start digging up some rich fodder for creating a unique compelling headline. Something more along the lines of this:

"How To Make $29,438.26 Within The Next 30 Days Using A Little-Known Google Loophole That Shows You Instantly Where The Money Is Being Made Online."

Headline Tip #6: Pique Curiosity

The need to satisfy curiosity is a powerful motivator, which makes it an essential element for provoking your prospects into reading your message. There are two primary ways to pique your reader's curiosity...

One way is to leave out a key fact (or facts) in your headline the reader needs to know in order to complete the thought. Think of it as a "fill in the blank."

For example, "Do You Make These Mistakes In English?" This headline by Maxwell Sackheim was so effective it ran for some 40 years. Without the curiosity-provoking word "these", it would have been a flat, boring headline. As it is, the reader must continue in order to answer the question.

"How To" headlines arouse curiosity in the same way because the reader must continue on to discover the answer. Any headline can benefit from this technique, and the most powerful ones use it at least to some extent. (Read the previous headline examples in this article series to see how leaving out a key fact builds curiosity.)

The other way to pique curiosity is to promise a good story. Gary Halbert was a master at this. One of his most famous headlines was for a weight-loss product: "Atlanta Housewife Investigated And Almost Arrested For Losing 73 Pounds." Who wouldn't be tempted to read further?

One word of caution, however: confusion is not the same thing as curiosity. In order for curiosity to work, the headline must be specific or set up a specific scenario. If it's vague, and the reader isn't quite sure what you're talking aboutFree Web Content, he's not going to take the bait.

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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.

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