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Persuasive Copywriting Tips: How To Write An Attention-Getting Headline, Part 4

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 3"...

Headline Tip #7: Embrace Emotion

The final element of a good headline is emotion. People buy based on emotion. (They also need logical reasons to back up their emotional decision, which are generally provided in the body copy.)

You've got to be careful with emotion, especially in this day and age. If you go overboard, your prospect's "B.S. Detector" will go into full alert. Understand that emotion cannot be manufactured using exclamation marks--much to the disappointment of network marketers, business opportunity promoters, and weight loss product manufacturers everywhere.

It's much more powerful to understate the emotional impact (by leaving out exclamation points) in order for it to hit the prospect with his "B.S." guard down. For example, consider this headline, which is a variation of one I wrote recently...

"13 Year SEO Veteran Reveals In-The-Trenches Insights, Tips, & Techniques On How To Dominate The Search Engines And Unleash A Flood Of FREE Targeted Traffic To Your Website."

To the website owner struggling to get traffic, this headline is quite emotional. It stirs up hope mixed with a little greed. But had I added several exclamation points at the end of it, it would lose its impact and come across as mere hype.

Putting It All Together

In this article series, we've covered what I consider to be the 7 critical elements of a strong, powerful headline. You'll find that every effective headline uses all of these elements to one extent or another.

Let's take a classic headline example, widely considered to be one of the greatest headlines ever written, and evaluate it using the 7 elements discussed in this article series:

"How A 'Fool Stunt' Made Me A Star Salesman"

Does it flag the target audience? Yes. The implication is this is for sales professionals who want to improve their results.

Is it unique? Definitely.

Does it communicate a benefit or implied benefit? Yes. The benefit is implied on two levels: 1, that there is a good story to follow (which is a benefit in itself)... and 2, the implication that you too can become a star salesman.

Does it have a sense of urgency? The urgency comes from the prospect on two levels: 1, the need to hear the full story... and 2, the desperate need to increase sales.

Is it specific? In the sense that it identifies the audience, the benefit, and the "key fact" left out of the equation, yes. (But probably not as much as it would need to be for today's internet audience. Remember, this headline is decades old, and was intended for print advertisingnot for an internet sales letter. For a sales letterComputer Technology Articles, I would want to specify what "Star Salesman" meant with some hard numbers.)

Does it pique curiosity? Definitely. The words "Fool Stunt" point to a key fact left out of the equation. It also promises a good story.

Is it emotional? Yes. No exclamation point needed.

Bottom line: this is a great headline that could still work today with a bit more specificity and updated language. ("Fool Stunt" is a bit archaic.)

See how it works? Use this list as a tool for evaluating headlines and improving them. I guarantee you'll see better results and it will have a positive impact on your sales.

Article Tags: Fool Stunt

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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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