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How to write the best headline ever -- Part . . .
How to write the best headline ever -- Part 1
Marketing is what makes or breaks any product successful and a headline is what makes or breaks any website.
So the most important thing you can do to turn your product and website into a super-profitable money-making machine is to become a headline expert.
The purpose of a headline is to offer a reward for reading the rest of the website. Does your headlines do this?
Five times as many people read the headline as read the body of any website.
Learn to write and analyze headlines and you will be miles ahead of your competition. How much time do you think your competitors have spent learning about headlines? To convince you that these headlines and headline writing techniques work, let me tell you where this information comes from.
The following information comes from both my personal experiences and from one of the greatest marketers or of all time, Ted Nicholas. Ted has spent over $100,000 million of his own money testing headlines and marketing techniques. (And, he has sold over $200,000 million worth of products and services.)
I have studied under him in his home in Switzerland, attended his seminars and tested his marketing techniques. If you want the word's best book on headlines and marketing, I suggest Ted's book, "Magic Words That Bring You Riches." I've bought hundreds of copies of this book and given them to my clients, because these techniques work.
How much can I expect a great headline to really do for me?
Eighty percent of the effectiveness of any ad is the headline. I have had ads that pulled 17 times more response by changing the headline.
A 17 times larger response means that instead of getting 10 customers from an ad, you could get 170 or instead of getting 100 you could get 1,700. Even a two or three times increase would really make a difference wouldn't it?
How to write headlines
To start, what should a headline accomplish?
In a nut shell here is the job of your headline:
- The first thing it has to do is to attract attention. If no one reads reads the text on your website, it doesn't matter what it says..
- Next, offer an irresistible benefit.
- Finally, your headline should answer the question, "What's in it for me?"
Guidelines for writing headlines and what makes a great headline
You can't be all things to all people. Decide what it is that's great and unique about your restaurant and then write a headline promising the greatest benefit you can really deliver. promote your USP (unique selling proposition) in the headline, sub-head and text on your website.
The most important job of of your headline is that your headline must trigger an emotion. Don't try to sell with logic. Buying decisions are made with emotion first and then just enough logic so the buyer won't look silly when someone asks them why they did that or bought that.
Here are the important things to keep in mind when writing your headlines.
- You headline should talk to one person -- not to a group. Picture one customer in your mind and write the headline to appeal to that one person.
- Your promise must not only be true, it must be believable. -- "World's best Bar-B-Que" is not believable. "Voted best Bar-B-Que in Dallas by the Dallas Morning News readers" is believable.
- DO NOT USE ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. See how hard this is to read. Graphic designers think it draws attention to the headline. It doesn't. It makes readers skip over it. Capitalize the first letter in the first word only. (It is acceptable to capitalize the first letter of each word if you have a short headline.) People read by scanning and they can't read all upper case words fast. Let your competition keep using all caps.
- Don't use reverse type (black on white) much -- if at all. One to three words max. and then only if it is large type. Reverse type is hard to read and most people just skip over it.
- Never use more than 17 words in a headline. This number is NOT arbitrary. This has been tested many times. Some of the best headlines of all times have had exactly 17 words, but very few headlines with more than 17 words have every been successful.
- You can use a sub-head in smaller print below a main headline.
- Use short, powerful words that bring a picture to mind.
- Omit most adjectives and adverbs.
- Use strong colorful verbs.
- Use present tense.
- Don't try to be cute or funny. It can be done, but it almost always fails. Even the experts usually don't risk trying humor. It's not worth the risk.
Use at least one of these 21 powerful words in every headline:
- at last
- how would
- secrets of
- do you
- advice to
And here are the final three and the most powerful words of all time to use in a headline. You can't go wrong with these three words.