August 3, 2009
By now you should know headlines are the most important part of copy. At least when it comes to drawing your readers in and keeping them interested.
Here are four quick ways to craft compelling headlines; offer a solution, tell readers how to do it, ask a question or give a quantifiable number. All of these techniques draw your customer in, engaging them in the sales process. Since headlines are so important, it's suggested (and often practiced by copywriting experts) that you should write 50 to 100 headlines before choosing the right one but this isn't always possible (unless you have the Red Hot Copy Headline Creator -which I highly recommend) - especially when you're in a rush. Here are four ways to supercharge your headlines in a hurry. Remember these are starting points - you'll want to juice your headlines up even more to excite and entice your readers.
For example: If you don't have time to cook, let us do it for you!
How to lose 10 pounds in one week without crazy diets or excessive exercise.
Do you want to save money so you can stretch your dollar further in this economy?
3 Ways we can save you money today without sacrificing your quality of life.
A pre-head to attract a specific segment of your market:
Attention Single Moms Who Need Help Making Ends Meet ~
Headline: 3 Ways we can save you money today without sacrificing your quality of life.
A sub-head to support the content of the headline:
"Finally there's a system to uncover extra money to create a savings plan without cutting ANYTHING from your current budget."
Again, these are simply basic suggestions and serve as a guide for juicer headlines. Be sure to take your time and play around with the format that works best for your product, services or offer. Take a minute to review your headlines today.
So, you've already determined your copy (the written part of any marketing material) is the secret to sales success. Now, let's take it a step further.
Do you know what people read first - practically EVERYTIME they read your copy?
It's your headline. Studies have shown that your headline is the single most important part of any of your marketing, advertising and promotional materials. Think of it as your welcome mat, the tidbit you throw out there to entice people to want more.
Here are two quick examples:
A) Would you like to earn more money?
Chances are this question piqued your interest if you're motivated by money.
B) How to make the world a better place in 5 easy, proven steps.
If you're conscious entrepreneur, this may have piqued your interest.
These headlines could actually both use some more sizzle, but do you see where I'm going with this? You not only have to pique interest, you need to know who you're talking to and what motivates them or your readers won't take the next step - and in the case of copy - that's moving on to read your offer and the ultimately purchasing your product or service.
Headlines should illustrate an immediate result, solution or benefit and leave your audience wanting more. In fact, you headline should stand alone - make a statement of its own and lead your audience into the content. Create headlines to draw your audience in and then keep their interest with strong sales copy.
How strong are your headlines? Do they draw your readers in and leave them wanting more? Review your current copy with a fresh eye. Are your headlines working for you?
Want to know how to make your marketing even more effective? Interested in discovering how to get more return on investment for your advertising? Are you wondering why your promotional and marketing materials don't pack the punch you had hoped they would?
First I'm going to share the secret to sales success. Then, we'll dive into the 5 key reasons this secret (which really isn't a secret) is so important. Then maybe you can re-evaluate how you're handling things.
The secret to sales success is your copy; the written part of any sales, marketing, advertising and promotional materials. That's right; copy is the KEY component to increasing sales.
The best illustration of how important copy really is was shared by my good friend and mentor Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero. She explains that copy is the DNA of all marketing materials. I have to agree.
Imagine stripping all of your marketing materials of words. How well would your website, brochure, print ads, sales letters, press releases or broadcast scripts work without words? Not very well.
Here's one of the biggest mistakes I see business owners making. Sometime you're tight on time, maybe your deadline is rapidly approaching, and you don't really want to write your copy. So, you either hire a mediocre copywriter at the last minute or you stuff your campaign (if we can even call it a campaign) full of fluff that merely fills space. Then you wonder why nothing happens… I'm really not trying to pick on you here. We've all done it. But, it really has to stop if you want to succeed.
Listen, you are not alone and honestly I know how busy you are. Sometimes you simply don't have the time to do everything you have to do in your business. This includes paying closer attention to your marketing materials. We all wear multiple hats and one of the most important is the marketing hat. So, why is it we allow ourselves to neglect this important role?
There are 5 key reasons your copy is the most important aspects of your sales success.
1) Although it's been said a picture is worth a thousand words, a picture alone isn't going to sell very effectively. Your products or services (or more aptly put, solutions) need to be supported with clever copy. It's, of course, a great idea to include artwork in your ads but it's vital to REALLY focus on painting the big picture with wordsmithing talents.
2) Your copy is WAY more than just words. You cannot simply throw just any words into the mix and expect to make sales. Your words (copy or content) need to be carefully selected to build consumer trust, loyalty and ultimately win sales.
3) Your copy is all about relationships. The days of the hard-sell are over. Consumers are savvier than ever. They want more and they expect more. By carefully crafting your copy to build relationships you're one step closer to closing the deal.
4) Your copy is an extension of you and your business. Think about that for a minute. What you say is just as important as how you say it. What are you saying?
5) Your copy allows you to offer a solution and really make a difference. When you approach your copy with a new attitude of service and sharing it's easier to offer the solutions your customers are looking for.
I firmly believe everyone in business should have a solid grasp of the importance of copy regardless of if you plan to write it yourself or not. This means doing a little research, choosing mentors to study, paying close attention to what works with your copy and finally choosing the right copywriter for your business needs.
Your copy counts and actually your sales count on your copy. Speak directly to your core customer in language that motivates action and increases results. What is your copy saying? Take a minute to review your marketing today.
Lisa Manyon is the President of Write On ~ Creative Writing Services, LLC. and a Professional Copywriter and Marketing Strategist specializing in POWERFULLY communicating your marketing message to increase results. She's completed Glazer Kennedy’s Creating Copy that Sells certification and is a Copy Coach for Lorrie Morgan Ferrero’s She Factor Copywriting Bootcamp. Lisa offers a free Copywriting Action Plan with 7 Power-packed Insider Tricks of the Copywriting Trade to Dramatically Increase Sales of your Products & Services on her website at www.LisaManyon.com Lisa is the Copywriting Expert for Group Mastery.