Writing an online sales letter for your product? Here are six powerful tips for crafting better headlines:
1. Study great headlines.
One of the best ways to learn almost anything is by studying what worked before. Headlines are no exception. Look for swipe files of classic headlines and jot down any headlines you find that seem powerful. Headless Body in Topless Bar probably isn’t a headline that makes sense for what you’re selling, but you have to admit it grabs your attention!
Some current publications like The National Enquirer and Cosmopolitan magazine are known for great headlines. Some copywriters subscribe to them just to collect the headlines. Most tabloids and magazines that you’ll find in the supermarket checkout aisles have pretty good headlines on the cover, since that’s one of the main ways they grab shoppers’ attention..
2. Test another color for your headlines.
The color red usually symbolizes urgency or importance. For that reason, standard online advice was to use red for your headlines. Then red got so overused that it became a cliche. The same is true for quotes around headlines.
However, it is still a good idea to test headline colors other than black, such as medium or dark blue. Just be sure the color looks good with the overall look of the page and makes sense for your niche (for example, dark green for a “green” niche like renewable energy).
3. Imply a benefit or a summary of your offer in the headline.
And the benefit should often refer to your prospect, not YOU or someone else. Even if you are using another character in the headline, make absolutely sure that it ultimately has to do with your prospect and why or how it could benefit him or her.
Speaking of characters…
4. Introduce a character in your headline.
It makes your sales copy more interesting to read and in many cases, relate it to your prospects. For example:
“Discover How A 24 Year Old Student Is Making THREE Times More In Income Than His University Professor On The Internet!”
This headline is best aimed at young and the young at heart who wants to know how to make money online.
“How A 27 Year Old Unemployed Guy Broke Out Of Bankruptcy And Became Financially FREE… And How YOU Can Do It, Too!”
This headline is best aimed at people who are broke or struggling and shows how they can improve their financial status, regardless of how old they are.
Depending on the nature of your product or service, the more you can relate it to the majority of your prospects, the higher the chances you can hook your readers to read your sales letter, and then hopefully purchase from you.
5. Your subheadline serves as a hook to make your readers continue reading.
The subheadline goes on to explore other benefits for your reader to continue reading, which are not shared in the headline.
The subheadline is generally smaller than the headline in font size (by 1), and is often differently colored, too. Black is a matching color for the subheadline. In short, you want to make your prospects feel that they owe it to themselves to read every line of your letter.
6. Don’t use too many words in the headline.
As a general rule of thumb, use between 10 to 25 words for your headline, and 4-6 lines.
Don’t make your headline too long to read. Otherwise your prospects will just get lazy immediately and leave your sales page without knowing the full benefit of your offer.