Regardless of whether you sell products or services, offline, online, or a combination of both, there are seven strategies which will substantially increase your results, providing you apply them to your business!
The first six strategies have been sent to you already. If you missed any, please click on the links below:
Here’s the 7th and last strategy ……
Getting Attention –
Words That Sell
It doesn’t matter what medium you are using – it could be an email, an advertisement, a letter or brochure, a web page or a mail-shot, or even a face-to-face presentation. To get your sales message noticed you’ve first got to break through the clutter and distraction that surrounds all of your prospects.
To convince the prospect to first notice you, and then give you a chance of a fair hearing, think about the last time you read a newspaper or magazine….
What was it that caused you to stop and read a specific article? Was it the editorial? Was it the name of the journalist? Was it the layout of the article on the page?
No! The only reason you stopped and looked closer at that article was because the headline caught your attention.
Nobody reads a whole newspaper or magazine. We scan for stories that interest us, and it’s the headlines that allow us to do this. If your promotional message or presentation does not begin with a powerful promise of some kind of benefit to the reader or listener, you will not get noticed. And all the money you invest in the production and broadcasting of that message will have been completely wasted.
Let me say it loud and clear………
“POWERFUL HEADLINES THAT APPEAL TO THE SELF-INTEREST OF YOUR
PROSPECTS ARE CRITICAL TO THE SUCCESS OF ALL YOUR
If I do not notice your headline at the top of the page or at the beginning of your advert, I will not read anything else, or listen to anything else that you have to say.
Unless you attract readers, listeners, or viewers with a compelling headline and first phrase which flags the one, most compelling benefit your product or service offers, they will not read, listen to, or watch the rest of your advert.
Can you see? If only a minimal number of prospective customers or clients read, listen to, or watch your ad – because your headline has not attracted the far greater number it could if it was compelling – then your business, at best, will run at only a fraction of its real potential.
You Have To Be Quick
Research has confirmed that you have only 5 seconds maximum to capture your prospects’ interest. Often it’s even less! Just one or two seconds. Before you’ve even been noticed, your prospect turns the page, walks past your exhibition stand, or drops your mailing in the bin.
You must capture your prospects’ interest immediately, or you’ve lost your chance to ‘sell’ to him or her. So how do you do it?
A Good Headline Seeks Out And Appeals Only To Your Intended Target Market
It should be very specific to the people who are looking for, or at least thinking about, your kind of product or service, at this exact moment in time. General, catch-all headlines are wasteful because your service or products will only ever interest people who are in the “looking zone” right now.
The sole purpose of a headline is to offer the reader a reward for reading the body copy (the main content) of your communication. The wrong headline, or no headline at all, can result in the failure of the ad to achieve its sole purpose: to lead the reader into the main sales message.
“The headline is the ‘ticket on the meat’. Use it to flag down readers who are prospects for the kind of product you are advertising.”- David Ogilvy
When you study the most effective headlines ever written, you can’t help but notice that they persuade the prospect to read the sales message by offering the reader a BRIBE – a strong benefit in exchange for reading the body copy.
Whether explicit or implicit, shouted or whispered, the best headlines you’ll ever read – or write – will be a proposed transaction:
“Read this … and this very specific, very wonderful thing will happen for you.”
Let me to show you three of the most powerful headline techniques ever –
1. Pure benefit headlines present only the primary practical benefit offered by the product.
“Who else wants a whiter wash – with no hard work?”
Once upon a time, pure benefit headlines were all that was required to gain attention. And they still work. But today’s prospects are often being offered identical benefits by dozens, scores, or hundreds of competing advertisers. So you headline has to work even harder.
Unless the benefit you’re offering is truly unique – or presented in a very unique and intriguing way – you’ll ideally need to do more than just present or imply a benefit.
Here’s how the famous copywriter John Carlton turned a benefit headline into something absolutely unique, and made this ad a hugely profitable revenue-generator:
“Amazing Secret Discovered by One-Legged Golfer Adds 50 Yards to Your Drives, Eliminates Hooks and Slices … and Can Slash Up to 10 Strokes From Your Game Almost Overnight”
2. Pure emotion headlines directly target the emotional need, frustration, or fear that the product’s primary benefit addresses – only hinting at the practical benefit.
“Tell The Inland Revenue to Take A Running Jump –
And Enjoy the Benefits of ZERO TAX LIABILITY!”
Pure emotion headlines can work very well. But ONLY when they are followed immediately with a strong presentation of the benefits that are being promised.
3. Combined benefit/emotion headlines present the product’s chief benefit and either imply or state the emotional payoff for the reader.
“Laugh All The Way To The Petrol Pump! How rising energy prices
can make you up to 307% richer in the next twelve months”
Don’t try and entertain or be clever…
David Ogilvy said,
“Some copywriters write tricky headlines, puns, literacy allusions and other obscurities. This is a sin! Every headline should appeal to the reader’s self-interest. It should promise the reader a benefit.”
And advertising great Claude Hopkins had this to say:
“When you advertise . . . your product will interest certain people only. You care only for those people. Create your advertisement for those people only.”
Make sure your headline is NOT . . .
*Vague: “A New Breed of Flexibility” or “The Best for the Least!”
*Clever: “ABC Electric Can Light Up Your Life” (or anything alliterative).
Research has shown that the reader’s eye travels so fast when scanning through newspapers and magazines that the reader doesn’t stop to decipher the meaning of obscure headlines. So don’t play games with the reader.
Your headline has got to be specific. It has also got to be straightforward. I see hundreds of headlines every month that I know are not making money because they are either trying to be ‘clever’, or they don’t tell me precisely – in one or two seconds -what the offer is all about.
The secrets and techniques for writing powerful headlines are contained in numerous books on copywriting. They are so important to your success that I recommend you buy, then study and apply at least one and preferably ALL of the following books:
“Tested Advertising Methods” – John Caples
“The Ultimate Sales Letter” – Dan Kennedy
“The Copywriter’s Handbook” – Robert Bly
Your aim is always to come up with a headline that makes it virtually impossible for your prospects to pass by your ad or letter or brochure or web page, without reading on.