We all know the importance of a compelling headline.
A headline only has a few seconds to grab your potential customers’ attention, and if it doesn’t… your prospect will simply ignore you and move on.
A great headline should literally force your potential customers to want to learn more; it should instantly ignite their emotions and intrigue them sufficiently to read on.
Writing compelling headlines however, isn’t as easy as it sounds.
So what’s the secret?
There are specific words that are recognised as powerful at gaining attention and creating interest. But before attempting to use any specific words in a headline, you must first learn a little bit about the basic human motivators that make them powerful, before you can fully master the art of headline writing.
The 5 basic needs of your prospects
According to psychologist Abraham Maslow, human behaviour is always the result of one or more of 5 basic needs. He listed these needs in a sequence that he refers to as “the hierarchy of human needs.” He believes that until a less important need is met there won’t be any attempt to pursue a more important need.
Below are the five human needs, beginning with the most basic ones and then followed by the more important ones.
• Physiological – Basic human needs include hunger, thirst, shelter, clothing and sex.
• Safety – Human need for physical, emotional and financial security
• Social – Human need for love, affection, companionship and acceptance
• Esteem – Human need for achievement, recognition, attention and respect
• Self-actualisation – Human need to reach their full potential.
Once you understand the importance of these basic human needs it is important that you relate your product and service to one or more of them.
How will your prospect feel when they satisfy one or more of these needs?
Your headline needs to relate to one or more of these needs, but also needs to include an emotion associated with achieving them.
Once you have worked out which one of these human needs are most closely met by your product or service, then consider incorporating one of the following key words into your headlines.
What are these specific ‘power’ words?
According to a Yale University study, the following words are some of the most powerful words in the English language.
Breakthrough, Discover, Discovery, Easy, Free, Guaranteed, Hidden, Incredible, Love, Master, Money, New, Powerful, Profits, Proven, Results, Revealed, Guaranteed, Scientific, Secret, Shocked, Shocking, Ultimate, Uncovered, You, Your, Results, Safety, Health, Money, New You, Proven, Discovery, Save, Easy.
Next time you need to write a headline for some copy you’ve written, try to work out which basic need your product or service is associated with and what emotion is involved, and then consider using one of the ‘power’ words to enhance your headline’s attention-grabbing ability.
For more free advice and downloadable reports go to www.common-sense-marketing.com
If you would like help creating powerful headlines for your Emails, brochures, newsletter, or website why not join my Marketing Mastermind Club and get one of my team to help you.