Eight Ways To Create Money-making Headlines
John Caples, the great direct-marketing copywriter, always stressed the importance of writing effective headlines. He put it this way:
"If you create a good headline, your task is more than half completed. It will be a relatively easy matter to write the copy. On the other hand, if you use a poor headline, it doesn't matter how hard you labor over your copy because your copy will not be read."
This is good advice whether you're writing or evaluating direct mail, e-mail, advertising, Web pages, collateral, you name it.
Do you ever get stuck trying to come up with a strong headline?
Here are some time-tested, Caples-inspired headline approaches I think you'll find helpful:
1. Begin with "Introducing" or "Announcing"
"Introducing a high-performance scanner for just $49.95!"
"Announcing a whole new way to edit color images!"
2. Start with "Now"
"Now the hottest PDA on the market is yours at half price!"
"Now you can try our brand new management tools risk free!"
3. Start with "At last" or "Finally"
"At last! A network security solution with all the features you've been looking for!"
"Finally, a proven way to boost Webinar attendance!"
4. Start with "How to"
"How to back up your PC in half the time."
"How to slash the cost of managing your network."
5. Start with "Why"
"Why you should call for a free Virus Alert Report."
"Why we're offering a no-hassle three-year warranty absolutely FREE!"
6. Start with "Which"
"Which flat panel display is really the best buy?"
"Which of these back-up services can you trust with your precious data?"
7. Start with "This"
"This tiny chip can double the performance of your PC."
"This half-price upgrade is for DataKeep customers only!"
8. Ask a question
"Are you making these five data-storage mistakes?"
"Want to stop software pirates once and for all?"
Ivan Levison is a freelance direct response copywriter who works for companies like Bank of America, Fireman's Fund, Intel and Microsoft. Levison writes direct mail, e-mails and Web copy. For a free subscription to his monthly e-mail newsletter for marketers, and a free copy of his report, "101 Ways to Double Your Response Rates!", visit www.levison.com.