What’s Wrong With These Headlines?
"Some headlines are "blind.' They don't say what the product is, or what it will do for you. They are about 20 per cent below average in recall." —David Ogilvy
"The headline is the ticket on the meat. Use it to flag down readers who are prospects for the kind of products you are advertising. If you are selling a remedy for bladder weakness, display the words BLADDER WEAKNESS in your headline; they catch the eye of anyone who suffers from this inconvenience. If you want mothers to read your advertisement, display MOTHERS in your headline. And so on." —David Ogilvy
"Clearly state a benefit in your headline." —Craig Huey, president, Direct Marketing Creative Group
"The headline selects the reader." —Axel Andersson, founder, Axel Andersson Akademie, Hamburg, Germany, World's second foremost expert on direct mail
"People are hurried. The average person worth cultivating has too much to read. They skip three-fourths of the reading matter, which they pay to get. They are not going to read your business talk unless you make it worth their while and let the headline show it." —Claude Hopkins
"Specifics sell. Generalities don't." —Andrew J. Byrne
Takeaways to Consider
- "The writing of headlines is one of the greatest journalistic arts." —Claude Hopkins, "Scientific Advertising"
- "Headlines on ads are like headlines on news items. Nobody reads a whole newspaper. One is interested in financial news, one in political, one in society, one in cookery, one in sports, etc. There are whole pages in any newspaper, which we may never scan at all. Yet other people might turn directly to those pages. We pick out what we wish to read by headlines, and we don't want those headlines misleading." —Claude Hopkins
- "Always bear these facts in mind. People are hurried. The average person worth cultivating has too much to read. They skip three-fourths of the reading matter which they pay to get. They are not going to read your business talk unless you make it worth their while and let the headline show it." —Claude Hopkins
- "On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar." —David Ogilvy
- "Now, I spend hours on headlines—days if necessary. And when I get a good headline, I know that my task is nearly finished. Writing the copy can usually be done in a short time if necessary. And that advertisement will be a good one that is, if the headline is really a stopper." —John Caples
- "What good is all the painstaking work on copy if the headline isn't right? If the headline doesn't stop people, the copy might as well be written in Greek." —John Caples
- "It is the headline that gets people into the copy. The copy doesn't get them into the headline." —Vic Schwab