Whatever marketing material you are producing, whether it’s a brochure, a flyer, or a website, it’s completely useless if no-one reads it! The headline is the first thing that your readers will see and the headline is what determines whether they will read on or not.
So it is vital that your headline is one that will attract your ideal client, draw them in, and make them want to read more. Without an effective headline your marketing material will not be read and will not be acted upon.
So what makes a good headline?
Good headlines should include as many of the following five characteristics as possible:
1. Connect emotionally with your audience. Dry facts are not attractive, always remember your readers want to know what’s in it for them, why should they bother to read on. A headline such as “Amazon jungle drug extends lifespan” could be vastly improved by rewording to connect emotionally.
2. Arouse interest and curiosity. A good headline will entice the reader through arousing curiosity: “Secrets from the Amazon jungle that could extend your lifespan by an extra 50 years!” This headline is more likely to make the reader curious and want to find out more.
3. Ask a question to which your ideal clients will answer “Yes”. Asking a question in your headline will automatically cause your reader to answer that question in their own minds. This helps to call out your target market: “Are you ready to live 50 years longer, happy and healthy?” The reader would instantly think “Yes” and want to read on to find out more.
4. Make a big benefit claim in your headline. If you use this type of headline you must be able to prove your claim and prove it quickly in the following text. The examples above all make a big benefit claim. Here’s another version: “Live an extra 50 years and see your great-great grandchildren grow up”. However, be wary of making a claim that is too big to be believed – even if it’s true!
5. Include your guarantee. If you are making a big claim for your product or service, and you can guarantee the result then say so in the headline. “Live 50 years longer, happy and healthy – Guaranteed!”
If you keep these five points in mind as you craft your headlines you should find that more people read your marketing material and more people respond to it.
Do you have any other suggestions for what makes a good headline? I’d love to read them so please share them below.