“The real fact of the matter is that nobody reads ads. People read what interests them, and sometimes it’s an ad.” – Howard Luck Gossage
Your headline is the most important part of your ad copy.
The first line of your copy forms the first impression.
It either interests your readers or drives them away.
So even if the remainder of the copy is dazzling and would have 7 out of 10 people to signing up, if your headline doesn’t move them it doesn’t matter.
So to help make sure that doesn’t happen, I have four rules you can follow when writing your ad’s headline.
Your headline should be original. Your headline should be ultra-specific. Your headline should create value. Your headline should convey a sense of urgency.
You won’t always be able to include all four in a single headline, but even following one or two of these rules will help you write a headline that’s more likely to compel your prospective customers to continue reading.
Let’s talk about each in more detail.
Tip One: Your headlines should be original
Today’s audience is saturated with commercials.
We can all remember watching a commercial with lines like, “BUT WAIT, there’s more! If you buy today, you’ll receive an extra frying pan for free!”.
Advertising like this works on a group of customers, however, the majority of your audience will be turned off by canned commercial wording because they’ve heard it over and over again. They are desensitised.
So what does work? This is here example of a nice, clever headline. “A Beer With More Substance Than A Hipster’s Handmade Leather Journal”.
Why is this a good headline? It’s original. It’s not a run in the mill headline that reads the same as thousands of other headlines that copy each other. It conveys character and it stands out. It demands your attention.
Writing outside the box is risky, BUT the advantage of writing an original daring headline is that you won’t be dropped in the same bucket as your competition.
You give yourself a chance to connect with customers that aren’t looking for corporate robots.
It works first and foremost because it has personality. People like to do business with people they like.
Tip Two: Be very specific
Your headline is your one chance to communicate with your audience. A non-specific headline is a wasted opportunity. Your audience now doesn’t know whether they’re interested in what you’re selling and most of them won’t bother to find out.
Here is an example of a nonspecific headline: “We’re focused”.
I had no idea what that ad was about until I read the rest of it.
It is essential to provide enough specific information to ensure that the ad viewer can judge whether it is relevant to them or not. Steer away from writing a “clever” headline that doesn’t give your lead adequate information to decide whether or not they’re interested.
Tip Three: Urgency
This is not always possible, however, whenever possible, you should try to portray a sense of urgency in your headline. The headline should mention something that intrigues the reader to continue reading so they don’t miss out on an opportunity. This isn’t a rule that can always be used, but when it can, it works very well.
Tip Four: Value
This is the most important tip. Your headline has to provide some form of value. Your reader NEEDS to know what they’ll gain from reading what your ad.
I wish you the best of luck with your copywriting!
Author: Helina Hein
Online marketing expert. I help online entrepreneurs build their product & audience.
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