The most important aspect of your sales letter by far is your headline. If your headline does not attract readers, then you can have the best sales letter ever written, but no one is going to read it. When writing your headline start with your sales letter and as you are working on the sales letter headline ideas will come to you, write them down. Nothing is wrong at this point, just write them all down, and keep working on the sales letter because eventually the perfect headline idea will come to you.
According to most marketing books your headline should be attention grabbing, catchy, and thought provoking. Research shows that you only have about 7 seconds to get a readers’ attention before they click that little X and leave your page. So, how exactly do you go about making an “attention grabbing, catchy, thought provoking” headline?
First of all, remember the rules are a little different for print copy, than for online content. Remember that when someone is reading an advertisement in a magazine or print newspaper they are already a captive audience, but when they read your sales letter headline, there are other factors at play.
1. Use SEO – Remember what you’re trying to do, you’re trying to get your target audience to read your sales copy, so you must use keywords and keyword phrases within the headline.
2. Use Superlatives – These are powerful words in the online content world that gets attention from your readers. These words make everything “the best”, “the worst”, “the biggest”.
3. Lead with benefits – Sell benefits not features, answer the question, “what is in it for me.”
4. Go Negative – Just watch your daily news and see what gets more attention if you don’t believe me. As humans we are simply pushed by fear more than we are by pleasure.
5. Get Colorful – Don’t go nuts, but use some colors. The usuals are red, black, blue, yellow and white. Your white space is just as important as the colors you choose. Don’t blind your readers, but do draw attention to important words.
6. YOU – Focus on your reader, not yourself. Once again, the reader wants to know what’s in it for them, so try to do away with the “I” words unless you can make it about them.
7. Use emotion – Tug at your readers’ emotions by using specific keywords such as “free” and you’ll get their attention to read more.
8. Establish credibility – Using words such as “How to”, “insider secrets” and “secret tricks” help establish credibility because they put the writer in the “in” crowd, so they must know something, right?
9. Use power words – These words typically end in “ed”, at least that is how you learned it when you were writing a resume. But on the Internet a power word can be almost any word that draws attention and makes the reader think: For example, “Warning!” or “Stop” or “Fact:”, or even “Danger”, “Secrets”, “Easy”, I think you get the idea.
10. Pique curiosity – Ask a question in your headline, and then answer it with the rest of your sales copy.
By following these ten headline ideas you can improve your sales letters, web copy and hopefully make more sales.