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April 28, 2008

Discover The Top 3 Crucial Tips You Must Know To Create Powerful Headlines and Stop Losing Sales

Your website copy has several very important jobs. The first and most important job is to draw readers into your site. Additionally it has to answer questions, sell your product or service, get people to join a mailing list and more.

To make sure you are writing power copy that is sure to grab your prospects attention and make them beg for what you have, I am going to share some copywriting tips and secrets.

Let’s get started with the first and most important element…

Headlines like this one:

“Discover The Top 3 Crucial Tips You Must Know To Create Powerful Headlines and Stop Losing Sales”

With only a few seconds to grab the attention of your site visitor and pull them into your site, your headline is the most important element of your website.

Many people think of their website as a store, and they open with “Welcome.” After all if you have a store and someone walks in, you are going to welcome them to your store. This is a mistake for websites. Let me explain.

When someone lands on your site, they are not actually in your store yet. They are standing outside your store – they are looking at the sign and the window display and trying to decide if they want to come in.

Your headline is your sign and your window display – it is what has to entice visitors to come in and browse.

It is only once they start reading your copy and checking out what you have to offer (clicking other links, looking at pictures etc) that they are actually in your store.

So, you could have great copy, wonderful products or services at great prices, an exciting offer or breaking news and it just doesn’t matter unless people read it.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking your site doesn’t need a headline. It may not be a “sales letter site”; you may look at it as a catalog site or an information brochure site – but either way it doesn’t matter. You need a compelling headline to get people to come in and look around.

A lot of time, effort and research (testing) have gone into writing the perfect headline. Please remember that you should test different headlines and see what works for you. To get you started, here are the Top 3 things you must know….

1. You may be familiar with AIDA. It stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. It means you have to remember to: capture your reader’s attention, arouse their interest, increase their desire and lead them to take some kind of action. All are important pieces of the puzzle. You have to remember with a headline, the action you want them to take at this point is just to keep reading. Let’s explore increase their desire. What that really means is to elicit an emotional response from them. People buy based on emotion. In addition to desire, another great motivator is fear. In face, fear of loss is a greater motivator than desire to gain.

So, the key to remember is that you want to illicit an emotional response for the reader. Let’s look at my headline as a sample of using fear.

Look at the headline I used on this article “Discover The Top 3 Crucial Tips You Must Know To Create Powerful Headlines ….” – the first part can cause people to feel uncomfortable (fear) – they don’t want to be the only one that doesn’t know! And then I added “to Stop Losing Sales” which creates an even stronger element of fear. No one wants to lose sales, so they are going to read further and find out what they need to know.

Let’s look at the process many new writers go through when writing headlines. Here are some sample variations of my headline.

First draft:

Information You Need About Headlines – This is short, to the point and tells people what they can expect. However there is nothing exciting, it does mention information “you need” but it just doesn’t have enough of an impact to really cause people to feel they are missing something.

Draft 2….

The Most Important Information You Must Have About Headlines – This is getting better but it is still not right. You are implying there is a lot of information out there and telling them that you have the most important information. It is still too vague though, so let’s take another stab and make it more specific.

Draft 3…

The Top 3 Things You Must Know About Headlines – This is more direct and makes people feel like there are some very important and specific pieces of information they need to have. This has now created an element of fear – fear that they are going to miss out on knowing the Top 3most important things. Of all the things there are to know, these 5 are the things that must know, no matter what.

And finally, the last version:

Discover The Top 3 Crucial Tips You Must Know To Create Powerful Headlines and Stop Losing Sales – I have added another element to be afraid of. Now people are not only afraid of what they don’t know but they are also afraid of losing sales because of it. I also added a verb at the start and jazzed up the wording to create more of an impact.

2. Use action words – verbs! Telling people what to go encourages readership and guides them. You can use words like:

Discover Find Get Learn Join See Read Etc An example would be: “Discover Top Weight Loss Secrets” instead of just saying “Top Weight Loss Secrets”. You are telling them what to do – they need to discover the information. It is implied that they will do so by reading your content.

3. Don’t be too vague, however you also don’t want the headline to act as a summary of the content and go into great detail.

This headline doesn’t give away any details information, it’s not a summary of the content – but it still tells in very descriptive words what they can expect – so it arouses their curiosity. People want to know what these little known methods are.

So, when considering length, don’t purposely make it long or short – simply make it the length it needs to be to properly grab attention, get prospects interested, increase their desire and get them to take action.

Sample headline:

How The ‘Top Guns’ of Internet Marketing Quietly Drive Truckloads of Targeted Traffic To Their Sites With These Little Known, But Lethally Powerful Methods”

Jennifer Horowitz is the Director of Marketing and co-owner of Since 1998, her expertise in online marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has helped clients increase revenue and achieve their business goals. Jennifer has written a downloadable book on Search Engine Optimization and has been published in many SEO and marketing publications.