As a marketing coach, I review my clients’ promotional materials to ensure that they’re sending messages to prospective customers that will convert them from browsers to buyers. Lots of times, I stop right at the headline because it just doesn’t persuade a customer to want to know more. In order to write a good headline, you have to know who your customer is. What makes him tick? What problems does he have that your product or services can solve? What worries keep him awake at 3 am.? Your headline is the gateway to your sale. It is the most important part of your ad. Write it incorrectly and you’ve lost a potential customer.
Headlines should address the self-interest of the reader. If you can also make the reader curious or share some news with them, you’ll lure them into your ad to learn more. For example, the insurance company Geico realizes that consumers hate to spend time searching for the policy that’s going to give them the most value for their money. Having enough time to do this is the consumer’s problem. Look at the headline they paired with a beautiful pair of red high heels to get the reader’s attention: “ You spent weeks looking for those perfect pumps. Fortunately, it only takes 15 minutes to see how much you could save with Geico.” If you are short on time and need to find auto insurance fast, you’ll want to read the entire ad to learn how this is possible.
If your headline is confusing to your readers, they can’t understand the purpose or meaning – you’ll not get their attention. A headline I saw on a client’s post card sent to a homeowner whose real estate listing had expired read, “Who Takes the Bite?” It showed an angry man on the telephone. I just didn’t get the connection. A better ad would have shown a person removing the” For Sale” sign from the home with a simple headline that read, “Want to Know Why Your Home Didn’t Sell?”; “ Were You Expecting Your Home to Sell?”;or, “5 Reasons You’re Home Didn’t Sell”. Do you see how these headlines are going to create curiosity and address the self-interest of the reader? This homeowner is probably angry with his real estate agent for failing to sell his home. If you’re a real estate agent looking for a listing, now would be the time to get his attention and show him how you can come to his rescue.
The next time you write a headline, make sure that it addresses the reader’s self-interest and that it’s understandable. Remember, your customer always wants to know, “What’s in it for me?”
If you’re challenged by writing headlines that appeal to the self-interest of your customers, I’d love to help. Contact me today to turn your browsers into buyers!