In my opinion, one of the most powerful marketing tactics you can use is the “headline.” Most powerful that is, if you are looking to grab attention, do more business and/or achieve your awareness and visibility goals. Begin your headline with “why,” “which,” “you,” “this” or “advice.” There’s a certain mindset smart businesses have when they realize they’re in the headline business. And that’s because….
Headlines Mean Business!
What can you, the business owner or marketer, do about it? For starters, realize that a lot of your marketing efforts will always be about the headline, because that’s the first point of contact that comes from your marketing. And it can work for any business. Yes, even yours.
Headlines are everything in ads, social media profiles, newspapers, magazines, telemarketing calls, direct mail letters, websites, sales presentations, commercials and on blogs. Every business destined for marketing success knows very well that if you have eight hours to spend creating a marketing tactic, you should spend seven of them creating the headline.
Your headline is the first, and perhaps only, impression you make on a prospective client and the rest of your marketing tactics will live or die by the quality of that headline. They are just that important, because the headline is also the first thing that shows up anytime someone does a search online. With all that being said, here are ten simple tips to ensure your headline doesn’t suck:
1. Begin your headline with the words, “How to.”
- How to create ________ that works for your ______
- How The A-List _________ rock _________
- How To Own Your Next _________
- How To Win With _________
- How To Create The Perfect _________
- How To Run An Effective _________
- How To Build A _________
- How To Think Like A _________
- How To Jump Start Your _________
- How To Convert _________
- How To Unmask _________
- How Not To Become A _________
- How To _________ Like An Expert
2. Know that your headline must either convey an idea or intrigue the reader or listener into wanting to learn more.
- Is This What A _________ Looks Like?
- Why _________ Is Like The _________
- Why ____ Is the Key To ________
- Which _____ Character Are You?
- Are You Losing _________ Due To _________?
3. Speak directly to the reader or listener, one at a time, even if 1 million people will be exposed to your message.
- Does Anyone _______ Your _______?
- What Your _________ Style Can Reveal About Your _________
- This _________ Will Rock Your _________
- [#] Reasons Why _________ Are Your Secret Weapon
4.Use words that have the feeling of an important announcement.
- [#] Mind-Blowing Facts About ________
- [#] _________ That Will Make You Lose Your Mind
- [#] Unbelievable Stories Of _________
- [#] Modern Rules For _________
- [#] Dirty Little Secrets Of _________
5. Use a huge one-word headline.
6. Test headlines that use the word “new.”
- New Rules of ________
- 7 New Ways to _________
- Traditional Spending vs. New Spending
- How to Win Friends and Influence New People
7. Put a date in your headline.
- Available for a Limited Time Only
- __________ On Sale Today, For One Day Only
- __________ Sale 2013, Dates July 18-August 3
- 2 Day Sale Deals and Matchups: August 1-2, 2013
8. Feature your very easy payment plan.
- Learn more about ________ Easy Pay
- Make 3 Easy Payments to Get Gear Now!
- ___________- Five Easy Payment Plan
- _______ Easy Pay – Buy Now, Pay Over Time W/Easy Pay
- FlexPay at _______ – Shop Now & Pay Later
9. Announce a free offer and use the word “free.”
- Grab the Free _________ for _______
- Claim your free ___________
- A Free __________For ___________
- Get Your Free _________ from _________
- Free _________ with _____________
10. Tell them in the fewest words possible.
- Speak Spanish Like a Diplomat
- Party Like Paris Hilton
- Blog Like an A-Lister
Make your headline compelling and you’ll increase your chances of more meaningful and profitable top-of-mind awareness.
Take Your Marketing to the NEXT Level
As the headline business continues to grow in numbers (thanks to the internet) and gain more media attention, it will prove to add more value to your brand and business. If you want to get the most out of your efforts using compelling headlines, take the time right now to implement one of these ten tips and watch your marketing take off.
P.S. Although a company cannot achieve greatness solely based upon their headlines and opening lines, without solid first impressions, its growth will be seriously impeded.
Question: What do you think about being in the headline business?
About the Author: Patrick McFadden is the owner and marketing consultant at Indispensable Marketing, a strategic marketing firm in Richmond, VA. He helps organizations create marketing plans and growth processes that get new or better results.