Copywriting: How to Dramatically Improve Your Headlines

How to Rise Above the Noise and Get Your Prospect’s Attention - How to Dramatically Improve Your Headlines

Let’s face it – your potential buyer isn’t thinking about you. He’s thinking about himself. He’s thinking about his job, the fact that he needs to run to the store to get milk. He’s thinking about his relationships, his crabby boss, his upcoming weekend, etc.

So when your prospect hits your website, it needs to be strong enough to get his attention. It needs to grab him enough to break through the conversations in his head and shift his attention to the conversation in your content.

The easiest way to do that? Instead of competing with the conversations in his head, join them.

In other words, instead of trying to shift his attention away to something unrelated to him, shift his attention to something very relevant and important to him.

As an Internet Marketer and Copywriter, you already know that your product or service IS relevant to your target market. You already know how it would benefit them. You already know that this product is perfect for your customer.

But he has no idea. And in fact, he doesn’t even know why he should care. Given all that, you have just a few seconds to convince him that he needs to stop whatever he’s doing and read your website’s content.

As you might expect, the headline is what will capture his attention (or not) in those first few crucial seconds.

As such, your headline is the most important part of your entire content.

After all, if it doesn’t do its job (capture attention,) the rest of your message is worthless because IT WON’T BE READ.

Think of it this way: the goal of your headline is to get the potential buyer to start reading the rest of the content. 

That’s it.

But remember this: your headline absolutely needs to be relevant to the rest of the copy. You can’t put out a shocking headline like “Become a Marketing Content Writer” just to get attention, and then go on to try to sell vitamins to the readers. They’ll feel duped and angry if you do that.

Instead, you need to speak to your readers directly about something that’s important to them. You may go on to arouse curiosity or promise a big benefit. But whatever you do, it absolutely must be relevant to them and to the rest of the copy that follows.

You can also use a pre-headline and a headline.

The pre-headline is a line or two in smaller font above the main headline. Many times it’s used to get attention by addressing the target market.

Example 1:

If your target market consists of people who own cats, your pre-headline may simply be: “Attention Poodle Owners!”

If you own a poodle, would you at least read the headline if you saw a pre-head that called out to poodle owners? Yes, chances are, you would keep reading.

Indeed, the more specific you can be, the better. For example, if you can narrow down the target market further, then address them in a focused way in your pre-headline. In our example, you might say, Attention Toy Poodle Owners!”

If your product deals with housebreaking, then you can focus in even more by using a pre-headline like, “Attention Toy Poodle Owners – Who Else Wants to Housebreak their Poodle in Just 48 Hours?”

Example 2: 

Let’s suppose you are selling a course on how to make extra money working at home. Your pre-headline can qualify your prospects and get their attention by asking a question such as, “Do You Want to Make a Full-Time Income Working Part-Time from the Comfort of Your Home?”

Now that you’ve grabbed the momentary attention of your target market by identifying them in the pre-headline, you now need to further get their attention by promising them a benefit or arousing their curiosity in your main headline (which is in a large font.) There are other ways to get attention -- such as by being controversial or shocking -- but promising benefits and arousing curiosity are the main two. 

Indeed, if you can create a headline that both promises a benefit and arouses curiosity, you’ll likely have a winning headline.

Chances are, there are many benefits associated with using your product or service, right? Of course. So what you want to do is identify one of the biggest – if not the biggest – benefit associated with your product and promise this benefit to readers if they keep reading.

In order to know what your biggest benefit is, you also need to be aware of what is important to your target market.

In addition to figuring out what’s important to your prospects, you’ll also want to consider some more “universal” wants of people. For example, people want quick and easy solutions. They want magic bullets. They want to feel better, be more attractive, be wealthier and look younger (among other things.)

If you can give your prospects a quick and easy way to look younger, mention that in the headline! If you can give them a quick and easy way to get richer, then by all means, let them know in the headline. The same goes for feeling healthier, becoming more attractive, being happier, etc.

Also keep in mind some of the “power words” that stop people in their tracks. The word “you” is one of the most powerful words you can use in your headline and elsewhere in your copy, so use it generously. 

After all, people are only interested in themselves and how your products benefit them. As they read their copy, they’re always thinking, “what’s in it for me?” If you orient the copy towards them through generous use of the word “you,” your copy is already taking a big step towards answering the “what’s in it for me” question.

Are there other “power words” to use in your copy? - Of course. Here are some of the examples:

People also like new things, so words like “new”, “introducing” and “break-through” tend to capture attention.

People like knowing things that others don’t know, so using words like “secrets", “revealed” and “discover” tend to be powerful words in your copy.

And as already mentioned, since people like their solutions quick and easy, use words that convey that message where applicable (quick, easy, fast, etc.)

Now that you know what’s important to your prospects, and what sorts of “power words” to use to capture attention, you can start writing headlines. Notice I said “headlines” and not the singular headline. Since it is the most important part of your letter, it only makes sense to spend a good amount of time crafting the very best headline you can.

You should draft dozens of headlines for your content, weather it is an article, a sales letter or a blog post. Don’t stop when you think you’ve created a good one. Keep going, and you’ll likely craft an even better one. This is what the professionals do -- some copywriting experts regularly write 50 or 100 headlines!

Keep tweaking and crafting new headlines until you have several strong ones. After you roll out your copy, you can start testing headlines to see which ones convert better.

Never Give Up!