6 Headlines that Sell
Headlines are vital to advertising, but it’s especially important for direct marketing. Headlines that sell mean money in the bank.
Nowadays we refer to this as copyrighting. Writing the headlines is a specific job in a newspaper, and now in the era of clickbait your headlines have to compel consumer action – from the mere volume of competition. Headlines that sell tell a story, create emotion, create a sense of urgency, and generate feeling that a reader is “missing out” to guarantee that they click or share your content – and potentially buy your product.
Here are six commandments of headlines that sell.
1. Action commands
Telling people what to do is the easiest headline formula. Direct simple statements what actions people should take are very helpful. In this election year we hear “get out and vote for me” 100 times, so it’s that simple. The only skill required is to know what you want the potential reader or client to do – click here to save 20% on flights to Oz.
Let’s say you are selling a Vitamins or health products with an offer of 15% discount for new clients. A direct headline may read like this: “Buy now and grow 50% new hair for 15% OFF.” It may not even occur to some marketers that something this simple could work.
2. Stated Benefits Headlines
In the previous headline the benefit is “grow 50% new hair”. It is a compelling sales pitch for bald men. One of the elementary techniques of Headlines that sell, or selling in general, is always talk about the benefits to the client. Every product or service can be sold as long as it is sold as a list of benefits to the client. Stick to one benefit per headline. This is often called the USP or “unique selling proposition.” It’s the one thing differentiates your product or service above the other competitors. Your number one selling point in the minds of the client should be front and center. If clients read no further they know what you have to offer them.
3. News Headlines
News headlines are headlines that sell. There is a modern obsession with new information, so anything can create interest is it is packaged as new. How many new studies and discoveries do you hear about in the news? A lot. Most people want to appear knowledgeable and attribute their own failings to a lack of knowledge rather than any other lack of character. Writing headlines as news announcements can create the same powerful appeal of the lead story in your local newspaper or even CNN. Note: the product does not have to be new created to qualify as news, just packaged as new benefits of… “ginger/hoodia extract, etc…” It has to appear as news to your reader.
An example of quality news headlines are found on Buzzfeed or other tabloids.
4. Instructional Headlines
Many people want to improve there life or their station in life. Promising to show “how to” fill a need they have or satisfy a desire, you can quickly generate viral content. There is no mystery in how to use the words “how to” to create headlines that sell to make the problem clear and the solution simple.
En example of instructional headlines is “learn 5 secrets of SEO” “learn how to increase your pagerank”.
5. Question Headlines
Questions are headlines that sell. Questions need answers, so they force reader involvement. Asking open ended questions is a trick the best salesmen and teachers use. The trick is that your question must relate directly and clearly to the major benefit of your product. A question headline should lead to a “yes” answer or a click to find out the answer. Example is “how many of these deadly things are in tour fridge?” – commonly used by the tv news to lead into a commercial, than “stay tuned to fin out what they are”.
6. Review or testimonial Headlines
Internet marketers know the power of a client rating or testimonial as Headlines that Sell. A review or testimonial headline can swing people to purchase – the power of social media reviews is well knows. A review presents your reader with a an endorsement of your product, if it is a social media review then they might even know the reviewer. This is the ever important “social proof” element of internet marketing. Turn a review into a headline and you can present a strong third-party endorsement and generate high interest, since people dislike being a trailblazer.
“This hair growth formula worked for me. It can work for you, too!” This provides a strong benefit, and gives a convincing testimonial.