In a continuation of my 5 ways series I will today be writing about how to write a killer headline. As a copywriter, my job is to captivate the audience and drive the bottom line of revenue. To do this requires amazing content throughout a page and website, but also requires magnetic headlines that capture the attention of an audience member immediately.
A staggering statistic is that around 75% of all sales can be won or lost simply on the basis of having a great headline that stands out. Mastering the art of great headline writing isn’t easy, some newspapers even hire people specifically for this job! It can take years of practice and research to know your audience in enough depth to write an amazing headline, but with the 5 steps below you can get on the right track today.
Use Traditional Headline Formulae
This is to say use traditional formulas for headlines, the tried and tested stuff from your industry. The ideas below should give you a few ideas, but look around your competition’s website get some ideas from them (but don’t copy them word for word!)
> The Secret of <<XYZ>>
> Top 10 <<XYZ>>
> Quick ways to improve your <<XYZ>>
Peer Pressure Aspects
If you can use “Quotation” marks around headlines, peer pressure can have an awesome effect on readers. By using quotation marks you give the headline an appearance of a testimonial.
Many copywriters and designers will tell you bigger is better, this isn’t always true. Headlines must be clear and defined, yes, but they must not intrude into the content nor grab so much attention a person will just “stare” at the title. Headlines must be comparable in size to the content (generally 2.5x bigger is the max).
Headlines Are Funnels
Funnels are ways to get large amounts of something that you want to get to a single place, on websites you want to get your audience to convert (be this a contact form or a sale). A headline is the mouth of the funnel, you want to get and keep the interest of the reader, and funnel it towards the content.
Never End in a Full Stop!
As a child we are all taught that a full stop (period) is the end of a sentence. It makes us think it is the end of a subject or topic, especially at the end of a paragraph, or in this case headline. As the copywriter you do not want to make people think this, instead don’t use a full stop try using “…” or simply not having one. This will direct the flow of the user to the content.
So in concluding: follow time tested formulae, use “peer pressure”, constrain size, funnel your traffic & remember don’t end your headline. If you still need more help tweet me (@andykinsey), contact me, or leave a comment below.