I am having to learn copywriting (quite a bit of the poetry I wrote in my twenties was published so I have hope of managing copy too).
I wish I had more clients who could write copy as well. What any website needs is more great copy. As opposed to machine generated or offshore article spam (most of the article spam comes from the Philipines and India; why? both countries have large populations of fluent if not particularly literate English speakers for higher for pennies on the dollar).
In any case, one of the keys to great copy is the headline.
How does one make a good headline even better
So if you want to make absolutely certain your prospects read your headline, focus on their most critical problem. And to make equally certain that they follow up and read beyond your headline into the body of your sales piece, use a question format for all or part of your headline.
Structuring your headline for maximum readership
Let's take the headline we came up with earlier and add a question structure to it. This can be done two different ways. First, you can create a headline that is a direct question. Or, you can create a two-part headline that's a combination of a statement followed by a question. For this particular example, I've chosen to use a two-part headline:<p>WARNING: Doctors report that the first symptom 82% of heart attack victims feel is death ...what 3 simple steps can you take to guarantee this doesn't happen to you?</p>
The reason I've used a two-part headline in this case is that the first portion of the headline is so strong, I don't want to dilute it. Also, remembering that our reptilian brains are always scanning for problems, the use of the word "Warning" alerts the brain to the fact that a serious problem is about to rear its ugly head.
Take a good look at this updated version of the original headline with the question component added. If you are an aging boomer who dreads the potential problem of a devastating heart attack, can you imagine not feeling the need to find out how you can avoid this horrendous fate? Few prospects could pass this up without reading further. They just have to know what the "3 simple steps" are.
I don't see how this technique can fail to work. It should work very well in the real estate and insurance markets.
Alec has been helping businesses succeed online since 2000. Alec is an SEM expert with a background in advertising, as a former Head of Television for Grey Moscow and Senior Television Producer for Bates, Saatchi and Saatchi Russia. Alec maintains a photography and culture weblog at uncoy.com. His dance film Lapinthrope won prizes around the […]