Now, we all know knowledge is power but that’s just not our way. We like to share. And, as we’ve been thinking about headlines (a lot) we decided to pass on a few pearls of wisdom from our in-house copywriting trainers.
So, how do you write headlines that MOTIVATE your audience?
Headlines are the first (and possibly only) thing your readers will see.
Whether you’re writing an internal sales directive or a major series of ads, they are the most important part of your copy.
They need to stand out. And they need to motivate your reader to read on…
Here are a few tried and tested ways to approach your headlines. Of course, there are lots of other things to consider but it’s essential to plan what you want your headline to achieve before you start writing it.
So, are you going to..?
1 Make people feel richer
The oldest trick in the book and the origin of the BOGOF. If you’re offering a discount, make sure it’s clear and upfront. (However, this approach is also used by scammers and fraudsters so handle with care!)
2 Make people feel special
Everyone wants to be made to feel special – you can see it everyday in the beauty industry (because you’re worth it). Research shows that women will often choose to buy the more expensive product because they PERCEIVE it’s better for them – so if you combine 1 and 2 to offer a top end product at a bargain price, that’s even better.
3 Make people feel curious
Making people curious makes them want to find out more. Go online and chances are you’ll come across something urging you to ‘click to read this one amazing tip for a flat tummy’. Make people take action & you’re one step closer to a conversion.
4 Make people’s lives easier
Cleaning products! Need we say more? Show how you take away the daily drudge and you’re in with a winner. The classic Hoover ads of the 1950’s thrived on this concept.
5 Make people feel scared
Nobody wants to miss out – whether that’s missing a deadline or missing an offer. Just watch QVC for 10 minutes to see some masters at work: “You’d better call now, there’s only five left”.
6 Make people feel more successful
Feed people’s ego. If they buy from you, they’ll be instantly more successful. Think of how the car industry approach advertising – who knew having a Mini could make your life so much fun?
7 Make people feel GOOD
Not everyone is motivated by money – some of us like to feel better about the CHOICES we make. So, if you’re one of the good guys, make that clear. (With the risk that it can be seen as ‘greenwashing’ e.g.: there’s a move to adopt this by the car industry, promoting their ‘green’ credentials).
8 Make people laugh
Always a tempting idea. But beware! As Sir Winston Churchill once said “A joke is a very serious thing”. You need to be sure it actually is funny and that it’s appropriate for your audience.