6 Powerful Qualities Of
Proven, Successful Headlines!
Copyright © 1999, 2000 by Robert Boduch
Why do certain headlines produce extraordinary results? What magical
characteristics do winning headlines possess? Successful headlines all
share the ability to cut through the clutter of competing messages to deliver
a hard-hitting, unmistakable message towards a specific group of prospects.
Great headlines are those that not only get noticed, but also draw the
reader inside with a magic-like spell. Whenever you find yourself reading
deep inside the body copy of a message, chances are you were pulled inside
by the magnetic appeal of a carefully-constructed and targeted headline.
The most successful headlines contain at least one (and many times,
several) of the qualities listed below. When writing your own headlines,
review this list and make sure you're on target.
1) Stop-Ability-- Job one
for any headline --whether it be for a display ad, banner, or a sales letter--
is to arrest attention. Without first capturing the eyes of your prospects,
your message doesn't stand much of a chance. Without a powerful, concise
message, prospects will be gone elsewhere, in the blink of an eye.
Living in the midst of the information age, each of us is inundated
with a huge, continuous explosion of messages from all directions and an
unlimited number of sources. It can be overwhelming at times --even futile--when
we realize how impossible it would be to pay attention to it all, even
with 48 hours to a day!
With this in mind, your headline has to make the reader stop dead in
her tracks to ponder your idea, concept, startling statement, or intriguing
question. Your headline's mission is to consume your reader's focus, capture
her imagination and momentarily mesmerize with your captivating collection
2) Interruptive-- Customers
and prospects are mentally pre-occupied with various thoughts of their
own. Everyone is busy living their own lives. An interruptive headline
has the ability to shift the reader's attention and focus from their current
thoughts, towards your message. It's a break, a temporary thought suspension
that you want to create with your headline.
Being interruptive means being able to get the prospect to shift her
concentration with something that is new, timely, or important to her life something
that is sure to get attention. To pull this off successfully requires a
good understanding of your target market and a powerful headline that addresses
a deeply-held desire or solution to a problem.
3) Provocative-- The provocative
is one that instigates a reaction in the reader. It delivers a mental nudge,
designed to involve the prospect in some way. A provocative headline is
difficult to ignore --particularly when it's narrowly focused on a specific
audience because it tempts, teases, or tantalizes the reader.
Provocative headlines command the attention of those they address by
asking questions, delivering surprising or shocking statements, and by
establishing a connection to a news story or event.
4) Compelling-- A compelling
headline draws like a magnet because it hits at the heart of a reader's
greatest desire. These headlines pull the reader inside. They fuel the
desire for more by offering a huge promise something the prospect wants,
and wants badly. The key to a compelling headline is the suggestion of
a payoff of some kind. The closer the match between promised payoff and
deeply-rooted desire, the more effective the headline will be.
The compelling headline places a powerful thought in the mind of the
prospect something she cannot easily forget. It stays with her until the
desire has been satisfied, (often by placing an order) or, until she loses
interest. The anticipation and desire builds so the prospect is literally
compelled to stay with the message to satisfy a nagging hunger.
5) Curiosity-Arousing-- Prospects
are pulled inside to the heart of a message by their natural desire to
find out more. Often it's the result of a surprising statement, shocking
news, a new discovery, or a new way to solve an age-old problem. The best
curiosity-arousing headlines combine curiosity with a major benefit of
interest to the prospect.
Once the reader's curiosity has been piqued, her interest naturally
intensifies. The more thought she gives to the subject, the stronger the
curiosity grows-- as well as the desire to satisfy it. What it all boils
down to is greater exposure to your entire message over a longer period
6) Benefit-Laden-- Benefits
are the true payoff all prospects seek. Benefits answer the "What's
in it for me?" question. Every prospects has their built-in radar set to
a benefits-only frequency. Benefits attract attention and interest.
What is it your prospects would like to have or achieve? What problem
would your prospect most like to solve? Headlines that present strong benefits
are headlines that capture interest. When you speak in terms of benefits,
you're speaking your prospect's language.
Robert Boduch is the author of Great Headlines
To Write Powerful, Attention-Grabbing Headlines
That Pull In
More Prospects, More Customers And More
Profits, NOW! which
features hundreds of helpful tips, techniques, strategies, and hands-on
formulas for writing successful headlines for any purpose, on demand.
Click here to master the skill of writing
headlines in mere minutes!
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