Headline Ideas - Your Starting Five To Success

By Harry Barber

When you are appealing to the greater common denominator, meaning the readers and not yourself, you are adapting the right mindset as a headline writer. These headlines are designed to put the *POW* in *KAPOW!* and grab the reader's attention through a clear and concise discussion of the main selling points, thus leading to more sales.

The movers and shakers of copywriting have long been whipping up different verbal ingredients to come up with the recipe of dynamite headlines. And now, your Starting Five:

The Question Headline - "Are Money Problems Getting You Down Again?"

A question headline automatically gets your readers involved in your message, because they answer it in their minds. Just like a good pass to an open player usually results in two points easy, a good question to an interested reader usually results in him/her continuing to read your copy. But don't "drop the ball" by focusing on self-serving headlines that do not interest your readers. A bad example would be: "Do You Know What New Product We've Created This Year?" (No one cares but you!)

The How-to, i.e. "How to Reduce That Flab in One Month Flat

Human nature dictates that people want to know how to do things, thus the how-to headline's effectiveness. Notice how many book titles begin with those two simple words. Think of the benefits your product/service offers and then try creating some "how to" headlines.

The Testimonial, i.e. "Bob Jones of Chicago, IL Is The Mozart of the Consulting Concerto -- He Boosted Our Sales By 25%!"

Why not let your clients do the selling for you? More people can be convinced to use their services if you include some positive commendations. Tip: To appear credible, always include your clients' full names and the cities they live in.

The Command, i.e. "Lose Weight In An Instant!"

Turn your most important benefit into a commanding headline, such as "Make More Time for Your Family," "Look Younger Instantly!" and "Get 7 New Clients This Month." (Incidentally, you may want to toss in a number or a name into your headline - sound strategy. And readers seem to like odd numbers as opposed to even.)

The News - "Introducing The New Diet Pill That Made Joe S. of Oceanside, CA 75 Pounds Lighter In 5 Months!

The last member of our Starting Five headlines is an unpredictable sort, mainly it only performs if there is actually some grand news to share. Uh, maybe something that could improve a person's life or a business' bottom line. Don't try to make news out of something that's not.

Whether you have an article, a blog site, an e-zine, a newsletter, brochure, Web site or other form of promotional literature, people will read it if they know what's in it for them. With these headlines, you'll be a winner in the ball game of copywriting!

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