Picture the scene. You’re sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, flicking through the pages of a magazine when you suddenly start reading an ad. Why? What drew your attention to that particular ad? An attention grabbing headline, that’s what.
Think about how you ‘read’ magazines. What do you look at first? My bet is it’s the headlines. If the headline grabs you, you’ll scan the rest of the text to see if there’s anything more that grabs you. If there is, you’ll read the whole thing. Those who know about good business marketing know about writing great headlines.
Your job, if you really want to sell your products or services, is to make sure whoever picks up the magazine containing your ad will actually stop and read what you have to say. The day you went into business, marketing became a number one priority – without it you’ll never sell a thing.
So let’s see what you can do to make sure your business marketing is up to scratch when it comes to writing great headlines that will grab the reader and compel her to read on. We want her to want to know more.
First of all, to create a great headline there are three things that need to be fulfilled.
1. Hook your reader quickly
2. Give them a personal benefit
3. Give them a reason to continue reading
The following takes a closer look at how you can achieve the above.
Use A Headline
As obvious as this may sound, far too many businesses omit the use of a headline when compiling their ads in a bid to get as much information into as little space as possible. Unfortunately, this is bad economy.
If there’s no headline, there’s nothing to grab the reader’s attention so it’s far better to cut out some of the waffle in your text and make room for a great headline that’ll reach out from the page and entice potential clients to read your text. When it comes to writing ads, there’s no such thing as good business marketing without the use of headlines.
Know Your Market
An ad placed in “The Lady” will be targeted at a completely different audience to one placed in “Mother and Baby”. Both groups could well be potential clients but when it comes to business marketing, it’s important that each ad is individually directed at the audience in question. Give plenty of thought to the type of headline that’s most likely to be compelling to the groups of women that read each of the magazines.
Give the Reader A Reason to Stop
People lead busy lives and even while browsing magazines, they’ll only be willing to offer you a certain amount of time in which to grab their attention, with three seconds being the average. Not long is it?
It’s been proven time and time again that great headlines are those that offer the reader something. By that, I don’t mean “Read This and Get A Free Dinner”, but you do have to let them know there’s something in it for them.
“Clear Skin Can Be Yours Today” and “Take The Dream Holiday You Didn’t Think You Could Afford” are examples of good business marketing through the use of ads that promise personal improvement.
Again, consider your target market and tailor your headline so that it offers the reader something that she considers valuable to her lifestyle.
In business marketing, it’s important that your headline compels the reader to act quickly. The more time that passes between reading the ad and acting on it, the greater the likelihood that they’ll never actually place an order.
Words and phrases such as “now”, “ending soon”, “don’t delay”, “today” and “final offer” all tell the reader that this is an opportunity they’ll lose out on if they don’t act now.
People like facts – they trust them.
A headline that says “Ten Thousand Satisfied Mothers Can’t Be Wrong” will be more compelling than “The Whole World Is Using Our Nappies”. Nobody is going to believe that everybody in the whole world is using your product are they? But they are likely to believe 10,000 mothers have been satisfied.
Notice that we haven’t actually mentioned what the product is? By leaving this out of the headline, if the reader wants to know exactly what it is 10,000 mothers are satisfied with, she’ll have to read on. That’s good business marketing.
Follow the headline up with information to support the fact. Something like “More than 10,000 customers return to place a second order – why not join those mums and put your baby in the nappies he’ll love best?” will give them a sense of buying a tried and tested product. They may even feel they’re not doing what’s best for baby if they don’t use your products, which is an extra bonus.
Don’t Bore The Reader
It’s a fact that too many headlines are just plain boring. Clichés and churned out statements we’ve all seen time and time again just don’t provide the hook you need if your business marketing is going to have any chance of success. Look for something fresh.
Use Words That Attract
Certain words attract the reader more than others. Those involved in business marketing know which ones are winners and by using them they have the edge of amateurs who are writing their first business ads.
The following words will attract the reader to your ad:
* Be the first
Now that you know what kind of ad works, it’s time to learn how to actually write them.
* Start by writing a few headlines that tell the reader what you want them to know.
* Re-write a few times so that you have several alternatives of each.
* Without adding any text, ask friends what the headlines tell them and find out how they’d react. Try to find friends from different backgrounds and who have different lifestyles.
* Ask yourself which type of people did your ad work best for and which magazine they’d be likely to read.
Now that you know the secrets of improving your business marketing by writing great headlines, all that remains is for you to place your ad and start reaping the benefits.