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Library  »  Categories  »  Elite Communications  »  Write an attention grabbing headline!

Write an attention grabbing headline!

Imagine, for example, you are stranded on the motorway, alone and in bad weather with no mobile phone and only a marker pen and flip chart.  How would you attract the attention of other motorists to persuade them to stop and help?  You wouldn’t write something too long for them to read as they drive past, and you wouldn’t write a joke or clever play on words.  You’re best bet would be to keep it simple and to the point - ‘HELP ME’ in big, bold letters. 

Now think about how you begin your direct marketing letters, flyers, emails or other promotional material.  Many companies fail to understand the absolutely vital necessity of seizing the attention of their audience; and then they wonder why they have spent a fortune for a minimal return in the end.

Your target recipient will likely receive several pieces of direct mail and promotional material a day, growing to quite a pile at the end of the week - so you’ll need to work a lot harder to compete for their attention.  You won’t have the luxury of enticing them with a long lead-in to your offer – rather you’ll need to pique their interest and connect with them immediately.

You have to make sure your subject matter or offer is relevant to their needs or interests - this will help you to craft a headline which will cause them to take notice.  Otherwise, you run the risk of having your offer binned quite unceremoniously with less than a cursory glance.  It will join the twenty others that landed that day that were unrelated to your recipient’s interests or needs.

Your headline needs to jump off the page and make an immediate impression to the reader.  If your headline is good enough to make them look again, you should expect that you will have less than twenty seconds to give your reader a good reason to read the rest of your offer. 

So you’ll need to keep your headline powerful and direct.  It should give the reader an instant impression of what to expect.  If it doesn’t, they may not bother any further with your offer.  If you can introduce a potential benefit, something that would be of great value or help to them, or suggest that there is an element of urgency or something they would not want to miss out on, this can encourage them to read further.

Be careful what you suggest you are offering though.  If your headline doesn’t seem to relate to your offer, they’ll recognise it for a deliberate stunt and won’t believe you’re credible - and they will simply bypass your next offer.  You must use your headline to drive your offer’s stake directly through the heart of your prospect’s needs.