Beginning copywriters often fail by trying to sell in their headlines. The only thing you need to sell is the next sentence or subhead in your sales copy. Still, creating an attention-grabbing headline that pulls readers in then makes them eager to read more can be tougher than it looks.
Try this trick – it’s responsible for literally billions of dollars in sales letter revenues:
For every sales letter you write, write lots of headlines. Write to capture attention. Start a conversation the reader must read to complete. Then do it 25 or 50 different ways.
Write one headline focusing on a main benefit the reader gets from reading your letter. This is usually the main benefit of the product or service you’re selling. Make a bold statement. Say something totally unexpected. Get the casual reader’s attention and make sure your headline telegraphs the main benefit.
Let’s say you’re selling printer paper that never gets brittle and holds a rich, black inkjet or laser image for decades. Your main benefit could be “making your words immortal,” or “the peace of mind knowing your printed documents will survive in storage for eons.”
A good first headline might for this product, then, might read, “Your Thoughts – Chiseled Into History With Every Page You Print.”
Now try saying the same thing a slightly different way. Don’t worry about quality. Focus on the headline’s two simple goals and see how many different ways you can say it effectively and flow with it.
Do this for five to ten different approaches and you should find it’s fairly easy to come up with 25 or 50 headlines.
Eliminate the headlines that don’t feel strong and the rest are excellent candidates for split-testing, to see which one pulls the best results. Test two or three at a time, rotating new ones in to replace the ones that don’t perform as well as the others.
You’ll have a killer headline in no time.
Bonus: some of the headlines you don’t use can often serve as sub-heads, breaking up your sales copy and keeping the reader moving to the ultimate goal – the decision to purchase.