The Man With The Grasshopper Mind
The title of this article also happens to be one of the "20 Greatest Headlines Ever Written."
Did you know, just changing the headline has been known to dramatically improve the effectiveness of an ad or sales letter by up to 1700 percent? Yes, headlines are that powerful--and that important!
However, over the last few years, I've noticed a proliferation of badly written--or just plain weak headlines--both online and off!
Particularly disturbing is the copycat syndrome. I can't even begin to tell you how many variations I've seen of the "Who Else" headline. For example:
"Who Else Wants To Write Great Headlines?"
By the way, the "Who Else" headline isn't new. It goes back many decades.
Here's the problem with copying a popular headline. When you have so many individuals copying a headline, it loses its effectiveness, appeal and uniqueness very quickly--especially on the Internet!
I have a much better alternative. Instead of copying someone else's headline, put in the hard work that's required and come up with your own classic headline.
Headlines that evoke some type of emotional response are the most effective and generally make more sales. Emotions motivate people into action. The stronger the emotion, the quicker the action. Therefore, headlines that make the reader excited about gaining something--or even more effective--afraid of losing something, will invariably produce the best results.
Using the proper words and phrases is critical. Below I've listed just a few of the words and phrases that, over the years, have proven to be very effective at grabbing the readers attention:
Save... Amazing... Finally... Love... Secrets Of... Announcing... Free... Luxury... Security... At Last... New... Bargains... Obsession... Breakthrough... Protect... The Truth About... Discover... How To... Rewards... Yes... Sale... You... Are You... Sex... Win... Improve... Do You...
After grabbing your readers attention, this is where you want to answer the question, "What's in it for me?" To do this, you have to know a little about your target audience. What are they interested in? What are their priorities? What makes them respond?
Craft your headlines to use words and phrases that will pique your potential buyers interest. If you are targeting people interested in starting their own home business, try phrases such as "Stay Home And Make Money" or "Kiss Your Job Goodbye Forever". If your product happens to be diet pills, try "Lose 10 Pounds In 10 Days".
A word of caution: There is a point where headlines tend to get unbelievable. Make sure that your claims are truthful and that your copy supports their truthfulness.
Once you have a firm grasp of the aforementioned basics, look around your house and select several different products, and write as many headlines as you can think of for each product.
Write variations of the same headline until you have exhausted all the ideas you can think of. This will be both frustrating and difficult at first, but it will become easier with practice. Remember, nothing worthwhile ever comes easy.
After you have your list of headlines, make sure each one passes the test for the following criteria for a good headline. 1. Does it grab the readers attention? 2. Does it answer the question, "What's in it for me?" 3. Is it truthful? If a potential headline does not meet these three criteria, rewrite it or eliminate it from your list altogether.
Continue using the process of elimination, one headline at a time, until you're left with what you feel are the three best and strongest headlines, based on the criteria presented in this article.
How will you know which headline is the best one overall?
Unfortunately, there's no way to know for sure until you test them against each other. The headline that pulls the most sales or responses is your winner!
To help you get the creative juices flowing, I've listed below my version of "The 20 Greatest Headlines Ever Written,". I've listed them in my own personal order of preference. Study them, dissect them, figure out what makes them great--then get to work writing your own. Enjoy!
"The 20 Greatest Headlines Ever Written"
1. The Man With The "Grasshopper Mind"
2. They Laughed When I Sat Down At The Piano--But When I Started To Play!
3. To People Who Want To Write--But Can't Get Started
4. Does Your Child Ever Embarrass You?
5. The Secret Of Making People Like You
6. Advice To Wives Whose Husbands Don't Save Money
7. The Child Who Won The Hearts Of All
8. How To Win Friends And Influence People
9. The Last Two Hours Are The Longest--And Those Are The Two Hours You Save
10. Do You Make These Mistakes In English?
11. Why Some Foods "Explode" In Your Stomach
12. You Can Laugh At Money Worries--If You Follow This Simple Plan
13. When Doctors "Feel Rotten," This Is What They Do
14. How I Improved My Memory In One Evening
15. Discover The Fortune That Lies Hidden In Your Salary
16. How I Made A Fortune With A Fool Idea
17. Do You Do Any Of These Ten Embarrassing Things?
18. The Crimes We Commit Against Our Stomachs
19. How To Do Wonders With A little Land
20. Who Else Wants Lighter Cake--In Half The Mixing Time?
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