Write To Sell: 5 Easy Headline Copywriting Tips Anyone Can Use

Write To Sell: 5 Easy Headline Copywriting Tips Anyone Can Use

If you’re running a small business, you need basic copywriting skills because you’re trying to get attention and persuade people all day long. In other words, you’re writing copy: email subject lines, tweets, Facebook updates, proposals, and blog titles…

Whatever you’re writing, your headline contains the most important words. The headline either grabs someone’s attention, or it doesn’t. Some copywriters spend more time on the headline than they do on the copy.

Here’s some good news. Once you discover easy ways to write headlines, all your writing becomes easier, because you’ve learned to put yourself in your audience’s shoes.

The advertising master, David Ogilvy, said of headlines:

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

Ogilvy is amazing. Two more great Ogilvy quotes to keep in mind when you’re writing headlines:

“I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information.”

Headlines work well when they’re NEWS: think of your headline as the headline in a newspaper. The Mail Online does a wonderful job with headlines. If you find that Tip 5, “add emotion” is a challenge, read the Mail Online.

“If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.”

Your headlines must be clear, so read them aloud: Tip 5.

Let’s look at our headline tips…

1. Remember WIIFM: “what’s in it for me?”

WIIFM: “what’s in it for me?” is an old copywriting acronym. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Think about your ideal customer (or your email recipient, your blog’s readers, etc.) Everyone wants to know what’s in it for them.

WIIFM must be obvious in the headline. Avoid being too “creative,” because you risk confusing your audience.

If you’re stuck on WIIFM, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs can help. You’ll see that sex is a primal need: sex truly does sell. Scan the hierarchy. You’ll figure out WIIFM very quickly.

2. Research, research, and then research some more.

When you need to write important copy, spend half your time on research. This relates to WIIFM. Not only does your headline need to make totally clear what’s in for them, ideally it also speaks to them on a level that’s relevant, right now.

3. Write LOTS of headlines.

I like to sit down (or lie on the floor) and come up with ten headlines.

When you focus deeply, your subconscious mind will get in on the act. You’ll find that an hour later, or early next morning, completely new ideas will come to mind.

The more headlines you write, the more likely it is you’ll hit on something good.

4. Add emotion.

How do you add emotion? You make your audience FEEL something.

Test your headlines on the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer, when you think you’ve done it.

For inspiration, take a look at these classic headlines.

5. Read it aloud. (To someone else, if possible.)

Yes, read your headline aloud, firstly just so you can hear it. You’ll be surprised that this makes a difference. Some headlines seem OK, until you read them aloud.

Then read your headline aloud to someone else. Just ask whether the the headline makes sense to them. Would the ad catch their attention?

So, there you have it. Keep these headline copywriting tips in mind, not only for your next ad, but for everything you write which needs to grab attention.

 

, and on Twitter: @angee

Copywriting: Speak the Language, Then Sell

Advertising Writing

You’re a new copywriter. You’ve been hired, and you’re eager to get started.

You open a new document in your word processor, and stare at the computer screen, hoping for inspiration…

After a few moments, the cursor’s still blinking, and you’re wondering where you’ll go for lunch. Maybe the new cafe on the corner…

You pull yourself away from thoughts of sandwich fillings.

“Headline,”, you think. “I need a headline.”

You click your way through the folder listings on your computer, looking for your trusty swipe file. You’ll find some inspiration for your headline there, you’re sure of it.

STOP. Please.

You’re going the wrong way.

You may well find inspiration for a headline in your swipe file, but you don’t need that yet. You need to understand your product, and its audience, first. Then you need to get on your audience’s wavelength, and ensure that you’re speaking their language.

I became a writer because I love reading; a copywriter because I enjoy exploring human behavior and language.

Copywriters sell, using words. Even if you’re writing a script, it all comes down to words. To craft words which sell to an audience, you need to understand your audience: their hopes, challenges, and frustrations.

Research first, write later

Depending on the product, researching can be fun, or challenging. Start by asking your client to send you some representative marketing materials, as well as customer comments and questions. If you’re very lucky, and the product is popular, you can do some research on the Web.

Occasionally, research can be very challenging. For example, perhaps the product is completely new. No marketing materials, no customers, nothing at all.

If that’s the case, you’ll need to be creative. The product has competitors, and fits into a market niche. (If it doesn’t, the product has real problems, marketing collateral being the least of them.)

I’ve had a few copywriting jobs which needed lots of creative thinking. One job required me to write a brochure for a new pet food company; I couldn’t interview anyone from the company, and this was before the Web, so I had to be very creative indeed. I held my breath off and on for three days until the client signed off on the copy.

Depending on the job, you may spend a week or two researching, before you think about writing. Usually, you’ll come up with some wonderful ideas for copy while you’re researching. You’ll get what I call “the click” — everything will fall into place, and you’re inspired.

Sometimes inspiration won’t come, and you’ll find yourself where you started out, staring at your blank document, and the blinking cursor. You’re now primed with research however, and it won’t be more than a minute or two before your fingers start flying across the keyboard.

I love copywriting; it’s a wonderful career. Your success rests on your research, and speaking the language of your audience.

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Copywriting: Winning Words Add Punch to Your Copy

advertisingwords.jpg

If you have an online business, you’re a copywriter, even if you don’t realize that you are. You write emails, Web content and other sales material every day: you write to persuade. To make your copy more compelling, use winning words.

I’ve been a copywriter for almost 30 years. I love writing copy, because I love words. While other copywriters keep swipe files, I keep collections of words. My word lists are divided into sections which are effective for certain types of copy. Just by reading those words, I can easily get into the mood to write.

I commend this practice to you. Build your own collections of words.

Here’s how to use them.

Start by thinking about your product. Then try to get into your audience’s state of mind. What challenges do they have? What do they want the product you’re promoting to do for them? What objections do they have?

For example, if you’re describing a product with which they’re unfamiliar and which they fear may be difficult to use, consider using words like: “simple, practical, step-by-step, and shortcut”.

When you hit on the right words, you’ll know it: Apple’s Steve Jobs chose the perfect winning words when he introduced the iPad as: “magical and revolutionary.”

In addition to choosing the right words, be aware of transitions. Your copy should flow from one paragraph and one idea to the next. Start a collection transitional phrases.

Here’s a sample of transitional words: “essentially, in brief, we don’t stop there, no doubt, what else, remember that, and consider”.

Become aware of the advertising that you read. Analyze the words. Watch for the transitional phrases, and persuasive words which are used. If you like a word or phrase, write it down in a notebook. Soon you’ll have a great collection.

Copywriting is all about words. Become a word collector and you’ll always have winning words which will add punch to your copy.

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Copywriting Tips for Information Marketers

Are you an information marketer?

You know that the sales of your products depend on your professional copywriting skills. Let’s look at four tips which will help you.

1. Focus on Your Target Market

If your prospective buyer doesn’t feel that your sales page is speaking directly to him, you’ve lost a sale. This means that every sales page needs to be tightly focused on one particular market.

You may feel that your product meets the needs of more than one market, if so there’s a simple answer — write specific sales pages, one for each market.

2. What’s Your Product’s Strongest Selling Point?

What makes your product different?

What makes your product a must-have for its market?

You need to answer these questions before you start writing your copy.

Write down these points, and get into the habit of writing down every point you want to make before you start writing your copy. The more information you have to draw on, the better. Professional copywriters spend ten times as long researching a product as they do writing the copy.

All that work pays off: you’ll find that your copy flows, is logical, and makes sales.

3. Honesty Pays: Your Bullet Points Must Describe Your Product

Always be honest in all your copy. It’s common sense, because not only does it cut down on refunds, it also ensures that your customers are happy.

I’ve read many sales pages where the bullet points were a complete fiction, they bore no relation to the product at all.

4. Include an Excerpt if Possible

You’re selling information, so excerpts of that information help you to sell. Offer a chapter of your product so that people can gauge whether the product fits their needs. Large companies like Amazon do this, and you should too.

DIY Copywriting – the Secret to Big Sales Every Day

Copywriting has been called the secret of business success, and it’s no exaggeration. Expert copywriting can double and triple your profits within a year.

However, top copywriters are expensive. Worse, they’re always booked well in advance.

What if you could do your own copywriting? You can become an expert copywriter with Angela Booth’s “Copywriting Master Class – Ten Weeks to Copywriting Genius” – the class takes you from beginner to copywriting pro.

Do your own copywriting: sell more. Discover the communications’ secrets of the top copywriters. At the end of the class, not only can you do your own copywriting, you can also sell your copywriting services to others.

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