How To Write Great Headlines

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Great headlines grab reader’s attention and make them want to read on. Yet most businesses fail to capitalise on direct mail and emails because the headline they use are dull and mediocre. The good news is that the best headlines are not necessarily the clever ones and by using a few tried and tested techniques you too can have real impact.

Great headlines:

• Increase the response rate from direct mail
• Increase responses from ads
• Increase the time visitors spend on your web site, make a business memorable
• Generate more enquiries from web sites

Without being too clichéd or clever you need to engage your readers attention. Having a few headline structures will make writing your headlines easier.

Shorter headlines make more of a statement and generally have more impact. Write your headlines before or after you have finished your piece of writing, whichever you find easier. Often writing your letter will generate inspiration for your headline. A few headline ideas for your emails, your web site, blogs, direct mail and press releases.

1. Use a question for your headline e.g. ‘Who knows?’, ‘Would you like to’, ‘Are you?’, ‘Want to try?’, or ‘Did you know?’ Starting with ‘How to’ or ‘Now you can’ are great starting points.

Make your headline an invitation for example ‘Be one of the first to snap a bargain in our sale, visit our web site by 1/1/11’.

3. To challenge your reader make your headline a true or false e.g. ‘Farm shop produce is 20% more expensive than supermarkets true or false?’

4. Headline with a leading question for example ‘How will RD Legal debt recovery policy recover your company bad debts?

5. Quote statistics, this works really well for press releases as newspapers love statistics. Visit Britain, the National Office for Statistics and government web sites are a good source for stats.

If all else fails the simplest and most effective headline of all Turn the words around in your headline for more impact For example not ‘Of all the bacon I buy I think Pink’s bacon is the best’ rather ‘Pink’s bacon is the only bacon I ever buy’.

Lastly collect headlines – sounds geeky but really helps with inspiration. Check out web sites and magazine ads for more ideas.

8. Finally, sounds obvious, make sure your headline is relevant to the article or web page you are writing.

Ann Brown is a Chartered Marketer, which is the mark of an upto- date, experienced and qualified marketing professional. I’ve successfully built Summitup Marketing over the last 10 years. Running this small agency means I am reliable and quick to respond to my clients enquiries and all client work is done by me. This gives me the chance to really understand my clients businesses and the challenges they face.

In the last 10 years I have been fortunate to work with many family run businesses, in Yorkshire and the North East. During this time I have built a clear understanding of what these businesses really need when it comes to promotion and the challenges of resources and time they face on a daily basis. My clients say it’s my hands on approach to marketing that they really like and the way I interpret internet and social media trends into practical actions to help to promote their business. My after sales service – ongoing support is a phone call away!

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