In the world of advertising and marketing, the headline is the gateway to capturing the attention of potential customers. It serves as the first impression, a brief yet powerful statement that compels readers to delve further into the content. Crafting an effective headline requires careful consideration and creativity, aiming to intrigue and captivate the reader’s imagination. Let’s explore the importance of a compelling headline using examples from two contrasting scenarios: selling a book on home security and promoting a straightforward product like a tea trolley.
When promoting a book on home security, the initial instinct might be to focus on alarming statistics with a headline like “CRIME FIGURES UP.” However, such an approach fails to resonate with readers as they are not concerned with abstract numbers. Instead, the headline should address their personal concerns, such as “IS YOUR HOME AT RISK?” Although an improvement, this headline still falls short of being truly captivating.
To truly captivate readers, a headline must be bold and thought-provoking. In the case of the home security book, a killer headline could be: “HOW TO BURGLE YOUR OWN HOUSE AND STEAL YOUR OWN CAR.” This headline immediately grabs the reader’s attention, compelling them to read further. It taps into their deepest fears and curiosity, pushing them to explore the content that follows.
However, it’s essential to adapt the approach when promoting a more straightforward product. In such cases, the headline should clearly state what the product is, accompanied by a few descriptive adjectives. For example, consider a headline for a tea trolley: “New, Italian, Fold-away TEA TROLLEY.” This headline, along with a corresponding product image, instantly grabs the attention of individuals interested in purchasing a tea trolley.
While the headline serves as the hook, the subheading further entices readers, expanding upon the story hinted in the main heading. For straightforward products, the subheading should outline the primary features and benefits. Although it may seem mundane, this approach has proven to be effective.
For instance, the subheading for the tea trolley could be: “New from Italy, Lightweight, Fold-away Trolley is available in your choice of three colors.” While it may lack the intrigue of a captivating story, it provides crucial information for potential buyers.
However, when promoting the security book, we can take a more daring approach. A subheading like “I’ve nicked hundreds of cars and done over fifty burglaries. Would you like to know what I’ve got in mind for YOUR place?” creates a sense of urgency and intrigue. By presenting a quote from an alleged burglar, it entices readers to explore the content that follows, promising unique insights and knowledge.
The body text, often referred to as the copy, is where the real persuasive power lies. While it’s important to exaggerate the product’s benefits, it should always remain within the bounds of truth and reasonableness.
For the security book, a conventional and uninspiring approach might include sentences like: “We at ACME security have been leaders in the field of home security for over seventy years, winning the Queens award for industry on at least five occasions.” However, this information fails to resonate with readers. Instead, the copy should focus on storytelling and use the “reverse” technique to fascinate the audience.
By challenging conventional wisdom, such as stating that leaving doors unlocked can sometimes be better than locking them, the copy sparks curiosity and prompts readers to question their preconceived notions. It explores the psychology behind criminal behavior and uncovers surprising insights. Similarly, suggesting that fitting a car alarm may attract car thieves rather than deter
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