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 Writing for the Internet > Writing and Copywriting > Tutorial Step 3: Writing Headlines

Writing and Copywriting Tutorial - Step 3: How to Write a Great Marketing Headline

Headlines are critical to your copy, particularly your sales copy. In fact, according to many experts it is the most important element of your sales piece. It can be especially crucial when you’re utilizing the internet. There is a great deal of competition for your prospect’s time. Internet sales copy, e-zines, email campaigns, and web copy, need to catch your reader’s attention immediately.

Your headline has many tasks, including getting your prospect’s attention, drawing the reader into your copy and defining your message - all with less than 15 words. There are some basic considerations when writing your headline. Who is your customer? What are the important features of your product? Lastly, why would your customer want to buy your product?

According to SIPA (Specialized Information Publishers Association), “you shouldn’t underestimate the power of a good subject line in your e-mail promotion. Write your headline or subject line as if you were creating short, curiosity-arousing tease copy on an outer envelope. Compel your recipients to read further without being so blatant in your promotion that it turns them off.” Here’s a well received headline for a gardening supply company, “Who ever heard of 17,000 blooms from a single plant?”

Notice how it piques the reader’s curiosity? I’ve never heard of that many blooms from a single plant. What are they talking about? Maybe I’ll read on. Now you’ve got them reading your message. Provided you can pull your reader effectively through your copy all the while selling your plants, you’ve done what you set out to do.

Here are ten ways to produce effective headlines, and email subject lines all the while taking into consideration your answers to the earlier three questions.

1. State a benefit.
2. Use words that help the reader visualize.
3. Highlight your offer in your headline.
4. Use numbers and statistics, like in the blooms example above.
5. Make it newsworthy using words like: new, introducing, or announcing.
6. Stress your guarantee.
7. Make a big promise. This is used often – Lose 20 pounds in 20 days.
8. Use a reasons why headline. “10 reasons why you’re losing money in the stock market.”
9. Anticipate and address your prospect’s fears.
10. Pique their curiosity.

There are of course many ways to produce a good, attention getting headline. Psychologists and skilled copywriters will both tell you that people don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional ones. Fear, greed, curiosity, benevolence, jealousy, lust, insecurity, pride, and frustration are among some of the effective emotions copy writers tap into.

By using emotion to create a need or desire in your headline, you spur the reader into action. Of course the next step is solving their need or desire by offering them your product or service and backing up their emotional decision with a logical one.

When writing your headline, it is often useful to write several headlines and choose the most effective or to write your copy first and let your copy dictate the headline. Regardless of how you proceed, experience and reading other eye catching headlines will help you explore the process

> Highly Recommended: Free Ebook by Dr. Ken Evoy – Make Your Words Sell, The Simple Art of Persuasion – Is a must read for anyone who wants more sales from their business.

Next in our tutorial: --> Writing & Copywriting: Article Writing Mistakes to Avoid

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