Eight types of marketing headlines to motivate prospects

As you may know, the headline must capture the attention of the prospect.

The benefits to the prospect should jump out and be immediately apparent. The message in the headline must accomplish two things: telegraph to your prospect that there is something in it for him (in the trade we call that WIIFM―what’s in it for me) and pull him into the body copy.

Why is having the right headline so important?

Types of headlines

Many times in marketing you have ONE SHOT to get it right, grab their attention and tell your story.

If your headline fails on either of these counts (i.e. grabbing attention and inviting them to read more), your prospect will slip away and the opportunity will be lost.

THIS is the reason why copywriters spend a lot of time coming up with just the right headline, one that will grab your audience.

In fact, your headline is the MOST CRITICAL part of your marketing piece. It sets the table for everything that will follow.

That said, there is not one right way to create an effective headline.

In fact, there are many ways.

Here are the eight different kinds of headlines:

• How-to
• News
• Question
• Command
• Reason why
• Testimonial
• Direct
• Indirect

Let’s look at each one:

How-to – If your prospect wants to accomplish what the headline promises, she will read on

News – Tout the benefit of a new product or service

Question – Ask an interesting client-focused question that gets the prospect involved

Command – Tell the prospect why it is in her best interest to act

Reason why – Present facts that set you up as an expert

Testimonial – Overcome objections and gain credibility by having your clients sell for you

Direct – Announce a sale or limited-time offer

Indirect – provoke curiosity and motivate the prospect to find out more

So how do you know when you have a headline that works?

To find out if the headline you’ve chosen succeeds with your audience, you can try it out on a small segment of your entire audience.

You can run a test where half your audience sees one headline, half another (known as a split test or A/B split) or test different headlines in consecutive days, weeks or months when split tests are not available.

That way you can be sure you have a winner when it’s time to put your marketing efforts into high gear.

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