About headlines, this is not news.
People only read or view content that interests them.
This may be news though:
You have less than 10 seconds to make an impression that will catch a person’s attention and interest him.
Your layout, images, and especially your HEADLINE bears this burden.
Some people advise that half of the time you spend writing a persuasive content should be spent on the headline.
Because it is that important.
The aim is that your reader or viewer sees your headline, and is immediately interested in the rest of your copy.
And that is where you can write/say all you know to persuade effectively.
Now, how can you write a captivating headline?
- Understand your target audience and what level of awareness he is at. What would capture his attention right now?
- Write an outline of the headline first. Know what your Big idea is and decide how you can present it in your headline.
- Write several different headlines and read them out loud for the most captivating one.
- You can also use the secret structure of powerful headlines, which is, a Pre-head, a headline, and a sub-head which could be in bullet points.
- Let your lead determine your headlines.
The question now could be What is a lead?
In Copywriting, lead is the first part of your copy where you either have your reader/viewer hooked or lost, FOREVER.
Like Jerry says, the purpose of a lead is to introduce the Big idea, and make good on your headline’s promise.
It has to give a little explanation to the headline, stir up more curiosity, and bond emotionally with your reader or viewer.
After the headline, we are all trusting the lead to maintain or even increase the excitement that our headline has created.
So you can’t afford to be boring in your lead after working hard on your headline.
Else, your reader/viewer stops engaging your content and moves on.
Joseph Sugarman is popular for saying, The job of your headline is to get you to read the first sentence and the job of your first sentence is to get you to read the second sentence… until you are taking your reader through the slippery side effortlessly.
You can also just write your entire copy first. Then when you are through, you can work hard at a good lead and a great headline
There are six lead types. You decide which fits best according to how much your reader/viewer knows already (about you, his problem, or your offers).
- The Offer Lead: A direct appeal to grab an offer or accept an invitation. It’s all up to you to make it as inviting and irresistible as possible. It’s mostly used when your prospect is very knowledgeable about you and your offers.
- Big Promise Lead: This is the most common lead type. It’s a lot like the Offer lead only that there’s a deliberate delay in mentioning the product name.
- Bold Prediction Lead: Predictions and bold facts jolt your readers to an excited state. It works effectively when your prospect doesn’t know your product yet.
- Story Lead: Everyone loves a good story. It’s a good way to get the attention of ANYBODY.
- The Big Secret Lead: If your prospect vaguely know your product, you can start your copy telling him about a secret he’s not known which eventually you reveal in your product.
- Problem-solution Lead: This lead simply presents your prospect’s most pressing problem to him, and shows your product as his UNIQUE solution.
Once you make your headline and lead very appealing, the rest of your copy is easy to flow with, engages your prospect and gets him to take action.
Your headline and lead are very important. I’m hopeful this post will help you create a catchy headline and lead in your next copy.
Let me know what you learnt in the Comments.