Once you choose a media, you must get the attention of the one market you’ve chosen.
This is mandatory. If you don’t get their attention, you can’t start the sales process.
You MUST get their attention with a headline that screams, “Hey! I’m talking to you!
I have something that’s very valuable to you! You must read this right now!”
(You can also stop them with art or a creative approach. But, if you do use an illustration or photograph or piece of art, make sure the art and headline are saying the same thing.)
Why is a headline essential?
The headline is the difference between the life and death of your ad. Consider this…
Did you know that 80% of your readers read only the headline and nothing else?
In dollars and cents, that means 80% of your ad budget is spent on the headline.
Think about your reading habits. How do you read a newspaper or magazine? Or how do you surf the Internet or read e-mails? Or how do you open your junk mail?
If you’re like me, you read the headlines to see what appeals to you and what doesn’t.
Headlines are like alarm clocks.
That’s because most people are “asleep” when it comes to seeing advertising. You must wake them. They are not waiting for your message.
In fact, most people really don’t care about you. They care about only themselves. Don’t take offense. Everyone including you and me—is thinking about themselves. Even your loyal customers don’t care about you as much as they care about themselves.
We all do. That’s human nature. We’re always looking out for #1.
Another reason? Your target market is ignoring you. We all snub you.
That’s because we have too many other messages coming our way.
We live in the “over-communicated” society. Too much stuff is coming at us.
It’s like “arrows” are being shot at us all day long. We spend the most of our time deflecting these arrows. We pick and choose what we will pay attention to.
We’re on the lookout for what turns us on and hits our hot buttons.
So what do we do? How do we sift through the stuff that’s thrown at us every day?
We filter. We screen out all day long. We say “no” more than we say “yes” to stimuli.
That’s why a headline is so important. It breaks through and grabs your target.
What is a good headline?
It’s words and art that get the attention of the target market you’re trying to reach.
A good headline is like lying in bed asleep and having your kid pour water on your face. That gets your attention.
A good headline is like driving along the freeway and you come upon a crash.
You can’t help but notice. You rubber-neck to see the accident. That gets your attention.
A good headline is like walking in the airport and smelling freshly-baked
cinnamon rolls. You can’t help but notice the aroma. That gets your attention.
A good headline is like walking down the Las Vegas Strip and having those aggressive street hawkers shoving a flier in your face. That gets your attention.
Do you get my point about headlines? You’ve got to get the attention
This is worth repeating: good headlines are the words and art
that get the attention of the target market you’re trying to reach.
Unless you have a knockout headline, the rest of the steps are useless. You can’t sell, if you can’t stop them. Headlines must arrest the reader.