The Importance of Attention Grabbing Headlines

It doesn’t matter if you have a professional looking website, with a superb product or service. Nor does it matter if your sales copy is the best there is. Without the right wording in your headline, you will not make many sales. Do you know how to create the perfect headline?

A very good friend of mine, Mavis, made the fatal mistake of ignoring the importance of killer headlines. This mistake nearly lost her her business. She had a great niche product, hand-crafted jewellery. She was able to sell loads of beautiful items through her stall at a local market, but she wanted to start selling her wares to a wider market and saw the internet as the perfect medium.

With only basic computer skills, she managed to put a pretty impressive website together. Her sales copy was good, she put in the essential call to action, everything was just perfect, or so she thought.

So what did Mavis do wrong?

Simply, it was the headline. It just didn’t work. It didn’t have the power to grab the attention of the potential customer. The headline does 90% of the work when it comes to sales copy. Unless you can catch the interest of a customer, you have no customers. Not a plan if you are trying to make a living through the internet.

Did Mavis know how important the headlines where?

She did plenty of research before she set up her website. She read everything that she could get her hands on. Covering all the topics from web hosting to marketing, sales copy to advertising. But nothing on the importance of headline wording.

Everything she read she put into practice. Considering she knew very little before she started, she did an amazing job. Thinking that she had covered it all and with everything in place, she launched her site and generated lots of targeted traffic to it. She only made 2 sales in 4 months. Not looking good for Mavis is it.

She rang me up one day and asked me what was she doing wrong. She told me that she was at her wits end and didn’t know what to do. She said that the website was getting lots of visitors, but they weren’t staying there long enough to become customers. I went straight to view her website and as soon as the page loaded I could clearly see what the problem was. You guessed it, the headline. The powerful and hypnotic wording was just not there in her headline. That one, singular oversight was costing her dearly. The website was beautifully designed and easy to navigate. The sales copy was very professional, she used all the right calls to action and offered an excellent refund policy. But the fact is, no-one ever saw any of this because they never got past the headline.

I told her to come around to see me and I would show her how she could turn things around. Mavis and I sat at the computer and I showed her the good, the bad and the ugly of headlines on websites. Within a few minutes, she could see where she was going wrong. She just hadn’t been using the right words to get the effect that is needed. You have to GRAB the attention of browsing customers, by using powerful, emotional and hypnotic words. So I made us another cup of coffee before we sat down and I showed Mavis how simple it is to make sizzling headlines.

You need to start by creating a ‘benefit statement’. This is what will make your reader want to know about what you are selling. Then you sandwich the benefit statement with action words and phrases. These are the true ingredients of attention-grabbing headline writing.

Okay, so what is a benefit statement?

This is simply the end ‘result’ of what your customer will experience when purchasing or using your product.

In mavis’s case we came up with the benefit statement of “own unique hand-crafted jewellery.’ Then we decided to sandwich this with ‘the perfect way to’ and ‘delivered straight to your door.’ The result:- “The Perfect Way To Own Unique Hand-Crafted Jewellery, Delivered Straight To Your Door.” We played around with a few more, but decided to give this one a go.

What happened to Mavis’s business?

Mavis went home and immediately set about changing her home page. She removed the old headline and replaced it with the new one. Within 24 hours of Mavis uploading her updated website, 5 orders where placed. By the end of the month she had made sales of $1564. She hadn’t made any other changes to her website, just the headline and it completely turned her business around. She did have the advantage of already having targeted traffic visiting her site. Before the change of headlines, that traffic just clicked away from her page, but with the new headline, they became drawn in, taking time to have a look at the exquisite goods that Mavis had to offer. Some people staying long enough to make a purchase. Goal accomplished.

In conclusion, the headline is THE most important thing to take into consideration when writing your sales copy. Getting it wrong can have devastating results. Getting it right can have positively profound affects.

Never, ever underestimate the power of headlines. Unless you want your business to suffer dismally low sales and never really make it off the ground.

If you are having problems writing your winning headlines, you could always pay someone else to write them for you. Or you can get a software program that will do it for you. The first option could be a bit expensive, but there are some fairly cheap software programs that you will be able to use every time you need new headlines, so I would recommend this.

Jane Harper.