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Headlines That Sell

Jan 17th 2011 at 11:44 AM

GT Bulmer GT Bulmer © Affiliate Power Central

A few days ago I was introduced to an Internet Marketing eBook that has given me a new perspective on a particular aspect of marketing: how to write winning headlines. The eBook is called Headlines That Sell and is filled with great insight and tips on copywriting. Today, I will share some of this insider information with you.

The eBook explains that “copywriting is the art of using sales copy to persuade readers to become buyers,” and that “the headline is the most important part of any piece of sales copy.”

So often, it is the art of persuasion that separates the winners from the losers. And it doesn’t matter whether you run an Internet based home business or you are the sales manager for a large firm, your sales copy and headlines could make or break your business.

There are several factors that go into creating good headlines that sell. The eBook explains these in far greater detail, but I will give you a quick overview here.

Speak to Your Audience

The better you know and understand your target market, the more effective your headlines will be. You may have to do some research to help you determine exactly how and why your product or service is a good solution to problems your prospective buyers may have. Make sure you address these problems clearly in your headline.

Use Psychological Trigger Words

Everybody knows that certain words evoke positive psychological responses in people, and that these words can have an impact and appeal that is independent from whatever is said about the actual product.

The word “free” is a good example of a known psychological trigger word. If your product or service is free, use the word in your headline to catch the reader’s eye. It will lure them to read further.

Read News Headlines for Inspiration

One way to pick up some good ideas for trigger words and headlines that sell is to read headlines in news stories. You may not realize it, but many great advertising and sales copy headlines are designed with elements similar to news headlines.

While the eBook elaborates on this theme much more thoroughly, one thing it says is, if you read through the headlines at and ‘you will find that the ‘newsworthy’ portion of the story is always captured in the headline.” You should aim for the same effect with your sales copy headlines: focus on the most important benefit.

Use a Good Headline Formula

One of the formulas recommended in the eBook is to start your headline with something like, “Who Else Wants to... (your text here).” People respond well to this statement. By the way, some IM faceplate members might have noticed that I used this formula recently in one of my Shouts and on my face. It really does look appealing! (Even if I do say so myself.)

State a Major Benefit or Propose a Puzzling Question

The eBook explains that when writing headlines that sell, your goal should be to hook the reader. “You don’t have to provide useful information or offer them the world. All you have to do is give them a very good reason to keep reading.”

Two of the ways listed in the eBook to do this are:

– State a benefit that your product provides that none others can;

– Suggest a benefit by issuing a brash order, for example: “Become a Millionaire in Just Two years!”

At the end of this section in the eBook, the reader is encouraged to “use the headline to communicate at least one major benefit of the product, or to propose at least one thought-provoking question.”

My article here gives only a brief overview of Chapter 1 from the HeadlinHeadlines That Selles That Sell eBook. In a day or two, I will write a follow-up article with highlights from Chapter 2: Headline Templates.

Chapter 2 provides a whole series of “fill-in-the-blanksheadlines you can use in your ads, sales pages, squeeze pages, newsletters or wherever you want, from News-Style Headlines to Question-Style Headlines, Benefit-Style Headlines, How-To Style Headlines and Trigger Word Style Headlines.

There is an old saying that goes “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Well, I can tell you that THIS old dog has been learning a few new tricks, thanks to the eBook, Headlines That Sell! Watch for the follow-up article.

GT Bulmer
Affiliate Power Central



Please to comment
Feb 8th 2011 at 7:21 PM by GTBulmer
Hi, Teresa: Yes, it is a very well-written eBook. It's in the APG member downloads section – check it out! GT :-)
Feb 8th 2011 at 1:17 PM by TeresaRose
Very nice article, GT. I haven't had a chance to read this Ebook yet, but now I think I better make the time. This looks like good reading teach this old dog a few new tricks too (LOL)! Thanks for the information!
Feb 6th 2011 at 2:40 PM by GTBulmer
Hi, Mal: Thanks for reading this article and for posting the insightful comment. GT :-)
Jan 20th 2011 at 1:27 PM by GTBulmer
Hey, nostate: I appreciate your comment, but I don't understand the meaning of your example.

I agree that the word "free" has been overused, but in the hands of an experienced writer, it can still be crafted into something meaningful and appealing. GT :-)
Jan 20th 2011 at 12:20 PM by nostate
"Free" can sometimes be over-used. Perhaps a picture might be painted instead. Can you just imagine the intent focus of an engaged reader, opposed to someone scanning over another "freeby?" If you can, it's because I just painted a picture.
Jan 17th 2011 at 9:45 PM by GTBulmer
Hello, Thegreenest1: Thanks for reading and commenting! GT :-)
Jan 17th 2011 at 9:32 PM by Thegreenest1
Thanks for sharing... had some great tips I can put to use!

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