Weak Headlines Don’t Work

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Attract Interest With Strong Headlines

Second to images and colors, headlines are the breadwinner in marketing. Your headline may be your only opportunity to capture readers’ attention. You’ll have a sentence or less to state your proposition. Making your headline count is a giant priority!

About Writing Advertising Copy

Marketing was often spoken of with distaste from the 1960s on, often as part of a larger pattern of corporate behavior people disliked. I did not entertain the idea of working in advertising until the Internet Age arrived. I found myself writing eBay Headlines for five years.

It was long after the Dot Com Bubble burst that I saw successful new businesses had taken root. I also learned of companies that existed for years, with only limited marketing reach. Some companies (and individual authors) offered health products and information I’d never known of. Technology of course had been a wonderland for years. My view of business expanded and became positive.

Being Positive

Upon reading why all these companies had come to life, I came to understand that all business involves relationships. Advertising and sales create relationships. When they’re good relationships, life improves. That’s why I view marketing as a process of bringing people good things.

Marketing trainers I studied opined that positivity is the way to go in life and work, and I agree with them. Marketing is a positive activity because life is a positive activity. People who create useful products want to share them. People want useful products for a better life. Marketing brings them together.

Maintaining A Positive Attitude Towards Work

To make contact with people, to keep ideas flowing, I keep my positive goals in mind. When writing, positivity brightens the emotions and brings good ideas to mind.

In person-to-person sales, the most insightful advice I’ve heard is to think of how you can help the people around you. If you’re anxious, you’re thinking of yourself rather than thinking of others.

Advertising and Applied Psychology

Capturing attention, or even inducing fear in readers, is widely and bluntly taught as a sales technique. That is most of the reason I never considered a marketing career until I looked closely at business. It’s true that advertisers seek to influence readers and cause a desired reaction. Yet what if the product is of high quality and solves an important problem?

The techniques discussed in “Tips For Writing Strong Headlines” below all discuss creating a desired reaction in the reader. Institutional research by industrial psychologists cultivated knowledge previously held by highly-paid ad executives. That circumstance was partly what led to complaints about corporate behavior, including marketing.

Marketing Knowledge Has Been “Democratized”

Now that more people see opportunity, some are learning advanced marketing techniques at their kitchen table. Apparently lots of them have positive intentions because there’s a lot of good stuff on the market. I find more people who choose to “Do the right thing” than not.

Using Negatives And Other Techniques

Bringing up a negative to attract readers’ attention may not seem a positive approach. Yet if a reader wants to remove a negative your product addresses, they may be glad you did a good job suggesting they buy it.

Personally, I like to take a positive tone in writing advertising copy. Yet sales effectiveness must be considered. Positive or negative, an ad that sells 5% more than its previous version is a big deal. The greater a company’s sales and wealth, the more likely they’ll stay in business.

Using a negative reference does not necessarily exert a bad influence, or even much influence at all. As I’ve mentioned, marketing became unpopular due partly to aggressively self-interested behavior. It’s up to advertising copywriters to do the right thing, just like everyone else.


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Tips For Writing Strong Headlines

This article, “Weak Headlines Don’t Work”, contains tips and techniques for writing headlines according to particular situations and readers’ interests.

Learning to write advertising copy takes practice. Reading articles and books about writing ad copy is another great way to develop creative and writing skill.

Now to discuss common headline-writing techniques and how they work.

Prevent Catastrophe

To capture attention for this article about copywriting, I used a negative headline.

Weak Headlines Don’t Work

This article’s title really says, “Don’t use weak headlines! They don’t work!”

More importantly, my headline implies the article will remove a negative. The article’s title also says, “Learn to make your headlines strong!”

Products aimed at a symptom might target sufferers. Creating a negative image in readers’ minds is seldom my first choice. Yet if a person urgently wants to correct a problem, they may agree with your ad’s characterization.

Remove Unsightly Fat With Super Weight Loss Formula

Bring Joy

Sometimes your message requires a positive headline. I chose a positive title for my opening paragraph.

Attract Interest With Strong Headlines

Being a realist is good but marketing calls for positivity.

If you are offering a beautiful garment, there’s no place for negativity.

Wear Melissa & Co.’s White Lace Ball Gown And Make A Radiant Appearance On Prom Night

Positivity is best for daily use health products that don’t address a symptom.

Live Better and Longer With Super Supplements

Here’s a positive headline that directly references the negative it corrects

Add Minerals To Your Diet And Beat Modern Diseases

Show Value

Value propositions are a positive. Leading with a headline highlighting value can catch readers’ attention.

Boost Your Mileage With Acme Oil Cleaner

A headline showing a specific value may seem more enticing, particularly when advertising to known shoppers.

20% Off All Scarves This Week Only!

Create Desire

Besides brightening everyone’s day, headlines containing positive words can create desire. Bringing up food is a good example.

Call Gustavo’s Spanish Seafood Restaurant to Order Their World-Class Seafood Paella

Pick Up A Smith Farms Homestyle Apple Pie Today!

Using strongly descriptive words can create desire. Words that evoke images and a positive emotion work particularly well.

Ride In Safety With Our High Visibility Vest For Cycling

A Bouquet of Red Roses Says “You’re Special To Me”

Generate Excitement

Excitement is certainly the emotion to create when advertising a sports match.

The Final Showdown: Smith and Hernandez Battle For The World Champion Title

Opportunities to save money excite careful shoppers.

Pique Curiosity

Products that solve problems may benefit from creating curiosity about the problem or the product. Creating and then satisfying readers’ curiosity can make an advertiser a reader’s Go To source of information about a topic.

Why Do Some People Sleep Peacefully While Others Toss and Turn?

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Really Reduce Belly Fat?

How Did Our SEO Strategy Increase Sales By 40%?

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