Writing Killer Headlines

OK, so you finally got off the sofa and created your first product. Perhaps its an information video on how to use Adobe Flash, or that recipe book that you finally decided to write, betraying generations of secret family recipes. Now that you’ve got your great aunt Emma flipping over in her grave, you need to start promoting your product. The next logical step is to create a sales page. What? You don’t need one because you’re starting with eBay? A well done sales page will skyrocket your eBay sales just as it would on your own website. Now that I’ve eliminated that excuse, let get down to business.

The first thing that your visitor sees and the most vital to keeping your visitor from clicking the back button is the headline. Obviously, the headline occupies the space above the fold on your web page. For you newbies “above the fold” refers to the area on the webpage that is visible when you first arrive, before you scroll down to read the rest. Typically, what visitors see within the first 5 seconds will determine whether they stay and read on or hit the back button and continue elsewhere.

This is what makes the headline so important. The first thing you want to avoid is to let your headline sound like an ad. Something like “Buy Aunt Emma’s Secret Recipies Now For Only $29.95” is a sure fire back button trigger. Creating a captivating headline can increase your conversions by at least a ten fold.

There’s many ways that you can approach your headlines. Depending on your product, you can phrase it by offering a compelling promise of how this will benefit them. Remember the “What’s in it for me” mindset of your visitor. Something like “Become an Instant Master of Traditional Pasta Dishes. 7 Generations of Closely Guarded Family Secrets Revealed!” Right away the visitor is offered the opportunity to impress their family and friends with some original pasta dishes that they never could have come up with on their own. Who can fight 7 generations of experience, right?

You could also phrase it as a question. “Is it Worth 5 Minutes to Learn 200 Years of Family Secrets?” Whenever a visitor is faced with a question in what they read, the natural response of the mind to to answer the question. Most typically, one would respond with “sure, why not?” and read on. Arousing the visitor’s curiosity is another fantastic way to keep your page “sticky”. Something like “I Have Been Branded by My Family as a Traitor!” The reader will think “huh?… why?” and read on.

There are many approaches that you can take on a headline to make it interesting. Never make your visitor feel like that you’re the shark and they’re your chum. 😛 Sounding “hypie” and wreaking of the honest john used car sales pitch isn’t going to cut it. This is a common mistake that many people starting out make. If you can avoid this, you will have a huge advantage.

Studying other successful product sales pages and making a swipe file of the best ones is a great way to hone your own skills. You can find the most popular products on Clickbank’s product search and check out the headlines of the big sellers. How did they grab your attention? How large were the fonts? What colors were used?

You’ll soon discover that headlines are actually fun to come up with. They can set the tone for inspiration as you write the rest of your sales letter. We’ll cover more in future posts. This should get you off to a good start in your quest for writing great sales letters. A tool I would highly recommend is Glyphius. This is one of the best tools on the market for crafting the most effective phrases for your headlines and sales copy. Check out James Brausch’s website to find a reseller.

Now go check out some popular product sales pages and get familiar with their headline styles. Try to improve their headline by writing your own, as if it was your own product. Like anything, the more you practice, the better you’ll get at it. Who knows, you might even impress yourself, and after that, impress others!

9 thoughts on “Writing Killer Headlines”

  1. Jack, I LOVE those headlines in your post!!

    Glyphius is indeed a cool tool; it’s addictive too, like a computer game. I’ve enjoyed playing with it and using it for my copy, and in particular my headines.

    Thanks for sharing your “do’s” and “dont’s”. Your blog is fast becoming a favorite of mine!

    – Megan

  2. Thanks Megan!
    I agree, Glyphius is a great tool. It’s fun to challenge yourself to get the highest score with readable headlines! I have to admit that for my post I just winged it without Glyphius to keep my writing rhythm flowing. 😛

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