written by john c ashworth
Ninety percent of the success or failure of ANY sales offer is the headline.
How much time are you spending on your headlines?
The reason is that the headline answers the MOST important question you need to address in ANY sales pitch. "What's in it for ME?"
Why should I stop everything I'm doing, open my wallet and invest in your product over any and all other products or simply do nothing at all?
Now, go back and look at the last few email subject lines you've written and ask yourself if they are good enough to break through these barriers. Stop wasting time and money and start putting a lot more attention and intention into crafting great headlines.
What does a headline do?
First and foremost, it attracts attention.
It communicates a strong benefit; and once you start looking around at what other are doing and maybe even what you are doing, you'll see that this very often missing. Big mistake.
Third, and as I've mentioned already, your headline should appeal to the self-interest of the reader and answer the MOST important question of, "What's in it for me?"
When thinking about headlines and how to use them it is also very important to remember that they are not only for the top of your sales letter, blog post or email. They should be used everywhere. For example, the teaser copy on an envelope and the back of your book are just as important as the headlines in your sales letters and advertisements. If your prospect won't open your letter, you've accomplished nothing more than subsidizing the post office. If your book title stinks and is not compelling, you've wasted a lot of time, money, blood, sweat and tears for a book destined to be mostly ignored.
Advertising guru, John Caples once said that "when you write an ad, write a lot of headlines first. Spend hours writing headlines - or days if necessary. If you happen to think of a headline while walking down the street or while riding the bus, take out a pencil and paper and write it down."
When was the last time you put that much thought and attention into writing a headline?
And if I still haven't convinced you, think of this…
The father of advertising, David Oglivy, once said that "on average, five times as many people read headlines as read body copy. It follows that, unless your headline sells your product effectively, you have wasted 90 percent of your money."
Good luck and remember, there are no shortcuts.