Do Your Headlines Suck?

The Success Margin

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

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Nearly every day some client asks me to critique
a piece of copy.

It could be a proposed sales letter, e-mail, space ad,
card deck or website.

Often the body copy is at least fair. In some
cases it's very well written and powerful.

But, in almost all cases, even by experienced
marketers, the headlines are weak. In fact, they
are so bad they...

Really suck!

It's shocking. But true.

The importance of strengthening headlines simply
cannot be overstated.

Reason?

No piece of copy has the remotest chance of being
successful without a strong headline.

A great headline is over 90% of success in direct
marketing.

That's why I treat the art of headline creation as
almost everything. So much so, I often prepare
over 100 headlines, while most copywriters
create one or two. And I've turned failed ads
and sales letters into winners just by changing
the headline.

Tip (1): Resist the temptation to write a word
of body copy before first preparing a super
headline.

Tip (2): Prepare as many headlines as you can and
select up to three to test.

Tip (3): Many of the headlines you don't use can
be used as subheads or as bullet points within
your copy.

Tip (4): One good headline test is this. Would
your proposed headline stop a reader of a
magazine long enough to read the article, or at
least a few sentences? If not, don't use the
headline. Immediately go back to the drawing
board.

Today I'm going to discuss seven proven headline
techniques along with successful examples I've
used. These can be of invaluable help in vastly
improving not only headlines, but all your copy
from now on.

1. Offer a Free Report. Prepare a special report
full of useful information along with an offer for
your product.

Example:
Free Special Report Reveals How to Legally
Slash Your Taxes to Little or Nothing.

2. Ask an intriguing question oriented to your
market.

Example:
What Makes a Consultant Successful?

3. Use a one-word attention-getting headline.

Examples:
Sale
Rip-Off
Free
Discount
Announcing
Magic
Muscles
Introducing
Breakthrough
Blast-Off
Outrageous
Thin
Skinny
Balderdash
Nonsense
Lies
Truisms

4. Emphasize your guarantee.

Example:
Double Your Advertising Results
In 90 Days Guaranteed
Or Our Service is Free

5. Compare your selling price with something
commonplace.

Example:
Your Entire Investment Each Day In
This Income-Producing System is
Less Than a Cup of Cappuccino

6. Give your prospect a headache (and then sell
aspirin!)

Example:
Lack of Documentation Could Cost You
Your Car, Home, Life Savings, and Even
Your Marriage

7. Add a time element.

Example:
Form Your Own Corporation on The Phone
In 7 Minutes or Less

The above headline examples have made fortunes
for myself and clients.

And that's not all!

The most successful headline technique I've ever
discovered I teach only at my private seminars.
I've originated it and developed it. It can
earn you millions.

If you haven't already booked your seat
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For complete details on this incredible event,
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Your correspondent,

Ted Nicholas

© Copyright 2005 Ted Nicholas