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Chapter 7: Creating Powerful Headlines
The headline is one of the most important elements of your sales letter. A good headline can cause a reluctant recipient to read the letter, while a bad headline can cause the customer to trash the letter immediately.

Coming up with a good headline is one of the hardest, but most rewarding parts of putting your sales letter together. Here are some guidelines to help you give the customer a reason to read your letter.

  • A good headline compels the recipient to read the first paragraph in the sales letter. And getting the first line read is the first step in getting the entire letter read.
  • The headline sets the tone of the letter. A good headline creates a positive tone, a bad one puts readers off.
  • Before you start to write your headline, review at least 50 classic headlines from successful sales letters. This will get you in the frame of thought needed to write a good headline.
  • Don’t try to sell in the headline, instead use the headline as a way to encourage your customer to read the rest of your sales letter.
  • Keep your headline short and memorable. Make it readable at a glance so customers who don’t plan to read your sales letter will still read the headline.
  • Write a lot of headlines first. Then take the best one for the headline and use some of the really good ones in the body copy.
  • Consider a question in the headline. Asking a question forces the reader to participate in the sales letter. But be careful, the wrong question can turn readers off. Don’t ask a question which can easily be answered yes or no.
  • Make a stunning announcement in the headline... something unexpected and surprising enough to cause your customer to read the rest of the letter.
  • Promise a specific benefit. Instead of writing that the reader can save money, explain how he can save 45% on his heating bill.
  • An interesting prediction in the headline attracts attention. People are interested in hearing predictions of things to come, especially if they fit in with the reader’s expectations or fears.
  • Target a specific group. If you are mailing to a known group of people, use it in the headline. Like “Special Offer to Corvette Owners.” But be careful, sometimes people don’t want to be identified with groups.
  • Appeal to the customer’s curiosity. Make them curious enough about your headline to want to read more.
  • Consider using very large and bold fonts in your headline. This makes it big and unforgettable.
  • Use a one or two line subhead to further elaborate on the headline.
  • Use short but powerful words in your headline. create word pictures.
  • Avoid ‘turnoff’ words in your headline. Don’t make promises of ‘easy profits,’ ‘quick cash’ or other phrases that identify your’s as junk mail.
  • Use an image to amplify the headline. sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. But be careful in image selection. The wrong image can do much more harm than the right image can do good!

Source: 301 Direct Mail Tips, Techniques & Secrets
Category: My articles | Added by: Marsipan (04.12.2012) W
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