A compelling headline – on a landing page, website, social media post – anywhere you’re marketing your business – is the most critical asset for capturing attention.
So it has to be good.
It has to speak to your audience directly, taking into account the emotion it stirs up, the benefits it promises, and the problem it solves.
You likely clicked on this blog post because you want to increase your clicks and, most importantly, your conversions (hello iOS15!) You may have also thought, all my time on the headline?
Well, maybe not all your time but the majority of it, for sure.
A good headline is hard to come by and even harder to write (cut to me after many hours of tapping away on my iMac and pulling out my highlights strand by strand.)
Read on to discover a few ways to make it go a little smoother, and know you’ve hit it out of the park.
WRITE THE HEADLINE LAST!
There’s nothing worse than starting a document with the most crucial line. When you are writing landing pages, especially sales pages, do yourself a favor and start with the straightforward stuff.
Write the rest of the page first, stating the facts (course modules, dates, price, etc.), and paint a picture with details (their life before and after the product/service) before you even attempt to write your headline options.
The beauty of writing the supporting copy first is that something is likely to jump out at you once you’ve finished. A compelling headline should represent what’s to come, a lead-in to make the reader want to learn more about the topic.
When you can capture the essence of the marketing message succinctly in a headline, you’re well on your way to delivering on the promise.
USE PROMPTS TO CRAFT A COMPELLING HEADLINE
Coming up with a headline is the hardest part of the writing process, and sometimes you need a little help.
While there are many “convert like crazy” templates out there, qualified leads (ones who will purchase from you over time) are drawn to specific words that speak only and directly to them. It’s not as much about the impact as it is about the nuance.
Your customers’ words and phrases (Voice of Customer) are the keys to writing a headline that makes them want to read on. When they can see themselves in the copy, and instantly think, she’s talking to me, they become invested. Then, you have the opportunity to take them through your sales process.
SETTLE IN AND EXPERIMENT
When you’ve written everything you need for your landing page, web page, Facebook ad, blog post – whatever it is that you’re writing – I want you to take a deep breath and scan the work.
Look for any phrases or keywords within the copy that sticks out to you.
Then, start writing. Don’t hold back or judge yourself. Just keep brainstorming line after line, thinking about your goal with the copy and your audience’s primary goal in searching out a product or service.
As you write, the ideas will flow. You’ll likely pick and choose sections from each line and mix and match.
As you go back and edit yourself, new word pairings or sentence structures will emerge, and after you dedicate yourself to writing at least 50 variations, choose the best one.
Walk away from it. Come back and re-read it.
Most importantly, make sure it doesn’t just get the job done. Ideally, a compelling headline should have you scrolling, eager to read more.
When you’ve landed the headline, you know it deep down. It hits. It sits. That’s why it’s so important to write at least 50 for a single piece of work.
Yes, I said 50.
That can be hard when you’ve spent hours looking at the same words, so my next piece of advice is to find an editor.
FIND AN EDITOR – ALIVE OR ONLINE!
There’s nothing better than a bit of distance from the screen and another pair of eyes. When you’ve done the work, send your top 10 to a friend, fellow entrepreneur, or editor.
Headlines are one of the most laborious and time-consuming tasks, but they are worth all your time, creativity and research because they’re the difference between scroll down or click away.
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