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Headline writing secret tip

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Posted 2nd April 2010 at 01:03 AM by Loren Woirhaye

There's an area (well there are many) about headlines where
writers get confused.

David Ogilvy is widely quoted saying something like, "If your
headline doesn't sell you're wasting your money"...

so writers read that and they think the headline has to sell
the product.

It doesn't and often it shouldn't. It should, however, sell
the prospect on the idea of reading the rest of the ad. Sometimes
the headline, for example, should not be about the product,
but the problem it solves... or the person who has the
problem the product solves.

The more "YOU" (prospect self-interest) you can work into
your headlines the better. Ie. "Smart women want a whiter
wash, without all the hard work!" - and off you go selling
ladies who think they're smart on buying your product.

Now you could say "Biz Bleach Gives You A Whiter Wash -
Without The Hard Work!" and that's a good approach too.

If I were writing your letter, Geekology, I might jot down
some headlines like:

"What Would Acing Your QCert Exam Do For Your Career?"

"If You Aced The QCert, Would You Get A Job Faster?"


Here you've got a very specific mechanism, the QCert test
the prospect needs to pass, so your laser targeting is taken
care of for you - which is awesome. Now you've got to sell
him/her on the idea that passing the test with a better score,
more easily, will make his or her life better in some very tangible
way. ie. getting a lucrative job faster.
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