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Top 3 Reasons Why Your Headlines Fail
By: George Dodge
Many professional copywriters estimate that the headline
contributes to 80% or more of the success of any ad, article, or
One direct marketing expert goes so far as to credit the headline
with 100% of the success or failure of any ad or sales letter,
because if the headline fails to pull the reader into the main
body of the ad or sales copy, then there is no chance of success!
And they are both right! If your headline fails to perform its'
function of getting the reader to read further into your copy,
then the headline is fully responsible for the failure of the ad
or sales letter.
However, if the headline is successful, then other sales copy
factors come into play, such as the benefits presented, the
guarantee, the offer, the close, etc. Now they all share in the
effectiveness of the sales copy as well. But if the headline
fails, they then play no part.
Think about how you read a newspaper or magazine. Do you start
with the first article and then read every word from front to
back of the publication?
Of course not!
Instead, you quickly scan the headlines, looking for something
that interests you, either because of curiosity or because there
might be something in it for you. You skip over all the rest!
Well, guess what. That's the same way your readers view your ad,
article, sales letter, or sales page.
So, here are the three main reasons for headline failure.
1. You Fail To Grab Your Reader's Attention!
Your headline serves as the ad for your ad, article, or sales
letter. Its' mission is to grab the reader's attention, stop them
dead in their tracks and get them to want to read further down
into the article. If your headline fails in its' purpose, then
the whole ad, article, or sales letter will fail because they
will never get read!
2. You Fail To Tell The Reader What Is In It For Them To Continue
Where possible, your headline should present your strongest
benefit to the reader. If the reader can identify a want they
have with finding a solution to that want in your ad, article, or
sales letter, then they will continue reading. If they don't see
any benefit to reading on, they won't. Remember, it is all about
what is in it for them, the reader.
3. You Fail To Connect With The Reader!
If your headline is not addressed to the reader, they will not be
interested in what you have to say in the rest of your ad,
article, or sales letter. There must be a match between the
message and the target audience, of which the reader is a member.
So, in summary, if your headline doesn't stop your reader dead in
their tracks and get them to read further into your copy, then
all is for naught!
The time it takes a reader to scan most headlines and decide
whether or not to stop and read your copy or move on is less than
As a result, many professional copywriters spend as much time
creating their headlines as they do for the rest of their copy.
Creating 100 or so headlines before picking the headline which
the writer feels is most likely to succeed is not uncommon.
Alternative headlines can often be used as subheadlines in long
copy. These subheadlines help pull the reader further along into
the copy and towards the ultimate goal of a sale.
Be sure to give your headlines the time and effort they deserve
and they will reward you with sizable sales.
About the Author
George Dodge has worked on the Internet since 1994 developing,
and serving as webmaster for, numerous government and commercial
websites. One of his commercial sites focusing on headline
www.Headline-Creator-Pro.com where you can get your copy of a
headline generating tool that enables you to create winning
headlines quickly with push button ease.
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