The Headline is the most important element in most advertisements.
The best headlines appeal to the reader’s self-interest or give news. Examples:
The secret of making people like you
Do you have these symptoms of nerve exhaustion?
Announcing a new fiction writing course
How a new discovery made a plain girl beautiful
Sometimes a minor change in a headline can make a difference in pulling power. A mail order ad for a book on automobile repair had this headline:
How to repair cars
The pulling power of this ad was increased 20% by changing the headline to read:
How to fix cars
Recasting a headline can make a big difference in response. Here is the headline of a couponed ad selling retirement annuities:
A vacation that lasts the rest of your life
Here is the headline of an ad that pulled three times as many coupons:
A guaranteed income for life
The losing headline attemp ts to be clever by calling retirement a vacation. The winning headline is a straightforward promise of a benefit.
Long headlines that say something are more effective than short headlines that say nothing. A book publisher had difficulty selling a book with the title “Five Acres.” This book was transformed into a best seller by changing the title to: “Five Acres and Independence.” Another publisher had a book entitled “Fleece of Gold.” The sales of the book were more than quadrupled when the title was changed to “Quest for a Blonde Mistress.”
In writing headlines, the copywriter should try to break the boredom barrier. “How I became a star salesman” was the headline of a successful ad for a course in salesmanship.
The pulling power of the ad was increased by changing the headline to “How a fool stunt made me a star salesman.”
FROM: John Caples, 50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years
P.S. If you’d like to learn even more about how to write copy that sells, I recommend you join the private Copywriting Code membership site. It’s packed with valuable copywriting lessons, and more are being added all the time. Click here to check it out.