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     Attention-Grabbing Headlines

Ninety percent of the success or failure of any sales offer, presented in any form or medium, is the HEADLINE. The importance of a headline is very significant, even in a simple email message. The subject of the email would be considered the headline and would also determine whether the recipient opens the message or erases it.

"Congratulations, you have won!" If you got a message with a headline like this one, what would you do? I would open it immediately because it would definitely spark my INTEREST. In fact, that would probably be the first message that I would open. The subject does not have to say what I have won, as long it tells me I have won something. You see, everyone likes to win and so if this same message was sent to 100 individuals, I guarantee that at least 95% of them would open that message, curious to learn more.

Based on this analogy, we can conclude that headlines are very important in grabbing the readers' attention and thus initiating some ACTION from the reader. A headline acts as a marquee for what you are trying to offer and usually captures the attention of your target audience. An effective headline is just a few selected words arranged in the right order.

The safest headline to use begins with "HOW" or "HOW TO." It immediately appeals to the readers' self interest. It piques curiosity and involves the reader immediately. Did you know that there are over 7,000 books in print with titles that start with "How" or "How To?" This phrase or word can never be overdone.

Use PRESENT tense in your headlines instead of future tense and first or second person always. Use strong action verbs and eliminate most adverb and adjectives, which will make the headline too long. To write an effective headline, think about the benefits of your product or service. Write each benefit down on a piece of paper. When you are finished, review all the benefits you have written. In most cases, the strongest BENEFIT becomes the best headline.

A good headline is the first step in prompting an action on the part of the reader. The headline must stir an emotion, a POSITIVE emotion. It must get the reader to feel excitement and become motivated to following your specific instructions by ordering your product or services.

Here are several other words and phrases that are PROVOCATIVE and will get the attention of your readers:
  • announcing
  • secrets
  • free
  • bargains
  • breakthrough
  • do you
  • now
  • amazing
  • how would
  • at last
  • new
  • discount
  • unbelievable
  • sale
  • love
  • winning
  • protect
  • get
  • only
  • listen to

From my personal experience, in creating an effective headline, you have to come up with many different VERSIONS of your headline and then select the best one from your list. The best one to you, however, may not be the one that would get the most attention from the reader. Your next step would be to TEST your headlines to see which one does best and make your final decision then. One good advice: if your headline is working for you, never change it.

Avoid headlines that merely create CURIOSITY. This may sound contradictory, but let's talk about it. My first illustration about the email headline or subject, "Congratulations, you have won," suggested that this was a good headline. It is but only to spark curiosity. If I opened the message and read the content and it appeared to be nothing but junk, then that would make me furious and the person who sent me the message would have DEFEATED the purpose of the message -- which would be to get me to act. I would act, but my actions would lead to erasing that email and maybe taking other extreme measures.

Headlines can MAKE a sale or help to LOSE a sale, so write your headlines carefully and thoughtfully. Your business depends on it.


Cheryline Lawson is an author, writer, entrepreneur and newsletter publisher. You may visit her website at internet-home-employment.net or send her and email to .

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