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How To Write An Effective Headline

Business Tips and Trends 

Headlines are critical for your copy’s success. Advertising guru, David Ogilvy, once stated that five times as many people read the headline than they do the body copy. Twitter or Facebook posts have less copy and are more like a headline, so it’s important to know how to write an effective headline. Experts say the ultimate headline contains a keyword like content marketing specifically if it’s going online on a website or social media. Your headline should be effective enough for people to read the entire body copy. David Ogilvy, also stated that the headline should carry 90% of the advertising dollar. Besides the keyword in a headline, other formulas to gain attention could be:

  • Focus on Benefits. Don’t keep your audience guessing, as to how your product or service will improve their lives.
  • News Headlines. Start the headline with words like, “Introducing,” “At Last,” and “Announcing!”
  • Use a Number within the Headline. For some reason, appointing a number gets people to pay attention.
  • Ask a Question. Asking a question engages the audience and gets them interested.
  • Keep the Headline Short. Experts say seven words or less does the trick.
  • Use the Element of Surprise. Negative headlines, such as “What We Can’t Do For You,” can catch your audience off guard but don’t forget to turn it around and be positive and upbeat.
  • Be Precise. Don’t write a headline that has nothing to do with the body copy.
  • Target Your Exact Audience. If you pinpoint your audience, you will come across as an expert, if you don’t you’ll come across as vague.

Lenka Istvanova of Koozai Marketing developed a headline formula based on her analysis of best practices for headlines that get clicks. The formula goes like this:

Numbers + Adjective + Target Keyword + Rationale + Promise = The Ultimate Headline

From the standpoint of a graphic designer, headlines should NOT be in all caps. It should be in a simple type font as to be legible. Headlines should be bolder and larger than the body text or at least stand out more.

We’ll leave you with this recent headline that got attention… “Actress Betty White, 92, Dyes Peacefully in Her Los Angeles Home.” I, myself, quickly clicked on the link to that article as I think she is a national treasure. White is alive and well, and the article was simply about her life these days. The headline refers to the fact that she dyes her own hair in her own home. LOL!

Betty White

Your Presence is Requested!

Business Tips and Trends

I was asked the other day, by a friend who owns a very small business, “Do I really need a website?” My simple answer was, “Yes.” “But,” she said, “I don’t have a product to sell online.” Well as it turned out, she caters to a certain group of oil field related companies. She didn’t have a product but she certainly had a service to sell, regardless that her audience was small and specific. There are a lot of companies that think this way. BUT the social media revolution and the Internet highway has changed the way we sell, and the way we search for a product or service. All businesses should have a presence on the web. Why? Here are a few reasons:

  • Potential clients go to their computer and on the Internet to search for services and products. If you aren’t on the Internet, they won’t find you.
  • Your competition is on there. Don’t let them get your business.
  • Your friends and customers can promote your business by word of mouth (social media). Did you know that 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations, and only 14% trust advertisements.
  • Websites are cost effective. Think of your website as a live brochure. It’s always available to view, no matter what time of day. No need to reprint, or spend time handing out.
  • A well designed and informative website will give you credibility and establish a presence.
  • A website could answer frequently asked questions that your customers might have. If you have this information posted on your website, it’s a timesaver.
  • Having a website could educate your customers on their buying decisions.
  • Referrals are a great way to get business, and if you have a presence on the world wide web, a referral could come to you just by the way of a link. One click away from a new potential customer.
  • Some customers do not like to get on the phone but their choice of communicating is by way of emailing. Your website should have a way of contacting you, other than by phone.
  • Your website could gather contact information (start a database).

Social media is a great way to build business relationships. The Internet is your path. A website is your venue… and your presence is requested.