Your ad’s headline is the most important part of the ad. If you don’t have a compelling one that can literally turn pages, your whole ad copy is dead. That includes email subject lines, web pages, and a facebook status (Hint hint!)…
First, you need to know your product well enough to write detailed ad about it. If you can’t, do more research on it until you can.
Second, come up with 25 to 50 headlines that you think will get your target market interested in reading further. Look at the 100 greatest headlines ever written for guidance and ideas.
Third, trim it down to the 5 to 7 headlines you think will do the best in getting attention. Do this by putting yourself in your target market’s shoes and figuring which ones would be most compelling in their eyes (Don’t skip this step at all costs!)
Fourth, print each chosen headline out on a separate sheet of paper, with each font large enough to cover the whole page, like the front of a book.
Fifth, print out five pages of text (the text could be your ad copy or not, but some ad copy is better)
Sixth, staple each headline page to one text page, with the headline as the front page.
Seventh, place each of the stapled sheets next to each other across a table.
Eighth, bring a person in (one at a time) and have him stand at the front of the table, and tell him something like…
“Hey I have to review one of these papers, could you look at the one that looks most interesting to you?”
Ninth, watch and see which is first one he picks up and turns the page. That’s the key, the first one that compels him to actually turn the page and read further is the one that grabbed his attention the most.
Mark that down in your tally.
Tenth, Bring in at least 9 more people to go through the same test.
Eleventh, total up your tally and review the results.
One or two headlines should stand out as the biggest page turners. If you can’t tell or it’s all pretty even, go back to your list of 25 to 50 headlines and try out different ones with this test until you get a clear winner.
With that, you’ll be well on your way to write an ad that sells.
Writing a good headline isn’t a matter of luck. It takes an understanding of what works and what doesn’t, and some testing to verify you’re on the right track.
Combine that with a great USP and pinpointing your target market, and you’ll be unstoppable.