I think I’m obsessed with writing or creating headlines. In fact, my obsession could even border on the ridiculous.
For example, sometimes I’ll be driving my car and I’ll see a truck or a van pull up beside me with some kind of an advertisement plastered across the side of it… or I’ll see a notice board advertising something, then I’ll just automatically start thinking of better ways of advertising the product or service. Usually – but not always – by improving the headline.
Early on in my career I was told a great skill to learn is to think in headlines – and it’s true.
Even more so now on the Internet. You see, there’s a Little known fact that readers follow a secondary readership path – a what I hear you saying???
People skim web pages or sales letters for that matter, picking up on the sub headlines, the quotes the pictures etc and your job is to make the sub headlines all by themselves tell your whole story.
So if someone came to your site/page and was a skimmer (over half the people now recent research has told us – Forrester Research), then they should get enough information from the subheads and the captions/images to do what you want them to do.
That’s why EVERY page on your site has to be written with a purpose in mind – I mean you DO that don’t you??
Their other job is to draw the reader back in.
The very best way to do all this is to give them headlines and sub headlines that grab their attention, tell them specific benefits and talk directly to their fears, frustrations and wants,hopes and desires.
And there’s one, very simple headline system you can use to make dramatic improvements to your headlines.
I call it the SPAT system and I’m going to show it to you today.
Let’s start out with a simple headline like, “How To Eliminate Headaches”
First thing you so in this SPAT system, is look to make your headline much more Specific. Something like this:
“How To Eliminate Migraine Headaches”
Because the more specific your target, the more responsive your buyer.
Then you look at Personalising the headline. Like this:
“How Any Woman Can Eliminate Migraine Headaches”
The more personal appeal your headline has, the more responsive your buyer will be.
Now, ask yourself, “How can I Accelerate this claim I am making?”
And you can always do that, like this, for instance:
“How Any Woman Can Eliminate Migraine Headaches In 15 Minutes Or Less”
Obviously, accelerated claims will generate a greater appeal, right? – Of course they will.
So far, you have Specific, Personalise and Accelerate.
Then, there’s the final “T” which might shake you up a bit, because it asks you to think outside your comfort zone, and beyond this simple system.
The last “T” says, “Can you make this ten-year-old-simple?”
And in many cases, you can. Like this:
“Women: No More Headaches — GUARANTEED”
Most people write for adults and use way too technical jargon and sentence structure. A great tip to always follow is to make you writing suitable for a ten year old.
Not always possible, but that should be your goal – that a ten year old can understand it if they read it.
Sometimes simpler is better, and so your first ‘split-test’ would be the final SPA (no T) headline, tested against your ten-year-old-simple headline.
And then your body copy can start with something like…
“There is now a way any woman can completely eliminate headaches and pains associated with monthly bloating, in less than 15 minutes… blah blah blah”
…and you thought there was no thought put into writing emails, blog posts and sales letters – truth be told there usually isn’t.
But those of us ‘in the know’ put all that thought into it.
Make sure you grab a cheat sheet from this site so you can start to elevate your writing like this as well. It’s not as hard as you think and you won’t get to these levels right away, but I guarantee that if you start to write like this 2 things will happen(at least 2 things)
1 You’ll get better as time goes on and you writing will flow better
2 You’ll start to persuade more and your sales and conversions will increase
Here’s what you can do right now. Simple.
Go over this blog post (notice there’s NO headlines in it), split it into logical sections, create a headline for each section and then read it through to see if a ‘skimmer’ would know what it’s all about.
Then send it to me and I’ll critique it for you. The best one will get a free conversion analysis of one of your pages on your site. (use the contact form or just send me an email – get it at the bottom of this page)
I give out these prizes every month and right now there’s not too much competition, so you’ve got a great chance to win. Anyway, it’s a good exercise for you to do.
Do it now, while it’s fresh in your mind……and good luck.
More to follow…