“The Power of a Headline”

By joanne | 29th September | Marketing Skills, Marketing Training

The advertising legend, David Ogilvy, advises that 80% of people only ever read the headlines in any of your marketing literature.  If that’s the case, how do you get your message across within that time and ensure you reach as many people as possible?

His advice includes:

  • Using long headlines – adverts with more than 10 words as their headline are proven to sell more
  • Include the target audience in your headline, for example ‘brides’ or ‘teenage men’ etc.
  • Put your headline in quotes to improve recall

I can highly recommend his book ‘Ogilvy on Advertising’ if you want to know more.

In addition to the list above and from our own experience, we would add the following:

  • Include your company / product name in the headline – if 80% of people only read the headline, at least they’ll receive your branding within it
  • Focus on the benefits – customers and prospects want to know what’s in it for them, not your product features
  • Tell the truth – if you can make claims that can be backed up by fact, then make them, but be honest about your product – if you aren’t, the internet review sites will be.

If you are employing people to design your advert or piece of direct mail, please don’t assume they know the rules of advertising, in terms of what sells and what doesn’t.  We would urge you to find people that do know and then let them do their job – because you may not understand the rules of advertising either.

There are formulas that work, there are formulas that sell.  If you follow them, you’ll increase your return on investment.  So please create marketing that works for your customers – not marketing that you or your designer like the look of.

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