Date: December 14th, 2011 | Author: Steve Longoria | Tags: Copywriting, Direct Response, Headlines, Increase Conversions, Marketing, Sales Copy | No Comments »
I stumbled across this great article the other day and just had to share it with you all. I know it’s hard to believe that something as small as your headline can have such a huge impact on your bottom line, but it’s about time you started believing. Your headline can indeed make our break your offer.
“They say that if your web site has a bad opening headline you’ll loose over 50% of your visitors in the first few seconds after they arrive at your home page. Headlines are the most important part of a web page, but what constitutes a good headline?
In today’s article I’m going to list the top 12 best direct response headlines ever created. How do I know these are the top 12 headlines ever? Simple. I read this article. I’ve written quite a few headlines over the last few years. Some worked and some didn’t. The headlines below have sold hundreds of millions of dollars of products over the last 50 years, and best of all you can adapt each of these headlines to suit your own business.
1.‘They laughed when I sat down at the piano – but when I started to play!’
This is *the* most popular headline of all time. It has been used in direct marketing to sell millions of dollars worth of products, but what is it about this headline that makes people keep reading? I think it’s the anticipation. As a reader you ask yourself ‘well, what happened when he sat down at the piano? Did they like what he played? What song did he play?’. This makes you want to keep reading to see exactly what ‘they’ did when ‘he’ started to play the piano. Can you use anticipation to build curiosity in your headline?
2. ‘They grinned when the waiter spoke to me in French – but their laughter changed to amazement at my reply.’
Again, the use of anticipation. ‘What was her reply?’ you ask yourself. ‘If they didn’t think she could speak French, then what country was she from?’. When I see this headline I picture a group of mature aged women sitting around at a fancy restaurant with a waiter by the side of the lady who replied in French. How can you use visual imagery to create a killer headline for your web site?
3. ‘Do you make these mistakes in English?’
When I was writing our most recent newsletter I decided to give this headline a try. ‘Do You Make These Mistakes When Attracting New Clients?’ is the headline I chose. The headline is followed by a paragraph about our web master secrets email course. I think when you see this headline you immediately ask yourself ‘What mistakes is he talking about? What if they are costing me and my business money?’ This headline is easy to flip and use for business. Can you flip it?
4. ‘Can You Spot These 10 Decorating Sins?’
Similar to headline #3, this headline provokes thoughts of embarrassment. Obviously this headline would’ve been used in craft magazines targeted to female homemakers, but what you do you think the inner monologue of a reader would have been when she saw this headline? ‘Decorating sins? I’ve spent so much time decorating the family home. I hope I haven’t committed any of these decorating sins. Let me read on just to make sure.’ What ‘sins’ might your potential customers be committing? Can you use this headline on your web site or in an article?
5. ‘How a ‘fool stunt’ made me a star salesman’
The ‘How’ headline pulls really well because it sounds more like the introduction to a story rather than a headline. People love reading stories and when I see a headline like this I say to myself ‘Hmmm, a story. I don’t really like salesmen but I wonder what the stunt was that made him a star’. How can you use the ‘How’ headline to make your ad or web page sound like a story? Being a PHP developer, I might…” [Continue Reading]
What are some of your favorite headlines? Leave a comment below!
Date: April 29th, 2011 | Author: Steve Longoria | Tags: Business, David Ogilvy, Direct Marketing, Direct Response, eCommerce, Marketing, Sales | No Comments »
In order to sell on-line it’s important to study the old school Direct Marketing cats like David Ogilvy. Why? Because even though we find ourselves in a very high tech world, human nature has changed very little since the dawn of civilization. The psychology behind making the sell now hasn’t changed and it’s not going to as long as we remain human.
I understand there are certain aspects of doing business online that change, since the Internet is dynamic, and is changing all the time. However, if you are well versed in Direct Marketing principles you’re likely to weather the storm and adapt to any changes Google or the Internet can throw your way.
So what is Direct Marketing (aka Direct Response Advertising)?
Put simply, it is advertising that makes a specific “call to action”. Whether that is on your website or anywhere else. It’s advertising that is asking the reader to do something right now! Whether that something is to buy their product, or sign-up for a free offer. This allows for results to be tracked and measured more accurately. Which is crucial because if you’re not tracking, then you don’t know which of your marketing efforts are working and which aren’t. Basically you’re behind the wheel with a blind fold on.
Check out this awesome article showing how one should consider the “old school” Direct Response Advertising principles when laying out their website design. GokDotCom writes:
“Contrary to common opinion, David Ogilvy didn’t have a preference for long copy.
What he had was an overwhelming bias towards anything that had been proven to work (which included long copy). Ogilvy’s real, professed preferences were for consumer testing, research-driven techniques, and performance-based advertising in the truest sense of the term.
Based on those things, the conclusion he came to was that messaging and relevance had to have highest priority. Everything else – creativity, design, layout – should be subordinated to the end goal of conveying a salient message in as persuasive a manner as possible. In print, this took the form of what has come to be known as ‘The Ogilvy Layout.’
Understanding Ogilvy’s Layout and Why it Still Works
There are three main parts to the Ogilvy Layout, with a corresponding and crucial quality for each element:
- The picture, which should have “story appeal”
- The headline, which should tie into the “story appeal” of the picture
- And the body copy, which most be placed in the right relationship to both the picture and the headline as to anticipate the reader’s visual preferences and enhance readability.
I’ve dealt with Story Appeal in previous posts, but let’s talk about headlines before diving into why Ogilvy’s favorite arrangement continues to stand the test of time.
What I’ve Noticed About Ogilvy’s Headlines
In his book, Ogilvy on Advertising, David Ogilvy writes about the importance of captions no less than 4 times, urging the reader to include captions underneath all of their photographs each and ever time. According to the research Ogilvy cites, 4 times as many readers read captions as body copy and 10 times as many people read headlines as body copy.
So while it may seem obvious that the headline and the main picture (or “hero shot” in today’s lingo) should be related, it also seems that you can grab even more reader-grabbing power for your headlines if you make use of some of the compelling “what’s this picture all about” draw of captions. Here’s a perfect example of this:
Pretty difficult not to read a bit more about that story, isn’t it?
Let’s Talk Layout and Arrangement
Here’s the thing: because of his attention to research, Ogilvy knew what many online copywriters are still…”
Continue reading this article at GokDotCom!