How To Write a Strong Headline for Your Offer
It’s the job of a marketer to present an offer of a business to the right audience.
A headline is the summary of your entire offer in a few persuasive words. It’s the whole package instead of a separate element.
Your headline highlights your offer to anyone interested in it. What lies behind a strong headline is the hours of research and carefully crafted funnel to turn your leads into paying customers.
I’m going to reveal the process of writing a strong headline that will drive up your click-through rate and make more sales. But before that, I’ll just assume that you know the basics of sales funnel and marketing because this article covers only the process of writing a headline.
It’s the job of a marketer to present an offer of a business to the right audience and to make sure they’re interested and want the offer. The only way to do that is to present them with a compelling offer with a carefully crafted hook to grab their attention.
The marketplace is full of noise. Grabbing your ideal audience’s attention is a constant effort. These processes will guide you with the correct techniques to get started in writing a strong and persuasive headline.
1. Find Your Audience
There are so many platforms out there with a very specific audience type. And your ideal audience may be in one or a few of those platforms — liking, commenting, and sharing stuff.
With the internet connecting people all over the world, you can reach your ideal audience easier than any traditional offline approach. It’s a whole new level of marketing.
Each of those platforms has a specific audience based on their interests and needs. For example, Facebook is mainly for social while LinkedIn is made for professionals looking for connections.
And through these narrowed interests and needs, you can determine if your business is suitable for these types of audiences. If it does, you go where they’re hanging out.
What problems do these audiences have?
Will my business ease their pain?
These are the two important questions you should ask in this stage of your research.
This is the foundation that determines the success of your marketing campaign. Never underestimate this part of your marketing. It is often the audience’s motivation toward solving their problems that bring them to your business.
For your offer to be appealing, first the audience has to be interested in the offer. That means targeting those whose problems can be solved if they buy or use your product or service.
The essence of marketing is the message, and messaging is a dialogue. If you speak to the audience’s interest, they will speak to you with their attention. Read on if you want to know why should you speak to their interest instead of their problems.
2. Speak to Your Audience’s Interest
In the world of copywriting, we’re taught to amplify the pain so that when we present the offer, it will create a desire in the prospect’s minds.
Well, that’s true. But I’ve found out that an offer can be much more appealing and persuasive when you speak to the prospect’s interest.
The reason is simple. Your audience doesn’t want to listen to their pain. They want to listen to the solution of their pain.
That’s why they’re interested in things. This is the subtle way to speak to their pain without them rolling their eyes when they look at your offer.
Humans are hard-wired to run away from pain. It’s our primal instinct that has existed for thousands of years and will continue to exist to allow us to survive.
Once you know what your prospect’s interests are, it’s easy to write a strong, appealing headline. They can’t help but find out more.
Let’s say you’re selling an automatic massage chair. Which headline grabs your attention instantly?
- *Your offer name* soothes your back pain like no other to make you feel 10 years younger.
- *Your offer name* uses the newest rolling sensor technology to bring comfort and on-point massaging experience to make you feel 10 years younger.
I highlighted the customer’s problem in the first headline. It’s OK but not that compelling. Notice how it changes when I highlight the customer’s interest in the second one.
You should include their interest in your headline because you only have seconds to grab their attention. Your audience is swamped by headlines and offers.
Trust me when I say that they will scroll past through your offer if it’s not compelling enough. Just like how you scroll on Facebook.
3. Create a Compelling Hook
A hook is designed with the purpose of grabbing someone’s attention. Focus on the words designed and attention.
If you’re running Facebook ads, your hook can simply be your image, or if you’re writing a blog, the subheadline will be your hook. A hook adds strength to your headline and supports it.
In today’s digital world, there are too many similar offers by so many businesses. We call them noise in the marketplace. And it’s super competitive.
Everyone is fighting for attention nowadays. And when you get a customer’s attention, you make money. That’s why clickbait exists.
It’s designed to make you click on their offer. But oftentimes, these offers are disappointing due to a lack of proper execution. That makes matters worst.
So how do you design something that grabs attention while not being clickbaity?
Easy. Look at your audience’s interest and design your hook with the interest included.
From the imagery to the words used to the feel of your hook, every detail matters. Every single one of them. If you have no idea of how to design one, find your competitors and study their marketing materials.
That should give you a clear idea of what to include and how to design your hook. But don’t copy directly or you’ll risk some copyright issues.
Questions to ask:
- What are the words they use?
- What are the tones they use? (casual, playful, formal, etc.)
- What kind of images do they use? (people, product, cartoon, etc.)
- How does it feel when you look at the offer?
Use every piece of information to design a personalized hook for your audience. This will make your hook more compelling and unique, and it will allow it to cut through the noise in the marketplace.
4. Summarise Your Offer With a Headline
Once you’ve gathered info on your audience’s interest and created a compelling hook, it’s time to write your headline.
And it’ll come naturally since you’ve done the hard work of researching every bit of information you can find. If it’s not easy for you to write, that means your research isn’t enough to appeal to your audience.
Keep in mind that your headline has one job only — to capture your audience’s attention. It should appeal to your audience’s pain through their interest.
It should stop them from scrolling past your offer and make them click to find out more.
A rule of thumb is that you should never try to sell with your headline.
Clickbait happens whenever marketers try to do that. Clickbait may bring clicks and traffic to your offer, but it’ll hurt your business in the long run.
So a clear, strong headline should only consist of the audience’s interest and nothing else. This is crucial when writing a headline to prevent clickbait. Let me give you an example.
Interest: SEMRush, Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuck (Content Marketing)
Problem: Marketing their business
My objective: To offer a marketing solution through content creation
a. *Your offer name* is the only content marketing solution you need
b. Here’s how *your offer name* can help you generate consistent traffic and leads to your site.
c. Find out how our clients used *your offer name* to generate consistent monthly traffic and leads
d. *Your offer name* will help you achieve content marketing success by curating your content accordingly to generate consistent leads.
e. Many successful businesses trust *your offer name* for its effectiveness in driving consistent traffic and leads in their content marketing.
These are some headlines for example purposes. They mainly pique your interest and curiosity to persuade you to click if you’re interested in this niche.
Notice that I don’t use any fear-based headlines because these headlines drive a negative impression of being salesy on your offer.
Fear-based headlines to avoid:
a. Your marketing is having trouble because you’re missing out on *your offer name* for your content marketing
b. Never worry about marketing again once you use *your offer name* for your content marketing
c. You’re leaving money on the table! *Your offer name*will help you solve that
d. Not enough traffic and leads? *Your offer name* will save the day
e. Forget spending money on ads. *Your offer name* will generate 3x more consistent traffic and leads to your site for free
Some marketers out there will teach you to use fear-based marketing because it’s stronger.
But if you don’t know how to use it, I would recommend staying away from it. Poorly executed fear-based marketing can backfire and affect your business. Just stick to your customer’s interest.
5. Test Your Work
This part is often overlooked by marketers. A good split testing will bring you double the revenue if it’s done right. As accurate as you think you are, it’s different when your work reaches your audience.
You may think they like this design, but they like something else instead. You may think this CTA will drive conversions, but if you tweak it a little bit, the conversions spike.
You can never fully read their mind. The same goes for headlines. That’s why it’s so important to test your headlines.
You should test out which headlines work the best. The one that produces the most results is the one that you should stick with in the end.
A good practice when writing headlines is to write a few headlines of different formats. Here’s a good article that covers that.
Article: How to Add Clarity and Curiosity to Your Headline by Cynthia Marikanos
Once you write your headlines, test them out. Pick your two best headlines and run them through CoSchedule Headline Analyzer. A score of 70 or more is a good sign.
Use your first headline on 20% of your audience and your second headline on another 20%. After you get the winning headline, send it out to the rest of your audience and watch your clickthrough rate skyrocket.
This is just an example for you — you can decide what percentage of your audience you want to test your headline on.
When you create an offer for your audience, make sure you deliver your promise to them. This is your business we’re talking about. The reason why so many of us hate being sold to is that there are too many empty promises.
With so much noise and so many empty promises out there, if you present your offer properly you’ll stand out amongst the crowd.
And you’ll build a successful brand for your business. A brand that brings in consistent revenue for the long term.
In digital marketing, you should put your effort into creating the most attention-grabbing hook you possibly can. The principle of “you make a first impression in people’s minds in the first seven seconds you meet them” holds in digital marketing as well.
Your sales message is the fundamental key to marketing success. I'm writing to share everything I know about neuromarketing so you can apply what works to get more leads and sales. Follow me for more content on persuasion and marketing.