In this A.D.D. riddled online world we live in, attention spans are about 3-5econds in length.
The gateway, the grand entrance, your Superbowl “Terrible Towel” Dance, the very first sentence of our posts, article, or even follow up emails, direct mail or any other content.
80% will read the title, only 20% will actually read the body copy or the rest of what you got to say.
How do we set strong guidelines for ourselves before hitting published?
How do we know our headline is going to work?
How can we convince a busy twenty-first-century prospect that our message is worth their ever so changing attention?
Is there a way to test out our title to see how well it will work before sending it to Google?
Maybe a formula to clean up dry, old, boring titles into attention generating statements that bleeds over the reader’s benefits.
This post can be used for guidelines, formula or system to create amazingly powerful headlines.
Just make sure you have a system to help begin creating results, or eyeballs.
The Effective Way Of Writing Headlines That Generate Results
So, copywriter, Michael Masterson was the driving force behind this formula for writing interesting titles.
They are the Four U’s For Writing Effective Headlines
Urgent | The now and later effect
Urgency gives the reader a reason to act now or yesterday instead of later, soon or down the road.
You can create a sense of urgency with a headline by adding the element of time. For example,
How to make 5000$ a month working from home?
doesn’t give the reader a push, actionable info, to have the desire to read more about the topic at hand.
Now, these two are more like it….
How to make 5000$ a month working from home this year.
How to make 5000$ a month working from home starting right now.
These two have a good urgency to go see how to make a good amount of money by a certain time frame.
Use urgency in time-limited special offer, such as discount or premium if you order by a certain date.
Especially around holidays, that’s a gimme.
Unique | This is something you can’t teach
Powerful headline either says news or if it says something the reader has heard before, speak of it in a more new or flashy way
It’s sometimes difficult to find unique ways to share information, but the real way you make it special, speaking with passion, natural, genuine human voice.
Ultra- Specific | Where’s the beef of the matter?
Give an interesting teaser, a specific desire, need want, gotta have, into reading further and maybe ordering a product.
What never to wear to a prom in L.A.
Pay your bills when you want, how you want?
Best time to file a tax return.
Useful | Self-Interest or else
A powerful, strong, colorful subject line appeals to the reader’s self-interest or world view.
The secret sauce in getting content, shared, liked, and read, is if you can make someone else smarter, laugh or smile,
connecting with them on a worldly view.
Example, An invitation to Ski and Save.
Let’s go skiing and save money as we go…
Strategy Also Included
Here’s the plan, every time we sit to come up with a crafty way to state the main purpose for writing, lets run our headline through the steps we just went over.
How strong does your title sit with each of the Four U’s of copy-writing headlines? Use a scale of 1 to 4 ( 1= weak, 4=powerful) to rank it in each category.
Rarely ever will a title come screaming out of your head, rating a 3 or 4 on all four steps, just won’t happen.
BUT….if it doesn’t rank a 3 or 4 on at least 3 of the U’s, it’s probably not as powerful as it can be.
It can benefit from editing to give us a more rounded approach.
A mistake most commonly used is defending a weak headline by stating that it brought in results, that’s all that matters…
Wrong way of looking at it, but congrats on some results, though…
A better way to wrap your mind around this:
If an article’s headline generates a profitable response, despite it having a weak title, imagine how much more income you could of have made by applying this simple strategy…
Here’s an example:
Title: “Free Special Report On List-Building”
There is no urgency or sense of limited addition offers. On the scale rating, it gets a one.
Well, not every single marketer online offers a free powerful report but most do. Personally, this does nothing for me, I am not interested in the offer.
On the scale from 1 to 4, this title gets a one for uniqueness.
Can we get less specific than free special report? Free Bonus Gift is the same kind of generic broad approach.
I stress on giving it a two, so it gets a one and a half on the rating scale.
The usefulness is in the specific information contained in the white paper, which isn’t even hinted on in the title.
Kind of like going to a pricing page, and not having a button to start buying from the company.
A money page without the money button. Silly practices.
One more thing, the recipient, who already has a ton of other info thrown his way, having the attention span of a goldfish, do we need yet another “special report”?
I rate it a two on the cool scale.
It would benefit to add urgency and get more specific about what the report is about. Who are we trying to reach?
The free special report reveals how to cut mechanic bills cost up to 70% with this secret, might get better results.
I urge you to go through this practice with every single headline you create.
Apply the formula to other kinds of copy, both online and off:
Direct Mail Tactics
Website H1 Title Tags
Bullet or Number Points
Covers Of E-Books, Reports, Whitepapers, Case studies
Go through the process of rating the title with the four U’s.
Then, rewrite it so you can upgrade your rating one. two points in each of the four steps.
My mission has never changed I will help you create the kind of audience focused presence online that helps you reach your business goals…
You will learn that success online is not only simple and easy, but fun.
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