What if you had to write a ten-page sales letter, one that would turn readers into clients? If you have a copywriting background, you’d shrug and get cracking. If you don’t, though, that can be a smidge intimidating.
But what if I changed the rules?
How intimidated would you be if I told you to write one line?
That’s it. One short, snappy, line.
It doesn’t even need to be a full sentence.
And all it has to do is convince people to keep reading.
You can take an hour to write this line. Or a day, or a week.
Take months if you need.
I say this because your headline is, by far, the most important part of your page. You could spend 80% of your time on the headline and it would be time well spent.
After all, most people will read the headline if they come across it. But only a fraction will click on it. That fraction is the difference between a sales page that sizzles and one that flops.
And it doesn’t matter how good the rest is if no one reads it.
Which, of course, brings us to the next question:
How can I write a great headline?
Glad you asked…
It has to grab people’s attention. The classic approach is to promise to remove their pain (literally or figuratively). But you have to be smarter than just throwing it out there.
Think about it: let’s say someone wants to lose weight, and they see a page titled ‘LOSE WEIGHT NOW!’ Are they going to read it?
Probably not. It seems a little spammy. Yes, it promises a solution, but it reminds them of the thousands of bad ads for crappy products they’ve suffered through.
You don’t want your potential client to be reminded of bad ads. In fact, you don’t want them to be reminded of any ads. You want to stand out, and the best way to do that is to surprise them.
Think about why you’ve read this article. I assume the content appeals to you, but is that the only reason you clicked? After all, there’s a lot of marketing advice out there – why’d you choose to read this?
The headline here – How to Suck at Marketing and Get Clients Anyway – does a few things:
It promises value and a solution to a common, important issue.
The language is cheeky, which stands out when everyone else is too serious.
It sets up a strange contrast: succeed, even if you’re a failure.
And while not surprising, the first two words hint at practical advice.
This is not the only approach to writing headlines. If you have hundreds of pages and they all follow this pattern, your audience will get bored. But if you only offer a few products, this principle works wonders.
Don’t steal this headline. Instead, think about the logic behind it. What does everyone else do and how can you be different? What’s cheeky enough to get attention while still be taken seriously?
What do your clients want?
Play around with these questions. Brainstorm. Take your time, because this is worth getting right.
Now it’s time to focus on the subtext:
Yes, I apply my marketing skills to my writing. Guilty as charged. I use this technique (and many others) to come up with ideas, headlines, content and offers. Just like this offer, right here.
That means that I practice every day.
And every day, I get feedback. I see what works and what doesn’t, right there in my stats.
Practical experience is the best education, and I have hundreds of articles under my belt. So if you want to talk to someone who’s fairly smart and getting smarter, drop me a line: