Not enough attention is placed on the #1 component of any piece of advertising material or news article.
Most people only read headlines before deciding whether or not to continue reading.
Here are five ways to grab your reader's attention and hold it from the start:
1. Get self interest in to every headline that you write Always try to make your headline suggest to the reader that there is something there that they want. I can't stress enough how fundamental this rule is.
The self interest element of the headline should be very obvious yet this rule is violated on a daily basis by millions of writers.
2. Use the news in your headline If you've got news such as a brand-new product that you're coming out with or promoting, or a new way to use an old product, always try to use that news by incorporating it into your headline and in a prominent way.
3. Try to avoid headlines that only provoke curiosity If you combine curiosity with news or self interests, then that's an excellent way of adding more punch to your headline.
Curiosity by itself is not enough to attract and hold the reader's attention long enough to continue reading the rest of your copy.
4. Try to refrain if possible from negativity There are many that use negative headlines to attract readers. Some people call it the "roadside crash" or "rubbernecking" technique. This may seem to work in the short run, but in the long run they can negatively brand your products or services.
I like to always stay positive, therefore attracting people that want to be positive and that are actively looking for information or products that can positively impact their lives and the lives of the people they care about.
5. Suggest quick and easy Use your headline to suggest that there is a quick and easy way for your target audience to get something they want.
Most people, and especially Americans, are always looking for a faster, more time saving, easier way of doing things.
If you can suggest that idea in your headline, then you have a much greater possibility of that person continuing to read the rest of your copy to find out more about your solution.
These five rules have been religiously followed by some of the biggest and best advertising agencies in the world.
The wonderful thing is that you can use the same techniques to boost your off-line or online business.