The 13-Element Marlon Sanders’ Modular Formula (CONTINUED)
Headline Examples Continued
(by Marlon Sanders)
There are several headline formulas that are classic in direct response advertising. For more information on these, refer to the book Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples. John Caples wrote several books. They are the Bible for anyone wanting to learn how to write direct response advertising copy.
How to…. Begin your headline with the words how to. For example, How to write potent online advertising copy that will practically force your customers to give you money!
That’s how I’d write a headline for entrepreneurs. If I wanted to sell the same product to larger corporations, I’d change the tone to something like this: How to write potent online advertising copy that gets you leads and orders every day.
If you’re in a pinch, use a how to headline. The formula is simple:
How to get X benefit
How to avoid X problem
Make certain your benefit statement is specific. For example, How to save money on your phone bill is not as powerful as How to save at least $36 a week on your phone bill just by dialing 4 extra numbers.
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A variation of the how to headline that also works well is the how I headline. For example, How I saved $36 on my phone bill last month. People love reading stories. This headline has the appeal of offering a specific benefit plus a story with human interest.
News + big benefit
Begin your headline with words such as announcing, introducing, new, now, at last. For example, At last, a proven way to use your camera to make money — even if you’ve never had a photography class and you take horrible Christmas pictures.
We live in a news-starved society. We have 24-hour news on the radio and TV. We have newspapers, newsletters and news magazines. When you offers news you capture attention. Then all you do is tie that news into a benefit of your product or service.
How, why, which, who else.
These words have also been proven as powerful words to begin headlines with. For example, How I make $1,000 a week in the stock market or Why men crack or Who else wants to make money writing at home? or Which of these mistakes do you make in marketing?
Write 50-100 headlines. This sounds like a lot, it goes fast once you get started.
Test your headlines with this quiz to make sure each one covers the major bases.
- Does the headline talk about your company, your products and what you want to sell or about your customers, their wants, their needs and what they want to buy?
- Does the headline create a vivid picture of an end result highly desired by your target market?
- Does the headline rely on curiosity alone? (Curiosity alone isn’t enough. Your headline should convey a clear benefit.)
- Does the headline use one or more proven words?
- Does the headline compel you to read more?
Test your headlines online. Run them as classified ads on America Online or in ezines. The ones that generate the most inquiries are the winners. You can also use banner ads to test headlines. Each banner has one headline on it. Then you can measure the click throughs and sales produced by each banner ad.
One company I used to test headlines on in the past was smartclicks.com but it seems their website is no longer functional. Another option would be http://www.advertwizard.com
You can purchase large amounts of banner impressions at a reasonable price. Then you divide those impressions among your 12 banner ads. Each banner has a different headline. You can tell which headline is best by which banner ad gets the most click throughs.
The 13-Element Marlon Sanders’ Modular Formula (CONTINUED in next blog post)
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