"headlines graphic"The creative business person captures more sales! PERIOD.” – Heidi Richards Mooney

Headlines get attention when they appeal to the reader’s interest! And when they appeal to his or her interest, they sell more products and services. Do your ads, sales letters, brochures and website have effective headlines that compel the reader to take action? And when it comes to marketing your small business offline, it is important to use the right combination of words to get your message across to your target audience. Here are just a few examples of attention getting headlines:

Ordering Is Easy!

The Best Peanuts You’ll Ever Eat!

No Other Like It!

Remember When?

Hard To Find!

Organize Your Life

From the Comfort of Your Home

Headlines sell benefits, not features. A benefit is something your product or service does for the customer such as “Lose 20lbs in 7 days,” instead of “Our products are made of … by the #1 health food distributor in the world.” The headline has to answer the, “So what?” or “Who cares?” that is on the consumers’ minds.

1. Start with a “How to” – “How to Create a Publicity Frenzy for Your Ideas, Your Organization, Your Company.” How to headlines state the benefits in a confident fashion. People want information that demonstrates how to do something valuable.

2. Use a Testimonial – “I lost 20 pounds in only 7 days!” Satisfied customers are your best source of referrals. When someone tells you how wonderful your product or service is, ask him or her “May I quote you?” They will almost always say yes. And include their complete name and either city/state or company information (with their permission).

3. Ask a question? Are you tired of paying too much for waiting in long lines to buy your movie tickets? Then go to www.movie-tickets.com. The question gets attention because he or she is looking for just the answer to that problem. This prompts many to keep reading just to find the answer.

4. Make a Statement! – The Perfect Gift! Save Money. No Other Like It! Save Time! Make your most important benefit the headline that sells your service or product.

5. Making the News – Do something in your community to catch the attention of the media.

6. SET a Deadline – Using words like “Only 3 days left” or “One Day Only Sale” or “Act NOW” require the prospect to act quickly before it’s too late. People are busier today and often times put off until “tomorrow” what they don’t have an incentive to do today.

7. FREE SELLS! – “Stop by for a FREE rose,” or “FREE checking account when you open your savings here,” or “FREE Special Report when you subscribe to my ezine.” Everyone wants to save money and FREE is the most powerful word in the selling process!

Some other ways to make your headlines more effective:

* Be Brief – Short headlines generally get read more than long ones.

* Be Honest – Don’t make untrue or misleading claims.

* Be Specific – Tell them exactly what they can expect from your product or service.

* Be Creative – “Yo Queiro Taco Bell” is more fun than I Want Taco Bell.

* Be willing to take a risk – Boring headlines produce boring results. Get out of your publicity comfort zone and make a bold (true) statement.

* Be a Sponge – Learn all you can about effective headlines by testing several to see which ones work best!

Headlines make it easier for the prospect to decide to read the rest of the ad. Boring headlines go unnoticed. If you can’t catch them in the headline, why would they bother to read the content? Next time you are planning your small business marketing plan, think about how you can use headlines more effectively to sell your products and or services offline.