There are an abundance of sources that claim to have found the key to writing the headline that is guaranteed to grab one’s attention or the impeccable body copy that sells. However, with the increasing number of websites and blog posts that inhabit the World Wide Web, many find it difficult to tell which information is actually reliable. While some find that succinct, straight-to-the-point copy works, others, such as David Ogilvy in his notorious Rolls-Royce ad, believe it is necessary to squeeze in as much copy as possible. Here is a compilation of what I believe to be fail-proof tips to producing winning copy that will sell.
1. A straightforward headline. Headlines for both ads and posts should be simple and straight to the point. Some writers opt to be witty and include jargon, but it is not necessary. What they fail to understand is readers lose all interest in the time it takes to decipher the headline. In all cases one should be direct with the reader. Tried and true types of headlines include testimonials, questions, news headlines, and how-to’s.
2. An eye-opening introduction. When it comes to blog posts, getting readers past the headline is extremely important, yet not the most difficult. Getting readers through the introduction is essential, and thus requires lots of attention. When readers click on a headline that intrigues them, that reader is curious to learn more about the topic. This is yet another reason why headlines should never be deceiving. If you do so, then you will have lost both the reader’s attention and overall interest.
An introduction essentially gives readers a relatively detailed idea of what to expect in the coming paragraphs. The best way to grab their attention is by opening with a topical anecdote. Nothing gets readers’ attention like a well-written story. Other attention-grabbing introductions include stating relevant figures and asking questions to get the readers engaged.
3. Keep it short and sweet. James Altucher, entrepreneur and best selling author, advises writers to reduce the amount that they write in half by removing every other line. The point of all copy is to keep readers engaged. The more verbose the copy, the easier it is to lose their attention. Make sure all paragraphs include the main purpose and only what’s necessary. You can do without all that extra fluff.
4. Provide a call to action. If you’ve produced amazing copy but haven’t included a call to action, then you haven’t really done anything valuable. Sure, you’ve got your readers’ attention with a few stats or quite possibly made them nearly tear up over a story about your childhood, but how does that tie into your brand? Always include a call to action. People want to be told what to do, they don’t want to make an effort and guess what it is your asking of them. In this case, my call to action would be to follow me on Twitter for all my latest posts.
In conclusion, the formula is this: grab people’s attention with a solid, straightforward headline, keep them engaged with intriguing content, guide them through the next step with a clear and concise call to action, and then you’ll be well on your way to acquiring new customers.