Saturday, October 14, 2006

Ads without headlines...what a waste


It still never ceases to amaze me why advertisers who pay good money for print ad do not have headlines in their ads.

Four out of five readers will see the headline and not the rest of the ad (body copy). It's the one in five who is caught by the headline will read on and proceed to the body copy.

Without a headline, not only have you lost some 80% or your readership, but chances are you have lost 100%. Why? Simple, what was used to capture your reader? Nothing.

Unless the rest of the ad has graphics that will grab the reader by the neck, that person will proceed to the next page.

Expecting a reader to go to your body copy, without a headline to grab him/her, is really expecting a lot. A heck of a lot.

Again, because you have to first catch that person and entice him/her to proceed with to the body copy.
Headlines I've found that work well are "How to's", "Direct offers", "Unique product statements", "Questions" and a few others.

Many years ago, Samuel Johnson said that "promise, large promise, is the soul of an advertisement". This promise can be carried in the headline and elaborated on in the body copy. Without the headline, that advertisement does not only go without a soul, it becomes a meaningless piece of communication and certainly does not fulfil any aim that was set for the ad, ie, to elicit an enquiry.

Before considering re-running an ad without the headline, consider carefully if the ad does what you intended it to do. If, because it has your logo up top, you like the look of the ad, why not add a headline that will grab the reader and make that person want to read on to the rest of the ad.

It's not that hard, but will earn you the satisfaction of producing a communication piece that works. And, one that will do the job that it's supposed to do...get you enquiries and consequently more customers.

The above link is a sampling of some ads that we've prepared—all of which have headlines.

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