Wednesday, November 08, 2006

"How to" write a headline for a print ad


Previously, I lamented the waste of an ad for not using a headline. Here I would like to give the reader some pointers on how to write headlines. Specifically using the words "How to".

A "How-to" headline is one of the most effective ones there is. Like the word "free", these words have a strong attraction.

In the Web 2.0 world, users of the net go to this resource looking for information. How to do something, build something, improve something, save something or whatever something, that's one of the reasons people seek out information on the net.

Well, just imagine the advertiser sets out some information to teach the reader "how-to" do something smartly, if you as a reader, came across those words on a subject you were interested in, you'd certainly read on. Right?

You bet.

Hence, we have a headline that gets attention. That's the number one objective of a headline.

If you remember the old formula (AIDA) of ad preparation, which stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. Before we develop a reader's interest, we have the catch his/her attention. That's the headline's job.

If we get that, then chances are the reader will go through the rest of the ad copy.

You bet.

Well, I see that you're getting my drift.

And, that's just one type of headline one can use in print advertising. Remember what I said about promise. Again I go back to Samuel Johnson, who said "Promise, large promise is the soul of an advertisement". That is what a headline has to do for your ad. Make a promise.

A how-to headline promises to teach the reader just how to do what is covered in the headline.

And, chances are curiosity will lead the reader through the body copy and if interested enough and persuaded to action by the advertisement, contact the advertiser.

And, the headlines's job is done.

No comments: