Copy Tip 17: Headlines II

It’s the end of Boxing Day here in Australia and I’m just about to head off to bed … but first, a Copy Tip for you!

Yesterday’s Copy Tip was pretty special … highlighting one of the resources that I rely on for its goldmine of expert articles. I can’t believe it’s FREE — it’s worth a whole lot more and I often read and re-read the articles for several days.

It should be daily reading for you too!

Anyway … we’re back on headlines today!

We’ve already covered that headlines should get attention and keep your prospects reading. You know too headlines are designed to sell you on the rest of your copy, not necessarily selling you yet on the product or service. And also that believability is improved when your copy is as specific as possible (with lots of media examples).

And I’ve given you an easy way to source your own free headline resources.

Wow, that’s a lot on headlines … surely that’s all you need?

No way, we ain’t finished yet! I’ve got a whole lot more to share with you about headlines!

I want to supercharge your headlines so you get MAXIMUM response and effectiveness!

That’s the whole point of this Copy Tips series!

As I’ve mentioned … headlines are critical … and we’ve got plenty more to cover. This will really give you a better understanding of your headlines.

Today’s tip covers … personalisation

If your copy is directly sent to prospects and you know their name (or other personalised information, such as:

  • their job title
  • their company name
  • suburb/town
  • industry (eg “firemen” “teachers” “travel agents”

… then using this information in your headline is a great way to help grab attention!

Here’s a quick example (that had very effective results).

Back in February 2001, one of the big news stories was that Tom Cruise had filed for divorce from Nicole Kidman. It was all over the news.

So, for Valentine’s Day … one of my projects was to create a small “thinking of you” mailout for a client.

On the envelope, I used as my headline …

“Who cares about Tom and Nicole?
All we’re thinking about is you, John.”

Now there were several other elements (not related to the headline) that helped get attention for this small mailing — and I’m not revealing them yet! — but the headline really helped get the envelope opened.

We only had a small list, and knew who we were writing to, so we personalised every envelope (changing “John” to whatever name was needed).

And it worked a treat … there were 38 out of 40 replies that same day — an incredible 95 percent response!

Where you can use it, personalisation will help you.

Here’s why:

It helps create a “one-to-one” personal conversation … because it appears to be talking to just a single person.

That helps get attention and gets someone to keep on reading!

Be careful though … you can OVERUSE this personalisation technique. If every second paragraph of your copy is personalised, it might create the perception that your conversation is TRYING to be overly personal, especially when you’re sending a message to prospects who don’t know you yet.

Another reason the envelope worked was that it was related to topical news — it’s always good to “enter the conversation” someone is already having.

Tomorrow, we’ll cover how you can use your headline to help laser-target the right prospects … to grab the attention of the right people.

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