Express Printing and Graphics
  1205 Alderwood Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94089

Express Printing Sunnyvale
  Map and Directions
  Express Phone
(408) 400-0223 | Phone
  Express Fax
(408) 400-0267 | Fax
  Email Express Printing
sales@expressprintingusa.com
  Express Hours
Hours 8:30-5:00 Mon-Fri
  Express Shopping Cart

Go to the Head of the Class: Writing Great Headlines

Writing Great Headlines

In a previous issue of Printips, we discussed the importance of headlines for establishing interest in sales-related copy. As we mentioned then, advertising legend David Ogilvy is often quoted about the importance of headlines:

On average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy. It follows that unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90 percent of your money.

The headlines which work best are those which promise the reader a benefit—like a whiter wash, more miles per gallon, freedom from pimples, fewer cavities. Rifle through a magazine and count the number of ads whose headlines promise a benefit of any kind.

Headlines which contain news are sure-fire. The news can be the announcement of a new product, an improvement in an old product, or a new way to use an old product—like serving Campbell’s Soup on the rocks. On the average, ads with news are recalled by 22% more people than ads without news.

From Ogilvy on Advertising, 1985


Claude Hopkins, another advertising industry legend and author of Scientific Advertising (originally published in 1923), said, “We pick out what we wish to read by headlines.” The importance of a headline Regardless of whether a headline appears above advertising copy, on the front page of a newspaper or the cover of a magazine, or in a newsletter, its purpose is the same: to engage the reader’s interest enough to move ahead with the accompanying text.

Well-written headlines exemplify the AIDA principle of advertising in miniature – attract the reader’s attention; promote interest and desire in continuing to read; and act on the desire. The goal of good headline writing is to stir emotion in the reader and create excitement while the reader imagines enjoying the benefits of your product or service. This is best done by succinctly stating the unique selling proposition in the headline.

Great headlines begin with research

Until you know a great deal about the target audience, you won’t be able to write a compelling headline. This is because the headline must be tailored to elicit an emotional response from the reader, and answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” from the reader’s perspective. Research is also required to generate good body copy, so the time spent getting to know the target audience will reap double rewards.Headline types

There are four headline types that have a good track record of selling products and services:
  • “how to”
  • a question
  • top reasons
  • testimonials
Each is effective by appealing to the buyer in a different way.

How To: A “how to” headline promises a solution to a problem and evokes a natural curiosity to learn the method. Familiar examples of a “how to” headline address the problem of ceasing to smoke or losing weight. Although a “how to” headline might actually begin with the words how to, it could also begin The secret of . . . or See how easy it is to . . . or Little known ways to . . .

Question:
A “question” headline poses a question that the target audience wants answered, such as Do you make these mistakes? or Are you spending too much on . . .? The focus of the question is always a benefit for the reader.

Top Reasons: A “top reasons” headline promises an explanation for something of interest to the reader. Examples are Four ways to stop smoking or The top ten reasons students fail. A “top reasons” headline can be posed as a question, such as Do you know the three warning signs for diabetes?

Testimonials: A “testimonial’ headline uses the words of a satisfied customer to convey a benefit. It works because it adds veracity to the claims you make about your product or service. To indicate the headline is a testimonial, use quotation marks to enclose the customer’s words: “Now I have a driveway I’m proud of”.

Ways to start a headline

John Caples, the advertising great who is #21 on Ad Age’s list of Top 100 People of the 20th Century, devotes five of 18 chapters in his book Tested Advertising Methods to writing headlines. In it he offers 29 formulas for writing good headlines. Caples wrote that effective headlines often begin with key words that are proven to attract a reader’s interest. Here is a list of key words: Introducing, Announcing, Now, At Last, Finally, How To, Why, Which, This, New, You, Your, Who, People, Want, Easy, Simple, Money, Free.

What to use in a headline

If your offer is particularly compelling, consider featuring it in the headline. Some examples of a compelling offer are price (or reduced price), payment plan, or bonus with purchase. You can also include the unique selling proposition (USP) in the headline. To qualify as a USP, the headline will have to explain a specific benefit that is not being offered by competitors. The headline can make a promise (i.e., Learn to speak Spanish in 8 weeks) which can also be backed up by a guarantee (or we’ll refund your money.) Finally, the headline can appeal directly to the target audience – Attention college students.

Practice makes perfect

There is only one way to write great headlines: practice. Since a headline is built around the benefits of the product or service, start by brainstorming all the benefits of each feature. Record those on a sheet of paper. Now pick a benefit and write a series of headlines in each major headline category (how-to, question, top reason, testimonial).

Write enough headlines in each category to use all the opening words mentioned earlier in this article. Aim for at least 30 headlines in each category. Headline appearance A few final words to ensure your headlines will be eye-catching: pay attention to how they appear on the page. For example, look at line lengths. It is best to have each line of approximately the same length. Similarly, in multi-line headlines, avoid line breaks that split an infinitive. Strive to keep punctuation, except for hyphens and dashes, at the end of a line.

Featured Product

News Feed
Twitter
  • Michigan Tech studies 3D printing metal composites with Lulzbot, ColorFabb and Proto Pasta https://t.co/KEqjnVlvWkSat Apr 29 03:00:14 2017
  • Michigan Tech studies 3D printing metal composites with Lulzbot, ColorFabb and Proto Pasta #printing https://t.co/nPLbjIPAh8Sat Apr 29 03:00:11 2017
  • PostProcess Technologies raises $4M to accelerate 3D printing surface finishing systems https://t.co/WvpTYxBsokSat Apr 29 02:00:14 2017
  • PostProcess Technologies raises $4M to accelerate 3D printing surface finishing systems #printingindustry https://t.co/YErAhS9JoYSat Apr 29 02:00:10 2017
  • How to Tell Your Trade Show Story with a Page-Turning Press Kit https://t.co/4zfy5wtHZsSat Apr 29 01:00:15 2017
  • How to Tell Your Trade Show Story with a Page-Turning Press Kit #tradeshows https://t.co/uyijFLnOpASat Apr 29 01:00:11 2017
  • Port of Rotterdam's RAMLAB unveils its first 3D printed ship component in partnership with Autodesk https://t.co/P51QP4REjyFri Apr 28 19:59:07 2017
  • Special Report: Best Places to Work in Events 2017 https://t.co/4FHNHaGzOjFri Apr 28 18:59:07 2017
  • Special Report: Best Places to Work in Events 2017 #incentives https://t.co/XoVjeXlrttFri Apr 28 18:59:05 2017
  • German Industrial Group Thyssenkrupp to Launch 3D Printing Center in September | All3DP https://t.co/nHhDZ0wbzfFri Apr 28 17:59:07 2017
  • German Industrial Group Thyssenkrupp to Launch 3D Printing Center in September | All3DP #printingindustry https://t.co/CtuSq0FASFFri Apr 28 17:59:06 2017
  • Planners’ Essential Summer Reading List | Smart Meetings https://t.co/fWbMF6gA3iFri Apr 28 16:59:07 2017
  • Planners’ Essential Summer Reading List | Smart Meetings #meetingplanning https://t.co/HKa42UulIaFri Apr 28 16:59:05 2017
  • 5 U.S. Cities on the Rise for Meetings and Events https://t.co/9zegLhsaopFri Apr 28 15:59:08 2017
  • 5 U.S. Cities on the Rise for Meetings and Events #tradeshows https://t.co/mcFoClpoRSFri Apr 28 15:59:07 2017
  • Trade Show Tips: Should You be Selling, Networking or Both? https://t.co/UtBps51CJRFri Apr 28 14:59:07 2017
  • Trade Show Tips: Should You be Selling, Networking or Both? #tradeshows https://t.co/ZuGYVxJKtIFri Apr 28 14:59:06 2017
  • Type A Machines improves Series 1 Pro 3D printer with BuildTak FlexPlate & Adaptive Auto-Leveling https://t.co/btCNefTknWFri Apr 28 13:59:07 2017
  • Type A Machines improves Series 1 Pro 3D printer with BuildTak FlexPlate & Adaptive Auto-Leveling #printingindustry https://t.co/4Tue6oYzLTFri Apr 28 13:59:06 2017
  • Step by Step: How To Screen Print On Wood | Ryonet Blog https://t.co/Ajp5xRZDMkFri Apr 28 12:59:08 2017
  • Step by Step: How To Screen Print On Wood | Ryonet Blog #screenprinting https://t.co/NDkAkcsyCTFri Apr 28 12:59:06 2017
  • State Spotlight: Franchise Opportunities In Arizona https://t.co/xNscDBuCSPFri Apr 28 11:59:07 2017
  • State Spotlight: Franchise Opportunities In Arizona #promotionalmerchandise https://t.co/sibC41GQULFri Apr 28 11:59:06 2017
  • Prodways, Safran partner to create inorganic 3D printing materials; Prodways IPO subscription starts tomorrow https://t.co/8yHl6sjWTzFri Apr 28 10:59:07 2017
  • EOS & 3YOURMIND's AMPI tool automatically identifies parts suitable for 3D printing https://t.co/5yUJlHzduRFri Apr 28 09:59:08 2017
  • EOS & 3YOURMIND's AMPI tool automatically identifies parts suitable for 3D printing #printingindustry https://t.co/ofUTAdAponFri Apr 28 09:59:06 2017
  • 12 Ways To Add Fun To Serious Events https://t.co/KefgzUsCvpFri Apr 28 08:59:08 2017
  • 12 Ways To Add Fun To Serious Events #eventmanagement https://t.co/QqWbpfijvXFri Apr 28 08:59:06 2017
  • Event Planners: Say Yes To Automation https://t.co/BCX1ZvSQcJFri Apr 28 08:00:08 2017
  • Event Planners: Say Yes To Automation #eventmanagement https://t.co/nFgmeq1YOIFri Apr 28 08:00:06 2017
  • Siemens joins Adidas SPEEDFACTORIES project for custom 3D printed sportswear https://t.co/GWijmffHsbFri Apr 28 07:00:08 2017
  • Siemens joins Adidas SPEEDFACTORIES project for custom 3D printed sportswear #printingindustry https://t.co/58WB1q6j87Fri Apr 28 07:00:08 2017
  • How The Event Industry Will Evolve in the Next 20 Years https://t.co/3A190fgxWIFri Apr 28 06:00:09 2017
  • How The Event Industry Will Evolve in the Next 20 Years #eventmanagement https://t.co/CPCWNazqnoFri Apr 28 06:00:07 2017
  • Imagine! Express and CIDI Find Profitable Signage Growth with EFI https://t.co/4e7VXIuinGFri Apr 28 05:00:17 2017
  • Imagine! Express and CIDI Find Profitable Signage Growth with EFI #printing https://t.co/ngXPPq9ozmFri Apr 28 05:00:11 2017
  • German steelmaker Kloeckner acquires 10% stake in 3D printing company BigRep https://t.co/jOA1SZwoZaFri Apr 28 04:00:16 2017
  • German steelmaker Kloeckner acquires 10% stake in 3D printing company BigRep #printingindustry https://t.co/sBfSupw5dYFri Apr 28 04:00:12 2017
  • Get Ready for the Rise of AI in Events https://t.co/eeKj9eADhoFri Apr 28 03:00:15 2017
  • Get Ready for the Rise of AI in Events #eventmanagement https://t.co/WiptzHhmQjFri Apr 28 03:00:12 2017
  • $839 Phrozen Make LCD DLP 3D printer raises $170K on Kickstarter https://t.co/INcG9Xpy3hFri Apr 28 02:00:16 2017
  • $839 Phrozen Make LCD DLP 3D printer raises $170K on Kickstarter #printingindustry https://t.co/mAmrRDS5ooFri Apr 28 02:00:13 2017
  • Justifying Additive Manufacturing with jigs & fixtures https://t.co/Va5WKGb658Fri Apr 28 01:00:15 2017
  • Justifying Additive Manufacturing with jigs & fixtures #printing https://t.co/i04XfCCbGAFri Apr 28 01:00:12 2017
  • GE expands additive manufacturing capabilities, new metal 3D printer coming soon https://t.co/HCvRvG3pU7Thu Apr 27 19:59:07 2017
  • GE expands additive manufacturing capabilities, new metal 3D printer coming soon #printing https://t.co/AVjHXMpHc9Thu Apr 27 19:59:06 2017
  • When your marketplace shifts... https://t.co/xUvdoGUVVHThu Apr 27 19:58:59 2017
  • Retail square feet per capita in the United States is more than six times that of Europe or Japan... https://t.co/Dd5EGVvX31Thu Apr 27 19:57:38 2017
  • It's showtime, Matt Storey discusses industry events - Stand Out Magazine https://t.co/gbyw93hfuYThu Apr 27 18:59:09 2017
  • It's showtime, Matt Storey discusses industry events - Stand Out Magazine #tradeshows https://t.co/UhmnOXmiNQThu Apr 27 18:59:07 2017
  • Kentstrapper's large-format MAVIS 3D printer boasts filament and power outage monitors https://t.co/CCtJTQ0CMnThu Apr 27 17:59:08 2017
  • Kentstrapper's large-format MAVIS 3D printer boasts filament and power outage monitors #printingindustry https://t.co/TKDol5w6AyThu Apr 27 17:59:06 2017
  • Zeus the whippet learns to walk with 3D printed prosthetic paw https://t.co/g5XF141y19Thu Apr 27 16:59:10 2017
  • Zeus the whippet learns to walk with 3D printed prosthetic paw #printing https://t.co/GWgbl5vqBeThu Apr 27 16:59:09 2017
  • Strategic Plans: Connecting Them to Product, Marketing & Sales Execution Plans in 3 Steps | Proficientz https://t.co/nTFuJTMjoZThu Apr 27 15:59:09 2017
  • DARPA asks Xerox company PARC to build new product design system for advanced manufacturing https://t.co/McgWo4INaZThu Apr 27 14:59:08 2017
  • DARPA asks Xerox company PARC to build new product design system for advanced manufacturing #printingindustry https://t.co/1OoBYMr2Z2Thu Apr 27 14:59:08 2017
  • New TrussFab software uses 3D printing to make boats, furniture & buildings out of plastic bottles https://t.co/22ikRyKyYUThu Apr 27 13:59:08 2017
  • New TrussFab software uses 3D printing to make boats, furniture & buildings out of plastic bottles #printingindustry https://t.co/c0DNUMs5fOThu Apr 27 13:59:06 2017
  • Industry Delegation Lobbies on Capitol Hill https://t.co/z72IoO0gOYThu Apr 27 13:00:09 2017
  • Industry Delegation Lobbies on Capitol Hill #promotionalmerchandise https://t.co/wGjFjGsGWkThu Apr 27 13:00:07 2017
  • 'Rapid Liquid Printing' by MIT and Steelcase could change the face of 3D printing https://t.co/vyc30tUbaZThu Apr 27 12:00:09 2017
  • 'Rapid Liquid Printing' by MIT and Steelcase could change the face of 3D printing #printingindustry https://t.co/KS0iwMuzDwThu Apr 27 12:00:08 2017
  • 3D Printing Industry Awards - Enterprise 3D printer of the year (FFF/FDM) https://t.co/WakU2QKdo5Thu Apr 27 11:00:08 2017
  • 3D Printing Industry Awards - Enterprise 3D printer of the year (FFF/FDM) #printingindustry https://t.co/RJJbAT1MQMThu Apr 27 11:00:06 2017
  • Wedding Planners Reveal Their Wildest Wedding Moments https://t.co/oaKK7LhLkjThu Apr 27 10:00:08 2017
  • Wedding Planners Reveal Their Wildest Wedding Moments #eventmanagement https://t.co/JUnbOm4W71Thu Apr 27 10:00:08 2017
  • 9 Patriotic Promotional Items For Flag Day https://t.co/nrusf1df09Thu Apr 27 09:00:08 2017
  • 9 Patriotic Promotional Items For Flag Day #promotionalmerchandise https://t.co/MoQdLtPkbQThu Apr 27 09:00:08 2017
  • Promotional Product State and Regional Sales Report https://t.co/UFC4vZPnO4Thu Apr 27 08:00:09 2017
  • Promotional Product State and Regional Sales Report #promotionalmerchandise https://t.co/qVQeZp7KCpThu Apr 27 08:00:07 2017
  • Google-backed Desktop Metal unveils 100x faster metal 3D printing system after raising $97M https://t.co/VZfLkysZZLThu Apr 27 07:00:08 2017
  • Google-backed Desktop Metal unveils 100x faster metal 3D printing system after raising $97M #printingindustry https://t.co/Uiqg5VkiKKThu Apr 27 07:00:08 2017
  • SGS Cincinnati Expands into New Markets with EFI VUTEk 5r LED Printer https://t.co/yZJG1ZDDSrThu Apr 27 06:00:09 2017
  • SGS Cincinnati Expands into New Markets with EFI VUTEk 5r LED Printer #printing https://t.co/FR1EMtoj0CThu Apr 27 06:00:09 2017
  • Beware: Third-party procurement can cost you your commission https://t.co/6FHxkYot1vThu Apr 27 05:00:18 2017
  • Beware: Third-party procurement can cost you your commission #meetingplanning https://t.co/JhpNu0PYlQThu Apr 27 05:00:13 2017
  • German industrial group Thyssenkrupp to open 3D printing center this year https://t.co/gnOxcz0dlGThu Apr 27 04:00:17 2017
  • German industrial group Thyssenkrupp to open 3D printing center this year #printingindustry https://t.co/S8dp0UnPgPThu Apr 27 04:00:12 2017
  • Apple hires Steven Keating, MIT grad who 3D printed his own brain tumour https://t.co/U085Ojdc9bThu Apr 27 03:00:18 2017
  • Apple hires Steven Keating, MIT grad who 3D printed his own brain tumour #printingindustry https://t.co/DJKvVHphQCThu Apr 27 03:00:15 2017
  • 10 Commandments of Incredibly Successful Trade Shows by @QuickTapSurvey https://t.co/EtDLHcwyn6Thu Apr 27 02:00:18 2017
  • 10 Commandments of Incredibly Successful Trade Shows by @QuickTapSurvey #tradeshows https://t.co/IAxQz4SfGfThu Apr 27 02:00:14 2017
  • MPINCC Professional Education Program 8/18/16 https://t.co/3M9Gih1sxGThu Apr 27 01:00:12 2017
  • MPINCC Professional Education Program 8/18/16 #tradeshows https://t.co/zg4xE9nTNVThu Apr 27 01:00:10 2017
  • Event Planning Inspiration from Coachella 2017 | Smart Meetings https://t.co/4GvBDUJZqXWed Apr 26 19:59:09 2017
  • Event Planning Inspiration from Coachella 2017 | Smart Meetings #eventmanagement https://t.co/Cn58lPOAjVWed Apr 26 19:59:07 2017
  • New SAP Distributed Manufacturing application connects engineers with 3D printing service providers https://t.co/5BK6HcGNMcWed Apr 26 18:59:09 2017
  • ISA Sign Expo 2017 Closes with Record Numbers | https://t.co/E8fnQ9db0J https://t.co/x3EcIdtFhqWed Apr 26 17:59:11 2017
  • ISA Sign Expo 2017 Closes with Record Numbers | https://t.co/E8fnQ9db0J #printing https://t.co/bpsk5XaxrlWed Apr 26 17:59:09 2017
  • The new face of AV? - Event Industry News https://t.co/AL6vskONyIWed Apr 26 16:59:09 2017
  • The new face of AV? - Event Industry News #eventmanagement https://t.co/Nk0ESKZAOUWed Apr 26 16:59:07 2017
  • River Rendezvous #tradeshows https://t.co/VsL2WP57VvWed Apr 26 16:00:09 2017
  • Thailand Redefines MICE Industry Direction with Public and Private Partnerships to Move Kingdom Forw #incentives https://t.co/Revugs3x7hWed Apr 26 15:00:08 2017
  • 20-year-old receives 3D printed skull implant after removal of extremely rare tumor #printingindustry https://t.co/msBlWAyStvWed Apr 26 14:00:07 2017
  • For the 3D Printing Industry to Grow, Focus on Collaboration & the Journey: MWS17 #printingindustry https://t.co/mLgdlNKBp1Wed Apr 26 13:00:07 2017
  • The Final Frontier for Promotional Products #promotionalmerchandise https://t.co/rBPD08vzX6Wed Apr 26 12:00:08 2017
  • Your Buyers Are Experiencing Marketing Fatigue; Here's What to Do About It #tradeshows https://t.co/tx4yOsVjrJWed Apr 26 11:00:07 2017
  • 2017 Incentive Travel Exchange Event Opens in Las Vegas #incentives https://t.co/Kqk8ZF4jDcWed Apr 26 10:00:08 2017
  • Promotional Product Sales Report: Midwest #promotionalmerchandise https://t.co/V3Umr3t8PtWed Apr 26 09:00:07 2017